ROOT AMERICANA / APPALACHIAN
Today I went a wandering high atop Mount Vernon. On my walk, I crossed a little plant peeking from the grasses. Unremarkable by any modern standard of beauty, it stood nestled quietly amongst the vast flora and fauna of central Ohio. “Who are you little plant?” I said, to no answer. “Who are you?” as I flipped through my Petersons field guide. “Who are you?”
Who are any of us? We often look to the heavens for answers to such questions. Who am I? where do I belong? For the answer, we need simply to look to the ground. With the exception of Native Americans, we all arrived (at some point in our lineage) on these shores with hopes and dreams, and very often with pockets full of seeds.
The plants in this month’s selection have come from all over the world to settle and thrive in the Northeastern United States. They have found a home here and have become a vital part of our ecosystem as well as part of the foundation of American herbal medicine. So play the pipes and bang the drum – today we celebrate ourselves. Weeds of the world unite.
Gertrude Hall, To A Weed, October 1896
You bold thing! thrusting ‘neath the very nose
Of her fastidious majesty, the rose,
Ev’n in the best ordained garden-bed,
Unauthorized, your smiling little head!
The gardener,—mind,—will come in his big boots
And drag you up by your rebellious roots,
And cast you forth to shrivel in the sun,
Your daring quelled, your little weed’s life done.
And when the noon cools and the sun drops low,
He’ll come again with his big wheelbarrow
And trundle you,—I don’t know clearly where,—
But off—outside the dew, the light, the air.
Meantime—ah, yes! the air is very blue,
And gold the light, and diamond the dew,—
You laugh and courtesy in your worthless way,
And you are gay—oh, so exceeding gay!
You argue in your manner of a weed,
You did not make yourself grow from a seed,
You fancy you’ve a claim to standing-room,
You dream yourself a right to breathe and bloom.
The sun loves you, you think, just as the rose;
He never scorned you for a weed,—he knows,
The green-gold flies rest on you, and are glad,
It’s only cross old gardeners find you bad.
You know, you weed, I quite agree with you;
I am a weed myself, and I laugh too,—
Both, just as long as we can shun his eye,
Let’s sniff at the old gardener trudging by!
Pyramus and Thisbe, the ill-fated lovers of Roman mythology, are said to have met their tragic deaths near a white mulberry tree. The mulberry tree, being sprinkled with their blood, bore red fruit forever after.
Made with only hand-harvested Mulberries & Raw Sugar. Try this sauce with: Smoothies, Oatmeal, Pancakes or Crepes, Ice Cream, Yogurt, Pork Tenderloin, or Duck Breast.
Please refrigerate after opening.
The health benefits of mulberries include their ability to improve digestion, lower cholesterol, aid in weight loss, increase circulation, build bone tissues, and boost the immune system. The fruit also helps prevent certain cancers, slow down the aging process, lower blood pressure, protect eyes, and improve the overall metabolism of the body.
However, this Mulberry Sauce (due to its fairly high sugar content) should simply be enjoyed as a sweet treat.
For use on bug bites, poison ivy, & external irritations of the skin.
Jewelweed, Calendula Flower, Plantain Leaf, Burdock
Root infused Olive Oil & Natural Beeswax.
Some Fun Facts About the Plants:
- Jewelweed – Crushed leaves in poultice form are a traditional and well-known remedy for poison ivy. This plant contains a compound called lawsone in its leaves proven to have anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Calendula – Early American colonists relied on calendula’s sunny disposition and gentle immune boosting properties for protection against the damp, cold of winter. It was a common pot herb, meaning it was often used in soups and stews, as well as a regular ingredient in daily herbal infusions and beauty treatments.
- Plantain – Extracts of the plant have antibacterial activity, it is a safe and effective treatment for bleeding, it quickly stops blood flow and encourages the repair of damaged tissue. The heated leaves are used as a wet dressing for wounds, skin inflammations, to draw out thorns, splinters, malignant ulcers, cuts, stings and swellings and said to promote healing without scars.
