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[Herbal Rootlets]: No. 29 – 3 Herbs of Thanksgiving

Posted in Uncategorized on November 26th, 2014 by kristine — Be the first to comment!

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We return thanks to our mother, the earth,
which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams,
which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs,
which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars,
which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun,
that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit,
in Whom is embodied all goodness,
and Who directs all things for the good of Her children.

~ Iroquois prayer

This week, across our country, we join in with millions giving gratitude. Thanksgiving means different things for different people and for me, as we prepare a meal using many of our own resources, it’s a time to give thanks for the plants and animals that live on our farm and provide so much for us.

Traditionally, many Americans celebrate with turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and corn. Interestingly enough, our meals are often prepared with herbs that are not native to this land, just as many of us are not native to this land but rather those who immigrated through our ancestors and became naturalized to this land, as many plants have. While the typical herbs of Thanksgiving are native to the Mediterranean, many could not imagine a meal without them.

Kitchen herbs were originally selected as kitchen garden herbs because of their digestive actions. Most kitchen herbs stimulate digestion, helping the body to process foods that may not be so readily accepted, especially in the not so distant past when refrigeration wasn’t an option for food storage.

These herbs also offer other medicinal uses, making them great to have on hand, not only for cooking but also for assisting in healing common complaints. Because of this, they have found their way into the kitchen garden for hundreds of years.

Today, I honor and give thanks to these plants, for the food and medicine they provide.

Sage at HerbalRootszine.com

Sage
I give thanks for Sage almost every day! Sage has many uses: culinary, medicinal and beauty related. When combined with sea salt and baking soda, Sage makes a great tooth whitener. Add a bit of Sage essential oil to your favorite homemade deodorant mix and you can help to reduce the amount of perspiration naturally. A gargle with Sage tea helps a sore throat. And as a cooking herb, Sage is one of my favorites that I use almost daily in meals and desserts: try some Sage in the next Peach cobbler you make!

Sage is full of vitamins and minerals: calcium, chromium, cobalt, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin (B3), phosphorus, potassium, protein, riboflavin (B2), selenium, silicon, thiamine (B1), tin, vitamins A and C and zinc.

Sage is anhydrotic, antibacterial, anticatarrhal, antigalactagogue, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, circulatory stimulant, emmenagogue, febrifuge, hormonal stimulant, memory enhancer and a vasodilator. Sage also reduces blood sugar levels, promotes bile flow and relaxes peripheral blood vessels.

Need a recipe to get started? Check out our recipe for making deodorant.

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Want to learn more about the medicinal uses of Sage? Purchase a copy here.

 

rosemary at herbalrootszine.com

Rosemary
I give thanks to Rosemary often, especially when I need to focus for work or stay alert on a long drive. Medicinally, Rosemary stimulates: the mind (Rosemary for Remembrance), circulatory system and the nervous system. I never leave home without Rosemary essential oil as breathing in the scent helps to keep me alert when I’m on a long drive.

Nutritionally, Rosemary contains many vitamins and minerals: calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin (B3), phosphorus, potassium, pyridoxine (B6), riboflavin (B2), sodium, thiamin (B1), vitamins A and C, and zinc.

rosemary issue

Do you have Rosemary growing in your garden? Learn more about Rosemary’s medicinal side with our issue right here.

 

thyme at herbalrootszine.com

Thyme
I give thanks to Thyme, for soothing sore throats, especially combined with honey. (Check out our recipe for Thyme Infused Honey). Thyme also calms a cough and was one of the main herbs I used to support our bodies when we had Pertussis a few years ago.

Thyme is very high in Chromium, iron, silicon and contains lots of calcium, cobalt, magnesium, manganese, riboflavin, selenium, sodium, thiamine. He also has average amounts of niacin, tin and vitamin A and low amounts of phosphorus, potassium, protein and vitamin C.

Thyme’s main active ingredient is Thymol. This ingredient is responsible for his healing properties: anthelmintic, antibacterial, antioxidant, antispasmodic, aromatic, astringent, carminative and expectorant. He is also astringent due to his tannins.

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Want to learn more about how you can incorporate Thyme into your herbal medicine cabinet? You can purchase this issue right here.

 

And a bonus herb…I cannot leave out this common thanksgiving accent!

