3 Steps to create a simple foragers drying rack with ease without spending any money on it!

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

For years drying roots, leaves, blossoms and bark has been a visual and unorganized nightmare for my personality!  However my need to dry was greater than my ease for comfort!  There is interference of automobile traffic nearby and  inside I have an air filter so I dry materials inside. Many years of using things like screens and cardboard quite by accident this solution appeared spontaneously in the process that settled down my irritation stimulated by the clutter of drying!

The materials are simple and possibly items you have in your household already.  You need:  clothes rack, plant trays and parchment paper.

  • Step one – set out the rack
  • Step two – line trays with parchment paper
  • Step three – place on clothes rack evenly to balance the weight

The convenience is that the trays are uniform, fit nicely on the rack with the added benefit of air circulation under the shelf.  You can see that the basket, though visually attractive, is not efficient and visually distracting!  It may also absorb unwanted waste over time whereas the parchment paper may be a cleaner solution.


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.

 

Horsetail

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Mortartea kettleEdibleDye

by Renee Lindstrom

Horsetail

Horsetail (Equisetum arvense)

Horsetail is edible when it first emerges from the soil before leaves sprout on stalk. After the stalk darkens in colour and starts to have leaf shoots from the circular ribs it is no longer edible yet becomes medicinal!

As horsetail absorbs the minerals from the soil surrounding it you want to ensure that the water or soil it is growing in or near is organic and not polluted.

Nutrients & Qualities in Horsetail:

Horsetail has manganese, calcium, iron, flavonoids, caffeic acid esters, saponins, tannins, alkaloids, fatty acids, phytosterols, glycosides, phenolic acids, aconitic acid, *equisetic acid and silica.

*Equisetic acid which is a heart and nerve sedative. If taken in abnormally high doses can be poisonous.

Medicinal Qualities & Uses:

  • anti-aging,
  • anti-wrinkle,
  • anti-inflammatory,
  • antibacterial,
  • antimicrobial,
  • antioxidant,
  • coagulant,
  • demulcent,
  • diuretic,
  • astringent
  • anemia,
  • arthritis, brittle bone,
  • eyes,
    • conjunctivitis,
  •  hair,
    • hair loss
  • skin
    • acne
    • anti-aging
    • anti-wrinkle
    • burns
    • rashes
  • teeth,
  • nails,
  • gingivitis,
  • tonsillitis,
  • rheumatic disorders,
  • osteoarthritis,
  • diabetes,
  • wounds,
  • frostbite,
  • chilblains,
  • athlete’s foot,
  • boils,
  • carbuncles,
  • ulcers,
  • fistulas,
  • herpes simplex,
  • dyspepsia (impaired digestion),
  • gastrointestinal conditions,
  • cardiovascular diseases,
  • respiratory tract infections,
  • bronchitis,
  • fever,
  • malaria,
  • bladder problems,
  • urinary tract infection,
  • bed wetting,
  • kidney stones,
  • prostate problems,
  • hemorrhoids,
  • muscle cramps,
  • tumors,
  • broken bones,
  • fractures,
  • sprains,
  • nose bleed,
  • immune system

How to use:

The above ground parts of Horsetail are used and can be in dried or liquid form.  It needs to be cooked, dried, boiled or infused.  It cannot be eaten raw.

by Renee Lindstrom

Dried Horsetail

  • Drying Horsetail for Tea/Water Infusions:

Horsetail stalk and leaves can be picked, rinsed and dried.  When it dried it should remain green.  Do not use if it turns brown.

  • Horsetail Tea – max. 3 cups per day

Add 1 – 2 Teaspoons of dried or fresh Horsetail to boiling water and steep for 7 to 10 minutes.

  • Sore Throats, Coughs, Colds and Lungs

Horsetail tea can be soothing to use as a gargle for sore throats and beneficial to clear airways when breathing in its steam while boiling this herb.

  • Poultice

Crush fresh Horsetail and soak in hot water for a few minutes or soak dried horsetail in hot water, drain and place in cheesecloth to apply to area.  Leave for up to 15 minutes a few times a day.

  • Toner

Steep 1  teaspoon of Horsetail to 1 cup of boil water and steep for up to 10 minutes. When cool use cotton ball to dampen with tea solution and dab facial skin and neck to rinse in the morning and evening after removing makeup.

