Posts tagged plant magic
Nettle and Pine Needle Tea
 
Nettle and Pine Needle Tea
 

Last weekend, Connor took me up to his family homestead for the first time. After a year and half of dating and hearing Connor speak so lovingly about the land, it felt, in some strange way, like I was coming home. We hadn’t been able to access the land previously because neither of our vehicles were up to the task of driving over the mini rivers, deep mud and sharp rocks that make up the road leading to the cabin. Not to mention the heavy drifts of snow that reside on the road for the better half of a year. But last December, we got a truck! (A glorious thing to have in Montana it turns out.) Last weekend we threw the essentials in the back, grabbed a growler of beer and drove straight out of town.

I’ve been to the small town that Connor’s family is from before. It’s a quiet place, with a population of under 500 people, it consists of a two churches, a post office, a bar and a whole lot of cows. I like going here because the cell phone service is sparse and the people are friendly, which may or may not have something to do with the fact that Connor is related to most of them. But it’s a different way of life from what I know. Sure, I grew up on an island far out at sea, but that island was always bustling and it was often hard to escape people for long. Here though, the land is plenty and it’s respected in a way that almost makes it feel untouched.

As soon as we got to the cabin, I felt at ease. We grabbed a beer from the cooler, changed shoes and started walking around the cabin, Connor introducing it to me slowly and carefully. Over the next few days, we stayed indoors or under the cover of the broad porch that faced the vast field before us to avoid the rain that came down nearly the entire time we were there. We cooked meals on the wood stove (slowly), drank water from the natural spring and had many talks about the life we could live if we just moved there full time. I read while Connor sat by the fire and whittled a new spoon from fresh wood cut from a recently fallen aspen tree. The land itself consists of about 700 acres, so there is still so much for us to explore and I can’t wait to return. There is no electricity, wires or running water, unless you count the spring which is a good walk away. It makes time move more slowly and my mind feel a lot more stable. The privilege of having access to a place like this feels overwhelming and I am so beyond grateful that I get to experience it at this time in life.

Next to the cabin Connor’s uncle built, sits the foundation and wooden remains of the original cabin that Connor’s great grandfather, William, built. The land was acquired in 1922 during the homestead act and it’s amazing to see something of Connor’s ancestry so close by. I imagined the cold winters and long hours it took for William to build that little cabin, which now lays in a slightly untidy mess of logs and metal pans. It’s like an ode to the perseverance of the Irish man named William and the generations after him and to come.

While exploring the foundation, I was delighted to find a patch of wee little nettles growing alongside the old walls. The next day, we came back to harvest a handful or two for tea and I’d like to share the recipe with you. I made sure to leave one proud little nettle plant at the entrance where the door used to be. It felt as if it were some sort of protection to the integrity of the cabin and I dared not touch it. Nettles are powerful, nourishing and spirited plants. When harvesting, make sure to wear gloves and never pull the plant out by the roots. HERE is a great article from Mountain Rose Herbs on how to properly harvest nettles.

 
Nettle and Pine Needle Tea
 
 
IMG_3417.JPG
 
Nettle and Pine Needle Tea
 
Nettle and Pine Needle Tea

INGREDIENTS

1 cup fresh (or dried) nettles
2 tbs chopped pine needles
2 cinnamon sticks
3 cups water
optional: honey, maple syrup or sugar to taste

Method

Find a doug fir tree* and gently clip a few ends off the branches (think 2-3 inches). Either rinse with water or closely inspect for debris. Once clean, place branches and whole nettles in a medium pot with water and add cinnamon sticks. Place on medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and steep for at least 6 minutes. Strain and serve hot. If you find that the water top has some resin, it’s from the pine and you can just strain that out using a strainer lined with a cheese cloth.

*or any other non toxic pine

Always make sure that you triple identify everything that you harvest from the wild. The writings and recipes on this page are meant to inspire and we cannot be held responsible for any mistakes in the wild. Be smart and buy a guidebook. take a class, or take along an experienced friend.

 
 
 
Nettle and Pine Needle Tea
 
What's in My Bag with Hadas Knox of Ancient Roots Mama


What's in My Bag with Hadas Knox

Like most people in this What’s in My Bag series, I discovered Hadas through Instagram. I was immediately taken with her style of photography and once I read more, I learned that she had a book of her own! It’s called The Holistic Antidepressant Diet. Here’s the description from Hadas’ website:

“The Holistic Antidepressant Diet: Traditional, Edible Practices to Align with Mother Earth, Raise Vibrations, and Naturally Curb Anxiety and Depression. A holistic approach to healing anxiety and depression, drawing heavily from traditional Chinese medicine as well as Ayurveda and modern scientific research. This book is designed to guide you in healing yourself, in reconnecting with your Source, and in gaining a deeper understanding of how you fit into and can thrive on this planet. Includes plenty of plant-based, medicinal recipes, esoteric and ancestral wisdom, and practical steps you can take today. “

I’m excited to share a bit of Hadas’ magic with you here on Gingertooth & Twine. Grab a cup of tea, get cozy and read on. And maybe add a copy of The Holistic Antidepressant Diet to your cart while your at it ;)

Spencre xo


∆∆∆

My bag tends to be a hodgepodge of supplies ranging from grounding potions to toddler necessities and of course, snacks. It also takes many forms. This morning it is a backpack, and this afternoon it will be a basket. Unless I'm visiting with a client, you can usually find a little two-and-a-half year old sputtering nearby at hip level. My bag holds ample supplies to keep him happy and engaged, as well as some of my mama necessities like a camera, flower or land essence, and a good book.