Cranberries at HerbalRootszine.com

Cranberry
I give thanks to Cranberry, for all his tartness. And, as the bonus herb, this plant IS a native to North America. In fact, this is one native North American plant the settlers were grateful for. Early settlers learned from the Native Americans to use the berry for treating many problems including scurvy, digestive problems, loss of appetite and blood disorders. They even applied the raw, crushed berries directly on wounds to aid healing, keeping infection away.

Cranberry is high in antioxidants, calcium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Cranberry also contains average amounts of iron, magnesium, manganese, protein, riboflavin, silicon, sodium and thiamine and low amounts of chromium, cobalt, selenium and zinc.

cranberry sauce at herbalrootszine.com

This year, why not try Cranberry in a more natural form? Instead of opening a can, try our simple recipe for making fresh Cranberry sauce, your taste buds will thank you!

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Want to learn more about the medicinal side of Cranberry? You can purchase our issue right here.

For those who are celebrating this week of gratitude, how many of these herbs will be finding their way into your meal preparations? Which is your favorite? Do you use them as medicine?

Giveaway Monday – Hawthorn Tea Cup from Mulberry Mudd

Posted in Uncategorized on November 24th, 2014 by kristine — 14 Comments

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This week I am delighted to give away this beautiful Hawthorn teacup from Mulberry Mudd. This one of a kind handmade ceramic teacup features Hawthorn and is perfect for serving up your favorite cup of herbal tea or steaming cup of nourishing bone broth.

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This beautiful teacup is handless and rests comfortably in your hands. One side of the tea cup features Hawthorn in her flowering glory while the other side features Hawthorn’s berries.

This teacup holds approximately 16 oz.

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About Rebekah:

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Artist and herbalist Rebekah Dawn has been walking with the plants for as long as she can remember. A life long love has translated into passionate study of herbal lore that has deepened and grown through the years. She currently lives with her family at Labyrinth Gardens, a United Plant Saver Botanical Sanctuary, where she gives monthly plant walks and medicine making workshops. When she is not in the garden or wild-crafting she is most likely in her ceramic studio. Rebekah is the Teen Camp Coordinator for the Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference.

Be sure to stop by to check out her other items in her store. She makes beautiful Herbal Faeries, pendants, birdhouses, mugs and more! She also does custom orders so if you have a special ally or idea, convo her with questions! There may be a few other one-of-a-kind pendants featuring past Herbal Roots herbs as well! Rebekah uses naturally found elements in nature combined with clay to create these amazing pieces. Her sculptures are amazing, incredibly original and just plain wonderful. I fall in love with each one she creates.

Each piece in Rebekah’s store is original in every way, she uses no molds or reproductions ever. A percentage of her profits go to Tree Sisters and Radical Joy for Hard Times each month, and the rest builds her own Botanical Sanctuary at Labyrinth Gardens.

You can become a fan of Mulberry Mudd on Facebook if you would like to do so.

If you’d like a chance to win this one of a kind Hawthorn tea cup, leave a comment below. For more chances to win, you can leave a separate comment each time you advertise this giveaway by:

-Kids, you get 1 extra point for being a kid! Leave a comment telling me how old you are and what you like best about Herbal Roots zine.

-blogging about it

-tell us which herb you’re most excited to be learning about this year with Herbal Roots zine

-telling me your favorite item in her store

-follow Mulberry Mudd on Pinterest and pin this giveaway with hashtags #mulberrymudd #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your pinterest name in comments so we can find you)

-share this giveaway on your Facebook page

-follow Herbal Roots on Twitter and tweet this giveaway with hashtags #mulberrymudd #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your pinterest name in comments so we can find you)

-follow Herbal Roots on Pinterest and pin this giveaway with hashtags #mulberrymudd #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your pinterest name in comments so we can find you)

Sign ups end and I’ll announce the winner on Monday, December 1, 2014. Good luck!

 

Hawthorn Syrup Label

Posted in Uncategorized on November 21st, 2014 by kristine — Be the first to comment!

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I’ve had lots of requests for the Hawthorn syrup label I printed for my bottle so I’m giving it to you!

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Right click on the picture to save to your computer then copy into Pages or Microsoft Word, resize to the size you need it then print off and glue or tape to your bottle.

The Lonely Shepherd and His Little Lonely Sheep

Posted in Uncategorized on November 20th, 2014 by kristine — 1 Comment so far

Hey Kids, check out this video on Hawthorn by Yarrow Willard!

 

[Herbal Rootlets]: No. 28 – Making Hawthorn Syrup in 5 Easy Steps

Posted in Uncategorized on November 19th, 2014 by kristine — Be the first to comment!

