Goldenrod and Jewelweed
This week, I breathed a sigh of relief as I finally got into our fields and harvested something native! These two plant allies are such magical and dainty little new friends--I've never worked with either of them before, and I'm thrilled to be spending time with just two plants over the next few weeks to get to know them.
Backing up, I dove head first into my love of plants on the farm in Oregon in 1995, swimming in the pool of knowledge that was gifted to us interns that summer, communing first hand with the plants in the gardens we were maintaining and creating. From there, I continued my quest for knowledge, mostly from books, during the next year in Oregon, and then the following year in Scotland.
When I moved to Steamboat, I brought that love with me, and early on I connected to two natural health and plant kingdom aficionados—Mary O'Brien and Karen Vale—longtime locals, brimming with knowledge they were both eager to share. So much so that many years (like 15!) later, they co-authored a wild-craft/foraging book together--Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rockies, a kickstarter of sorts that I gladly lined up among their many students and fans to support. I also want to give a shout out to Susan Mead, another very knowledgeable herbalist in Steamboat, who has also taught me much about plants and processing plant medicine throughout the years as I joined the Master Gardener collective.
But three points I'll make that I know you know:
So... time, distractions, other directions and knowledge, led me to lose touch with the deep desire I've always had, which is to know the plants around me as if they were my closest friends, to know their medicine and gifts, to know their cycles and best practices.
And this is exactly one of the top 5 things we intend for Shambhala--to have it be a place of learning to connect with nature and use nature to sustain your health, vitality, and longevity.
So, today, after a summer of having to wait to connect on a deeper level with our local flora and fauna, inspired by a post in our women's homesteading group and tapping into these two plant allies, brought up a deep remembrance and joy for me that is hard for me to put into words. Touching the flowers of goldenrod and pulling up the delicate plants of jewelweed ignited that long, dormant spark of connection to plants that we all have. It's ancestral.
Our great-grandmothers knew this plant medicine. The native peoples knelt as I knelt and harvested these same plants by a creek nearby, maybe even this creek. Brewing the jewelweed in oil and the goldenrod in vodka brought up that witchy connection to magic and alchemy—I am turning Gaia's gifts into medicine. This is sacred. This is precious. This is my calling. And what a gift that these two were already here, waiting for me. Along with mint, and mullein, plantain, cedar, burdock, chicory and so many others that are here, ready to serve our community as they were intended.
If you want to learn more about these two joyous 2nd and 3rd chakra allies, here's the video we've made for each of them, the start of many to come!
2nd Chakra: https://youtu.be/wXqdcWS-5bE?si=j4VpNGmQ-AM3AA6N
3rd Chakra: https://youtu.be/hyT8ow7i500?si=p9V0Z-LUxcNRUYtj
Take off your shoes and ground into Mother Gaia today. Your energetic roots won't regret it.
In plants we trust.
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