  • Hair Rinse or Bath Infusion

Use up to 10 teaspoons of fresh or dried horsetail to 4 cups of hot water and add to your bath or use to rinse your hair.

  • Oils, Creams & Salves

Fresh or dried Horsetail can be processed into oils and combined with other oils, plants and herbs to make salves and creams.  Find recipes here

If you don’t have a source of Fresh Horsetail find dried on-line here.


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.

Lilac Wine Vinegar made easily!

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

by Renee Lindstrom

Lilac Wine Vinegar

Making flavoured vinegar’s are simple and easy.  The most time consuming part is picking your flowers, rinsing them and letting them dry and wilt before processing them!

Once the lilacs are wilted pick some small stems and place in your jar.  In this case I used small gift bottles, however, I usually use a large mason jar and recant after the infusion has set for some time.  In these gift bottles I placed only a few bloom branches.  In a mason jar I would pack the jar 1/4 full.  While preparing the flowers I heat up wine vinegar and just before it comes to a boil pour it over the flowers and fill the jar.

Once the jar is filled the lid is put on and the mixture is left in a cool location for 4 to 6 weeks.  Each day the jar is jostled.    After infusing the large mason jar will be filtered, decanted and enjoyed!

More on Making Lilac Jelly


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.

Lilac Jelly

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Making Lilac Jelly is like making Fairy Jelly!  The colour is unique!
The taste even more so!  Anyone with little girls would be giving 
them a wonderful experience making this jelly for their tea parties!

It is such a simple process

Preparing the flowers in 3 easy steps

  1.  Preparing lilac flowers for jelly begins with picking stems before noon, rinsing them with a light solution of apple cider vinegar and setting them aside to dry and wilt.
  2. Later in the day set some water on to boil and pick the flowers from the stems.
  3. Once you have 2 cups of flowers picked and in a glass container cover with 3 cups of hot water and leave them to steep.   Once the infusion has cooled cover and put them in the fridge over night, (you can leave infusion in fridge for up to 48 hours).

The next day gather your ingredients together and put your jelly jars on to sterilize.

Filter the flowers from the infusion and squeeze remaining water to get as much of the infused water for the jelly as possible.

Ingredients

  • 2 – 1/4 cups of lilac steeped water
  • *2 – 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 box pectin
  • 1 tablespoon of butter

*sugar – most recipes call for double this amount of sugar, however, to add that amount would be too sweet for this writer.  Using honey to replace sugar would create a jelly that hides the taste of the lilacs.  

Recipe

Remember put jars and lids in streamer and bring to boil while preparing jelly.  

Combine infused water and pectin and bring to boil.  Slowly add sugar stirring and bringing solution back to a boil.  Add butter and melt to reduce foam and skimming process.  Take off heat and skim off remaining foam.

Take jars out of steamer and begin filling leaving only small air space!  Cover with lids and set aside to cool.  As the jars cool a popping sound will happen as the seal is made between the jar and lid.  Once cooled check lids and re-steam the jars that have not sealed!

The jelly can take up to six hours to become  solid.

Enjoy!


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feverfew

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Mortartea kettleEdibleDyedeer

Feverfew

Feverfew:  Leaves & Flowers

Feverfew:  Tanacetum parthenium

I began growing Feverfew 22 years ago from a packet of Richter Seeds I ordered on-line.  It was a garden plant that helped change a dysfunctional and depressed James Bay community with it’s brilliant white petals and yellow centers.  To me they looked like miniature daisy’s.

Rediscovering them in the past few years growing in vacant lots and gardens, I once again started to harvest their medicinal flowers and leaves.

Feverfew is a well-known herb for migraine and joint pain relief so I dried a supply of both flowers and leaves for tea.  Using fresh plant parts I used them to add to daily water recipes for their nutrients and infused them in vinegar, oil and alcohol to create medicinal remedies.

Nutrients & Qualities in Feverfew: 

The nutrients in Feverfew include iron, niacin, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, and vitamins A and C.