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Children learn best through their everyday experiences  with the people they love and trust, and when the learning is fun. And the best place for these experiences is outdoors, in the natural world.

– Center for Families, Communities, Schools and Children’s Learning

Hawthorn has an affinity for the heart and works on all levels of healing. Spiritually, Hawthorn is used to protect and heal the heart as well as open the heart to assist with expression, healing grief and giving and receiving love. Emotionally, Hawthorn promotes a general sense of well-being. Herbalist jim mcdonald speaks of Hawthorn’s heart protection by describing the tree, the berries which are so good for the heart are protected by thorns on the tree, not grabby thorns like we see on Rose or Blackberry but just gentle reminders, surrounding and protecting the berries. Hawthorn’s medicine works in the same way, gently surrounding and protecting the heart without being forceful.

Photo by Gail Faith Edwards

Photo by Gail Faith Edwards

Physically, Hawthorn’s cardiotonic, circulatory stimulant, trophorestorative and rejuvenative properties help to heal from heart attacks, weakness of the heart muscle, degenerative heart disease, irregular heart beats, congestive heart failure, stabilize angina and recuperation from heart surgery. Those with high blood pressure will also benefit from his hypotensive and vasodilator properties which helps to open up circulation and may reduce effects of hardening of the arteries. When taken as a tonic over several months, the benefits received from Hawthorn will be retained, even after you stop taking it.

Further into Hawthorn’s heart medicine are his anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals which in turn protects the heart from disease and other problems associated with free radicals.

Hawthorn is also used as a nervine and sedative. The flowers especially are used for treating insomnia though the berries can be used as well. Hawthorn tea or tincture can be taken long term during periods of stress to help protect the heart and nervous system. For those who have dealt with chronic disease and infections, Hawthorn can also help to protect the heart from pathogens.

Photo by Rosalee de la Foret

Photo by Rosalee de la Foret

Matthew Wood talks of using Hawthorn for children and adults who have attention deficit disorder, can’t focus or sit still and read, and who are restless, irritable and nervous. He has found it to be effective for bringing speech to children with autism.

Hawthorn is also very strengthening and protective of the joint lining, collagen and discs in the back. I found it to be useful for my daughter to take while getting chiropractic adjustments, as her C1 and C2 vertebrae kept slipping out of alignment. Taking Hawthorn helped her to retain the adjustment longer until it was able to hold in place long term.

As a carminative and digestive, Hawthorn helps the body to digest food, especially greasy foods, meat and fats and can help to relieve abdominal pain and distention from poor digestion. Hawthorn has also been used for treating dysentery and watery diarrhea, calling on his astringent properties to help. If the diarrhea is caused by a bacterial infection, his antibacterial properties can be helpful too.

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Hawthorn contains aluminum, calcium, chromium, cobalt, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin (B3), phosphorus, potassium, protein, riboflavin (B2), selenium, silicon, sodium, thiamine (B1), tin, vitamins A and C and zinc, making him a great nutritive.  His berries can be eaten straight, or cooked into compotes, jellies, fruit leathers and more for gaining this benefit. If you do eat the berries straight, do not chew the seeds, spit them out. Like Apples, they contain a bit of cyanide which can be toxic if too many are consumed. One of favorite ways to consume Hawthorn is in a syrup. We can get our daily dose of medicine while eating pancakes, french toast or even over ice cream! The syrup can also be consumed by the spoonful. Here is our recipe for Hawthorn syrup:

You will need:
2 cups fresh or 1 cup dried Hawthorn berries*
4 cups water
1 cup raw honey

Saucepan
Measuring cup
Strainer
Cheesecloth
Spoon
Quart jar or bottle
Label

Place the herbs in a saucepan and add the water. Bring to a boil then slowly simmer until the liquid is reduced to down to 2 cups.

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Strain off the haws and return the liquid to the saucepan.

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Add half the amount of liquid measurement in honey which should be 1 cup. Turn the heat back on and stir while heating until the honey starts to thin.

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Turn off the heat and stir to combine. When cool, pour your syrup into a bottle or jar and label.

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Store your syrup in the refrigerator.

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If using as medicine, use the following dosages:

Adults: 1 tablespoonful daily
Children 2 – 6: 1 teaspoonful daily
Children 7 – 12: 2 teaspoonsful daily

Want to learn more about Hawthorn and how to incorporate this wonderful herb into your everyday routine? Grab the latest issue of Herbal Roots zine!

