1 CA Poppy: I’ve continued to scatter seeds in my garden every year and now am lucky to have an abundance of poppies. I gathered the upper plant and flower of poppies that had grown like weeds between the rocks in my garden and finished flowering. I’ll dry these and use as a relaxation tea or make an extract, as scientific studies have confirmed its use by Native Americans as a sedative. To make the tea, grind the dried plant and use approximately 1 tablespoon steeped in 150 ml of water, 2-3 times daily. Make an extract by using the upper parts of approximately 5 – 6 plants, leaving the root, and soaking in 70 proof alcohol for 2 weeks. Shake daily and then strain into a dropper bottle. Take 30 – 40 drops up to 3 times per day. Drank Manzanita Cider with dinner.
2 Blue-eyed Grass: This beautiful plant is easy-to-grow and available at native plant nurseries. I’m collecting it now and drying it for use for fever. Steep above- ground parts of plant in hot water for 15 minutes to make a tea for treating fevers and chills. Ate Wild Lilac Ice Cream prepared by Treats, to experiment for upcoming Living Wild dinenr.
3 Douglas-fir Tips: There are so many uses for this amazing plant, but right now the key is to get outside and collect the bright green fir tips. Use these to make a delicious vitamin-c tea that can be kept in the refrigerator and enjoyed on hot days. Bring water to a boil in a 5-quart pot and then add 2 cups fir tips.
Steep for 20 minutes, strain and refrigerate, or make into Sorbet!
Douglas-Fir Tip Sorbet: This is an adaptation from the recipe listed in the book, with steeping not boiling the fir tips. 2 cups water 1 cup agave nectar, honey or sugar 1⁄2 cup Douglas-fir tips plus a few extra to use as garnish 1 tbsp gin (optional)
– Bring 1 ½ cups water to a boil and steep Fir tips for 20 minutes. – Keep liquid while straining out tips in a colander over a bowl. Set tips aside. – Return liquid to heat and add 1⁄2 cup water and sweetener. – Heat until sweetener dissolves and then let cool. – Add mixture to ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions to freeze. – Garnish sorbet with extra Fir tips.
4 Collected & Tasted Pine Pollen from the Grey Pine. Cover the just emerged, small, pollen-producing cone (male, not woody like the commonly noticed female cone), with a bag or container and shake gently. Use as a superfood in smoothies or on popcorn or toast.
5 Wild Sweet Pea Tips (Lathyrus latifolium): This non-native perennial blooms from May until September. Recommended by Matt Berry and Anna Wederitsch curled leaf tips are delicious raw or in a stir fry and easy to collect since it is an invasive plant in abundance.
6 Nettles: I gathered Nettles that appeared in my garden. I love the fortifying nature and taste of nettles tea, so after gat
7 Watercress: Collected these even though they are getting pretty tall. They are only slightly bitter, and still delicious.
8 Chickweed. I’m still finding this nutritious weed in my garden and using it as a salad green. I led a nature walk tasting sweet pea tips and identifying natives and then made native plant journals with the kids at Kentucky Flat Preschool.
9 Pearly Everlasting: I’ve used this plant as a dried flower (Anaphalis margaritacea) arrangement for years, not realizing its medicinal value. Luckily, I still had some arrangements from last year in the house when my eye infection came back. It doesn’t bloom until the summer. My acupuncturist, Anna Wederitsch, LLC at Haalo in Nevada City, recommended making tea for internal use and as an eye drop solution for the infected eye. After about 20 minutes, I felt a dramatic improvement, more significant than any other remedy I’ve tried!
10 Pearly Everlasting: I’m still receiving relief from this tea for my eye infection. It is easy-to-grow in the garden as well. I love discovering a new plant that is useful for landscaping, flower arranging while still serving as an effective treatment for eye infections! What a reminder on how much more there is to learn.