 

Medicinal Uses:

Feverfew has an amazing number of medicinal uses:

  • prevention of migraines & headaches,
  • fevers,
  • muscle tension,
  • lower blood pressure,
  • reduce stomach irritation,
  • appetite stimulant,
  • improve digestion,
  • kidney function,
  • colitis,
  • dizziness,
  • tinnitus,
  • menstrual problems,
  • muscle relaxant,
  • skin washes,
  • Pain reliever for gastrointestinal, reproductive, and vascular systems,
  • Insect Repellent (includes Bees & Fleas!),
    • flowers contain pyrethrins compounds used as flea repellent
  • Natural Sun Screen,
  • Arthritis,
  • Anti-inflammatory

How to use Feverfew:

  • Preventative for Migraines

As a preventative herb for migraines and headaches it is recommended to chew 2 – 3 fresh leaves per day.  However I would recommend that these leaves be left to wilt beforehand as this plant has a strong bitter taste and cause some skin irritation in mouth when taken directly from the plant.  It is also recommended that one takes this herb together with magnesium and riboflavin to support opening constrictions in blood flow.

  • Natural Flea Rinse for Cats & Dogs

To make a flea rinse for your pet, pour boiling water over the fresh herbs and let stand until completely cooled. Strain and apply wetting the fur and skin thoroughly. Do not towel dry or rinse. Remember that this will last only a couple of hours so make it a regular part of your animal care routine!

  • Natural Pain Reliever for Aging Cats & Dogs

This is a herb that can be infused in water in the same way you would make tea.  Once cooled add to your pets water to act as a natural pain reliever.

Oils, tincture & Tea Recipes 


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.

 

 

Dandelion Jelly

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Stage One

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of dandelion flower petals with green head pinched off
  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons of vinegar

Pick flowers, rinse in sink of cold water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar.  Rinse and pat dry.  Place in soup pot and cover with 4 cups of water.  Bring to boil and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.  Cool and place in fridge overnight (up to 24 hours).

Stage Two

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of liquid
  • Sugar or honey
  • Pectin

Take out dandelions out of fridge and stain infused water into a container.  Press flowers to get the most of your infusion.  Place flowers in compost and put infused water into pot on stove.  If you are using sugar add water to bring liquid up to 4 cups.

Use your pectin instructions for amounts –Each brand has a different measurement ratio

Measuring liquid using honey instead of sugar:

If you are using honey, subtract the amount of infused liquid as honey becomes a part of the total amount of liquid.  For every cup of sugar you would use or you see listed in a recipe, use 3/4 cups of honey.  For example,  if you are using 1- 1/3 cups of honey, you would use 2 – 3/4 cups of infused water to make four cups of liquid.

Steam Mason Jars

Remember to put your jars on to steam along with lids while jam is heating to thicken.  I used smallest sized mason jars to enjoy as testers.  It filled 6 – 8 (1-4 cup size).

Added ingredients

Slowly bring ingredients to boil following your pectin instructions and reduce to a soft rolling until ingredients begins to thicken.  Skim off thicken liquid leaving the clean amber liquid to pour into your clean heated jars.

Once jars are filled leaving small space between jam and top of jar, cover with mason lid and lightly screw on rim.  Set aside and listen for the lids to knock as they seal.  Once the mason lid is sealed screw rim tighter.

Leave jam to set and enjoy!


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.

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‘Hosta leaves perfect time for eating now!’

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

2017-04-27 18.24.20

Hosta Leaves

Do you eat your Hosta Leaves?

Last year I waited too long and the leaves where too tough so I was more prepared this year  and kept a vigilant eye on their space in the landscape.  I did not want to be disappointed again.  They emerged yesterday large enough to pick a few leaves. At this stage they are tender and have a wonderful taste.  The taste is nicer than most leaf veggies! I use them in salads or to graze as a snack when travelling though my garden.  Grazing the plants brings me closer to the space itself and there is an absence of feeling a separation, like I have to do something to be a busy gardener. Somehow I become apart of the landscape!

Oh, a word of caution, don’t try grazing if you use chemicals on your garden! Make sure you wash them first! This is a good time to consider that you do not know the types and quantities of chemicals that are sprayed on your store bought produce.  At least in your own garden you have some control and knowledge and possibly take more care than with what you are consuming off the store shelves!!!!! For example, grain no longer goes through a drying cycle in the field.  It has been known to be sprayed with round-up!  Alive and blowing in the breeze one day and dead the very next.  Ready to put fear into perspective?

Read more about the Hosta


Read more:


Traditional uses and properties of herbs are for educational purposes only.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.  Every attempt has been made for accuracy, but none is guaranteed. Any serious health concerns or if you are pregnant, you should always check with your health care practitioner before self-administering herbs.