*When I can’t find herbs in my area, I rely on Mountain Rose Herbs for the best quality herbs.

Mountain Rose Herbs. A Herbs, Health & Harmony Com

Giveaway Monday – Cayenne Set from Mountain Rose Herbs

Posted in Uncategorized on November 17th, 2014 by kristine — 16 Comments


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This week, we are giving away a package all about Cayenne, our herb for December! This package will get you started on exploring this wonderful medicinal herb. Just in time for trying out Cayenne’s warming powers!

This packages contains:

cayenne-seeds

1 package Cayenne seeds

 

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4 oz organic Cayenne powder

 

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1 oz organic Cayenne extract

A little bit goes a long way and this package is sure to last you through a month’s learning of Cayenne and then some!

Mountain Rose Herbs is a certified organic processor through Oregon Tilth which is fully accredited with the USDA National Organic Program. Since 1987 they have continuously worked for the advancement of sustainable organic agriculture and state they will continue this lifelong passion into the future. They wholeheartedly recommend discovering the joys to be found in organic food products and the best place to start is right here at Mountain Rose Herbs. From the herbs they offer, to the teas they process and the oils they have distilled.

M0untain Rose also has a great YouTube Channel which offers an amazing amount of tutorials and educational videos, many created by John Gallagher and Rosalee de la Foret of Learningherbs.com.

You can also follow them on their Blog for more information and great Giveaway offers!

Love Mountain Rose Herbs? You can show your support by ‘liking’ them on Facebook. Tell them Herbal Roots zine sent you!

Want a chance to win this awesome package from Mountain Rose Herbs? Leave a comment! For more chances to win, leave a separate comment every time you do one of the following:

-if you’re a kid, tell me how old you are and what your favorite Herbal Roots zine activities are

-Check out MRH’s website and tell me some of your favorite things

-Blog about it (leave reference link)

-Follow Mountain Rose Herbs on Pinterest and pin this giveaway with hashtags #mountainroseherbs #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your pinterest name in comments so we can find you)

-Become a follower of Mountain Rose Herbs on Twitter and tweet this giveaway with hashtags #mountainroseherbs #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your twitter ID in comments so we can find you)

-Facebook/Myspace/Tweet about it (leave reference link)

-Sign up for the Herbal Roots zine monthly newsletter (and receive an issue for free!)

-Become a follower of Herbal Roots on Twitter and tweet this giveaway with hashtags #mountainroseherbs #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your pinterest name in comments so we can find you)

-Follow Herbal Roots zine on Pinterest and pin this giveaway with hashtags #mountainroseherbs #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your twitter ID in comments so we can find you)

Sign ups end on and I’ll draw the winner on Monday, November 24, 2014. Thanks for entering and good luck!

[Herbal Rootlets]: No. 27 – 10 Favorite Herb Books for Kids

Posted in Uncategorized on November 13th, 2014 by kristine — 1 Comment so far

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Our children no longer learn how to read the great Book of Nature from their own direct experience or how to interact creatively with the seasonal transformations of the planet. They seldom learn where their water comes from or where it goes. We no longer coordinate our human celebration with the great liturgy of the heavens.

– Wendell Berry

Brrr! Days like this I am envious of those living in warmer climates! Snow is fluttering outside my window and the fire has not yet reached my office to warm it. It’s hard to push the kids outside when it’s cold and gloomy; the sun hasn’t been able to make an appearance from behind the thick layer of clouds in the sky.

This is the time to crack open the herb books for a snuggle by the fire! Here is a list of some of my kids’ favorite herb stories.

My younger kids like to listen to these stories and practice their reading skills with them:

wildflowertea

Wildflower Tea by Ethel Pochocki and Roger Essley
“He brewed his tea in a blue china pot, poured it into a chipped white cup with forget-me-nots on the handle, and dropped in a dollop of honey and cream. He sat by the window, cup in hand, watching the first snow fall. “I am,” he sighed deeply, “contented as a clam. I am a most happy man.”

A sweet tale of a man gathering his herbs by summer and making teas from them by winter.

HerbalistofYarrow

The Herbalist of Yarrow: A Fairy Tale of Plant Wisdom by Shatoiya de la Tour
The story of a little girl who listens to the plants and learns their healing powers. When the king’s evil wizards try to bring in more powerful medicine, the people learn the plants are still the best answer.