- Burdock – Fluid extracts made from the fresh root, which contains inulin and at least 14 different polyacetylene compounds, have genuine beneficial application in the treatment of eczema, psoriasis, and other skin disorders. Two of these compounds possess antibacterial and antifungal qualities.
Use this soap as a companion to the Jewelweed Salve.
Contains Only: Saponofied oils of Jewelweed, Calendula Flower, Plantain Leaf, & Burdock Root infused Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Shea Butter & Castor Oil. French Green Clay, Spring Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Blend of Bergamot, Cedar, Clary Sage, Fir Needle, & Petigrain Essential Oils.
- Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis): Wild Balsam, Ladies Eardrops, Speckled Jewels, Silver Cap, & Touch-Me-Nots.
- Calendula (Calendula officinalis): Pot marigold, Holligold, Goldbloom, Golds, Marybud, Ruddes, & Mary Gowles. Calendula is a modern Latin diminutive of calendae, meaning “little calendar,” “little clock” or possibly “little weather-glass.”
- Plantain (Plantago major): Broadleaf Plantain, White Man’s Foot, & Greater Plantain.
- Burdock (Arctium minus): Lesser Burdock, Little Burdock, Louse-bur, Common Burdock, Button-bur, Cuckoo-button, & Wild Rhubarb.
Field Mint, Japanese Honeysuckle Blossom, Elderflower, & Wild Raspberry Tea
with Wildflower Honey
This tea has a cool tingle, is mildly astringent, and has floral back-notes with subtle notes of fruit. The wildflower honey was harvested from Bailiwick’s hives making it contain the essences of all the herbal blossoms on our property.
- Field Mint – The genus, Mentha, is named for the Greek nymph Minthe, who was unfortunate enough to be turned into a mint plant by Persephone (Hades wife). The species, arvensis, means ‘of the planted fields’ which is a habitat the plant can be found in, hence the alternate common name of Field Mint.
- Honeysuckle – Shakespeare wrote of it in A Midsummer’s Nights Dream: “Sleep thou, and I will wind thee in my arms / So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle / Gently entwist…”
- Elderflower – Old names like Holler, Hylder, Hyllantree, and the German word Holunder all refer to an ancient vegetation Goddess, Hylde Moer, as she was known in Denmark. Once upon a time, the Elder-tree was considered sacred to this Goddess, and the tree’s gifts were regarded as her blessings.
- Raspberry – Native peoples of the Americas recognized raspberry’s powerful medicinal and protective properties. In the Philippines, raspberry canes were hung outside homes to protect those who dwelt within from any souls who may inadvertently wander in. Various first nation tribes of Northern America used raspberry to soothe labor pains, ease contractions, and ease nausea.
Yarrow’s Latin name, Achillea millefolium, is derived from the Greek Hero Achilles, who was said to rely on this humble herb to heal his warriors on the battlefield.
Yarrow & Cayenne Styptic Powder
Contains Only: Dried and Finely Powdered Wildcrafted Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) & Cultivated Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum annuum ‘acuminatum’).
Yarrow is known for its antiseptic and styptic properties, and cayenne, which increases circulation to the affected area, while simultaneously relieving pain.
- Pack enough styptic onto the wound to cover the affected area and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes, or until the yarrow has stopped the bleeding.
- Clean, then dress the wound with a healing salve and gauze.
Wild Game Herb Blend
Contains Only: Parsley, Marjoram, Lemon Balm, Rosemary, Summer Savory, Juniper Berries, Garlic, Thyme, Sage & Mint.
Add a savory twist to your meat (and vegetarian!) dishes, wild or not, with this delicious blend. Add a large pinch or two at the end of cooking to a dish made to serve four.
We hope you enjoyed the first month’s share!
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us right away!
Many thanks from,
Josh & Becky Wentworth-Kuhn