Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Bit of an Update

Greetings Plant Lovers!

I hope this message finds you well and enjoying our early Spring!

(I'm in the process of updating the "News and Updates" page so until then I'll be posting updates here).

While I wasn't quite ready to let go of Winter, I am now well into the "swing of Spring". I take great delight awakening every morning to the mellliflous melody of the little song Sparrow that perches on the Hawthorn
tree outside my window. This little Sparrow (or one of its relatives) is one of the very first harbringers of Spring in my bioregion, making its appearance mid-February. The Canadian Geese are back and have taken up their annual residence down on the river. Thus the cycle continues and I am comforted to be part of it.

I would like to say thank you to everyone who stopped by our display at the Enderby Seed Swap to say hello and give me a hug and tell me how much you liked the Wild Roots display! It warms my heart to see so many earthy, organic folks gathered together in one place offering such an abundance of goodness. What I find very heartening is the increasing number of young farmers in the area. These young folk give  give me great hope for our future! My apprentice this year, Rose Cairnie, is in fact, one of said young farmers and makes her home and living at the Golden Ears Co-op farm outside of Chase. I am really enjoying having Rose on board this year and you will be seeing and hearing a little more about her in future messages.

Here's a sneak peak of Rose (on the left) in the kekuli. And yes, she is as lovely as her botanical namesake!

The Seed Swap is our "jumping off point" in which we start gearing up for the new year of classes, so here we go!

It really helps in the planning of our schedule if we hear from you as to what classes you are interested in. So far, the Medicine Making series is proving to be popular. Also in the works is a "Herbs for Summer" workshop intensive. Please, give us an email and let us know what you'd like to see.

"The Home Herbalist" is our certificate offering this year. This is a wonderful, comprehensive, hands-on learning experience designed to provide you with the skills to deliver Herbalism in the home. The course will start in April and run one weekend a month through to October. The deadline for registration is March 23rd and the course is just about full to capacity with only a couple of spots left. I am happy to see some beautiful, familiar faces back in class and look forward to meeting some new, beautiful faces! If you would like more information about he course, head on over to our website and click on the "Certificate Programs" link for all the juicy details.

If you missed the Cottonwood/Balm of Gilead Plant study last Sunday (and my apologies for not sending out a reminder email), I'll be offering another one, either later on this month or early April.  In the meantime, I've posted a few pics from our walk. And if you think you alreadyknow something about Balm of Gilead, think again! Did you know that our local species, Populus balsamifera var tricocarpa, is a "dioecious tree"
(meaning that the male and female flowers are born on separate trees); that the Cottonwood Riparian ecosystem is the most endangered ecosystem in BC; that the Cottonwood makes such a huge contribution to the ecosystem that it is used as a model tree by biologists studying ecological biodiversity and
in fact, was the first tree to have its genome mapped. It is imperative you know something about the ecology as well as the botany of a plant before you head out to wild craft!

In this day and age of hi-tech, online learning we here at Wild Roots are eally offering something very unique ~ an opportunity to come together, in person, with like minded people, to share and experience, the real, the
sensorial and the wild and wonderful world of plants and Herbalism. In fact, the learning experience goes well beyond "herbs". We are creating a living, breathing, dynamic Herbal Community much like a living, breathing ecosystem.

A beautiful blend of ecosystems
I learned my "herb craft" during a time when there was no internet and very few herbal books and resources available in small town, rural BC. My early herbal training consisted of a back pack full of field guides and hours upon hours, upon hours  ~ upon years, upon years of plant sleuthing and identification. My very first "herbal" was a paperback copy of Jethro Kloss's "Back to Eden" purchased when I was sixteen years old. While my herbal library has expanded to fill up one room and then some, I still have that well worn, well read and dog-eared copy of Back to Eden. And while my early self directed learning was eventually supplemented with formal training it is the hands on learning that I still find most meaningful.
While I utilize and appreciate the  instant information-at-a-finger tip, that the Internet offers, it is my early experiences of wandering through a shady forest, slogging through a muddy swamp, hiking up and down moutains, strolling along the river bank and a pack weighted down with field guides, that I offer to my community.

I hope that you feel inspired to join us for a class this year.

Love and Plants!