SONG OF THE SEVEN HERBS

Song of the Seven Herbs by Walking Night Bear and Stan Padilla
This book has seven stories about seven common herbs using spiritual allegories to teach us to be caretakers of Mother Earth.

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I’m a Medicine Woman Too! by Jesse Wolf Hardin
A great book about empowerment and not letting your age get in the way of your dreams.

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Little Green Hiking Hood by Nina Judith Katz
This book is currently available as an ebook only but is a sweet little gem. We are waiting on the arrival of her other book, Yana Listens to arrive in the mail.

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The Dandelion’s Cousin by Gertrude Teutsch  
This sweet book is all about Sow Thistle. This book is beautifully written and illustrated.

I have always loved plants. Seeing this despised weed develop so many different forms intrigued me as an artist. Nature is a wonderful teacher!” -Gertrude Teutsch

isabellaspeppermintflowers

Isabella’s Peppermint Flowers by Susan Leopold
This is a brand new book that we haven’t gotten to read yet but I just saw it at the AHG Symposium last weekend and it’s going to be a hit when we get a copy of it!

 

My kids who are strong readers enjoy these books for their own reading pleasure but they also make great read alouds to the younger crowd:

juniperwisechild

Juniper and Wise Child by Monica Furlong
While there is a third book in this series (Colman) we found the first two to be the most enjoyable.

fallingin

Falling In by Frances O’Roark Dowell
Isabelle Bean gets sent to the principal’s office for not paying attention in class due to a buzzing sound that only she can hear. She tumbles into another world that is very different than her own and finds herself drawn to the healing plants while being accused of being a witch due to the way she’s dressed.

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Janna Mysteries Series by Felicity Pulman
There are 6 books in this series: Rosemary for Remembrance, Rue for Repentance, Lilies for Love, Willows for Weeping, Sage for Sanctuary and Thyme for Trust. This series will have any book loving kid on the edge of their seat as they read about young Janna living in a tiny cottage on the edge of the forest with her mother Eadgyth, the village herbwife.

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And of course, I always manage to squeeze in a few of my own stories from past issues of Herbal Roots zine! This is the perfect time to dust off those past issues, read the stories and sing the songs that are in each issue to have a quick refresher of all the herbs they’ve learned about in the past.

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What are your favorite herbal stories for reading by the fire? Do your kids have favorites that they return to over and over again?

Herbal Roots zine Conference Poster

Posted in Uncategorized on November 10th, 2014 by kristine — 2 Comments

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I am delighted to announce that my poster won two awards at the AHG Symposium this year!

The Best Contribution to the Future of Herbalism

The People’s Choice Award

A huge thanks goes out to Leslie Alexander for urging me to submit an abstract, to my partner for helping me with the layout, the judges for selecting me and most of all, the people who selected me out of all the amazing posters that were presented! Herbal blessings to all.

Giveaway Monday – Hawthorn Elixir Set from Fellow Workers Farm

Posted in Uncategorized on November 10th, 2014 by kristine — 18 Comments

***THIS WEEK’S WINNER IS HEATHER SHELTON! CONGRATULATIONS HEATHER! THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.***

 

This week’s winner is in for a treat! We are delighted to be giving away a Hawthorn Elixir Set, 2 – 1 ounce extracts from Fellow Workers Farm.

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The first extract is 1 ounce Hawthorn flower, leaf & berry in grain alcohol. Traci wildcrafts her Hawthorn when they are at their best.

The second extract is 1 ounce Heart of Barkness elixir. This elixir contains Hawthorn flowers, leaves and berries, Cacao, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Maple syrup, Whiskey. This elixir is great for the heart, bringing focus and tastes amazing!

traci-picard

About Traci Picard and Fellow Workers Farm:

Traci runs Fellow Workers farm apothecary, growing and foraging plants and making medicines. She writes, teaches, thinks and breathes about issues affecting herbalists and other healthcare workers including movement, critical thinking, mind-body medicine and foraging. She is interested in access to herbs, health justice and functional fitness. She has taught at herbal and integrative medicine events, schools and conferences.

Check out her blog for informative articles, amazing herbal collections such as  the August collection (Fungi), the July collection (her Angelica Collection, which rocked my socks off!), and the June collection (Calamus) and  and more.

In her spare time she enjoys proofreading and studying grammar.

You can follow Fellow Workers Farm on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/fellowworkersfarmapothecary. 