What's in My Bag with Hadas Knox

Right now I'm reading “The Continuum Concept" by Jean Liedloff. This book makes me feel validated and lonely at the same time. The author is a writer an psychotherapist who spent two and a half years in the jungle in South America, observing how indigenous communities raised their young. It's mind-blowing how far and how quickly our society has veered away from rearing children in line with the ways our species evolved. The expression in the birth world "it takes a village" rings so true. It's comforting to read about cultures that honor our mothering instincts. Books like this help me feel less crazy for choosing to raise my son differently than most.

Speaking of crazy, it might seem a bit odd that I’m usually carrying around at least three different books with me at all times. The second book is “Edible Wild Plants.” Foraging season is in full bloom and both my son and I find so much pleasure in gathering from and relating with the natural world. I had planned to go to herbal school in Oregon before becoming a mother, but that plan was put on hold. One day I will formally study herbalism. Until then, you’ll find me in the fields with a reference book in hand, or in the kitchen, dabbling.

Lastly, my journal always come with me. I could probably make my bag a little lighter and just take notes in my phone, but it really isn’t the same. This journal comes from a past trip to South America, where I spent a lot of time growing up. My inspiration and intuitive hits often come when I’m not specifically seeking them (like in the shower, when first waking up or drifting off to sleep, or just walking in the woods). I like to write these messages down as they come, before I forget. When I have the time later, I like to unpack some of them with longer journaling sessions.

We're preparing to move to a new home in a new area, and as an extra sensitive person, I find transitions easily become overwhelming. I tend to carry an essence with me to help me feel grounded. Last year I took an online course called Intuitive Plant Medicine and started making flower essences myself. When preparing for this blog post, I told my husband, "I feel like a failure for not making my own essence in months." He shrugged. "You're a mom." So it goes. Right now I'm using St. John's Wort from my local apothecary.

My son's favorite phrase during a lull is "I want something to hold." We never leave home without something for him. Often it's a small basket or bag of his own to gather things in nature that interest him. If we’re driving, he can look through his basket of treasures on the way home.

My camera. Unless it feels necessary, I leave home without my phone, or I at least leave it in the car when we go adventuring. The difference in my experience when my phone is on and available vs. off or in another place completely is truly noticeable. The last thing I want to model for my son is a cell phone addiction, but we both enjoy having a camera around. There are moments that he, too, wants to capture and remember, and he loves watching back the videos we take later on in the day. Photography is a simple way for me to be creative throughout the day. One shift in perspective I'm practicing is not waiting for that one hour a day when my son is asleep to work on my projects, but the idea that I can work on them, incrementally, throughout the day. I don't need to wait for him to fall asleep to practice photography but can incorporate this hobby into our regular routine.

Food is a huge part of my daily rhythm and wellbeing. What we eat can either supports our health or hurt it. I'm exhausted more often than not, so I find it absolutely essential to set myself up for success when it comes to food, at least. When we go out, I throw some fruit and nut energy balls in my bag. I make them every week or two with my son and they're the perfect on-the-go snack. We love switching up the recipe to keep them exciting. The base is always dates and nuts, and then we change the flavors between cacao, matcha, berry, bee pollen and raw honey, etc!

In the same vein, I carry a water bottle with me. This one is made from copper, an essential trace mineral with so many health benefits! According to Ayurveda, drinking water enriched with copper first thing in the morning helps all three doshas. Similar to my thoughts on photography, I used to wait until I had time to myself to engage in the rituals and ceremonies that I used to cultivate before becoming a mother. Ritual would help me feel grounded and more present. But man, waiting around for those perfect, calm moments during this phase of motherhood meant that I was basically not longer engaging in any rituals! I’m coming to see that all of life can be a ceremony, and I can bring the sacred into my experience at any moment, with as simple a ceremony as fueling my body with healing waters.

What's in My Bag with Hadas Knox

EARTH CANDY RECIPE:

I call these date and nut balls Earth Candy and I make a different flavor each season. Springtime has an affinity for the liver and gallbladder. When the energy of this meridian is strong, we feel emotionally light, flexible, silly, happy. When we’re off balance, our liver holds onto anger and frustration. We can look to green foods in the Springtime to nourish the liver and gallbladder. This is why I make this nutrient-dense snack with matcha and pistachios.

RECIPE

In a food processor, blend 2 cups of pistachios, 12 soaked and strained medjool dates, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, ⅛ tsp. salt, and 1 tbsp. matcha. Roll into balls and roll in a light coating of matcha (If you’re planning to share these with children, I recommend substituting matcha for a more kid-friendly flavor like freeze-dried and powdered green apple.)

What's in My Bag with Hadas Knox
What's in My Bag with Hadas Knox

Hadas Knox is a mother practicing primal, intuitive parenting, a holistic health coach, full spectrum doula, and Pilates instructor. Her business, Ancient Roots Mama, focuses on guiding and supporting women in reclaiming, reconnecting, and rewilding with healing nutrition, ancient wisdom, birth, ritual and ceremony, motherhood, and sisterhood. As a coach, she offers one month programs and individual consultations. On her blog and instagram, she shares about parenting, connecting with nature, holistic nutrition, and simple living. She is the author of "The Holistic Antidepressant Diet" and is currently creating an e-course called "Crafting a Sacred Postpartum."

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