Want a chance to win this awesome poster from Fellow Workers Farm? Leave a comment! For more chances to win, leave a separate  comment every time you do one of the following:

-if you’re a kid, tell me how old you are and what your favorite Herbal Roots zine activities are

-Check out Fellow Worker’s Farm’s website and tell me some of your favorite things

-Blog about it (leave reference link)

-Facebook/Tweet about it (leave reference link)

-Sign up for the Herbal Roots zine monthly newsletter (and receive an issue for free!)

-follow Herbal Roots on Twitter and tweet this giveaway with hashtags #fellowworkersfarm #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your twitter name in comments so we can find you)

-follow Herbal Roots on Pinterest and pin this giveaway with hashtags #fellowworkersfarm #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your pinterest ID in comments so we can find you)

-follow Herbal Roots zine on Instagram and pin this giveaway with hashtags #fellowworkersfarm #giveawaymonday #herbalrootszine (list your Instagram ID in comments so we can find you)

Sign ups end and I’ll announce the winner on Monday, November 17, 2014. Good luck!

[Herbal Rootlets]: No. 26 – Fall time Fun: Dyeing with Black Walnuts

Posted in Uncategorized on November 5th, 2014 by kristine — 2 Comments

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Without continuous hands-on experience, it is impossible for children to acquire a deep intuitive understanding of the natural world that is the foundation of sustainable development. ….A critical aspect of the present-day crisis in education is that children are becoming separated from daily experience of the natural world, especially in larger cities.

-Natural Learning, Creating Environments for Rediscovering Nature’s Way of Teaching, Robin C. Moore and Herb H. Wong

One of the funnest activities for us around here is dyeing with plants. We tried using St. John’s Wort, Pokeberries, Goldenrod, Prunella, Dandelion, Wild Cherry, Turmeric, Black Walnut and many more but hands down, Black Walnut is our favorite plant dye!

The great thing about Black Walnuts is how easy it is to use as a dye. Black Walnut dye is colorfast and needs no mordanting to become colorfast. Simply add water and heat. Over the years we’ve tried different methods with great results each time.

We often gather white clothes from thrift shops throughout the year for dyeing when the Black Walnut hulls start falling from the trees. Any natural fabric works such cotton, wool, silk, hemp or linen. Off white or light colored natural materials will dye well too.

The first method for making a dye is to put Black Walnut hulls (green or black) or leaves into a half gallon or gallon jar and fill with water. Screw the lid on and let it sit in the sun for 5 – 7 days. Green hulls give different colors than black ones, the green giving a more golden appearance while the black is a more taupe-ish brown. Leaves often give a more olive drab color.

The second method is quicker, simply fill a stockpot about half full of the hulls or leaves add water to completely cover and simmer on the stove for an hour. The longer you let it steep, the darker it will get.

To prepare your items for dyeing, wash them through a normal wash cycle if they are brand new. If they are used, pre-washing is not necessary.

Decide how you want your items to look. If you bind them tightly with twine or rubber bands, the results will be lines and streaks or various tie dye effects depending on how you bind them. I love to carefully fold up the fabric then tightly bind it with thin cotton or hemp twine. The result is streaks with lines through them, reminiscent of trees.

If you don’t prefer special effects, you can place your fabric directly in to the pot and get a solid dye. Be sure to remove the hulls first or you may get some mottling (which is also another nice effect).

Once your dye baths are ready, strain off the liquid and set it aside. Compost the hulls. If there’s enough room, you may wish to leave the hulls in for a mottled effect.

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Return the dye bath back to the pot or jar and add your fabrics. For the sun dyeing method, place the sealed jar back into the sun for an additional 5 – 7 days. For the stove top method, return the pot to the stove and bring it back to a simmer. Turn off the heat and let the dye bath sit for 30 minutes – 2 hours. The longer it sits, the darker it gets.

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Once you are done dyeing, use tongs to remove the article from the stock pot if you want to save the dye bath for a second round. If not, dump the entire pot into the sink. Run cool water over the items until they are cool enough to touch then start squeezing out the dye and water until the water runs clear. If you are using the sun method, follow the same procedure but there’s no need to worry about the hot dye bath.

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When your items are clear of any leftover dye, hang them on the line or dry in a dryer. The color is set and can be washed with like colored items.

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Have you ever used Walnut hulls or other plants to dye with? We’d love to see pictures of your dyed items, post them on our Facebook page! And if you try this for the first time, let us know how you like the outcome (and share your pictures with us)!