by Ian Dunbar
This article was contributed in 1998 and contact information for author is no longer accurate.
Why do we wildcraft? Many reasons I guess, the cost and effectiveness of pharmaceuticals do not correlate very well and wildcrafting offers a
form of exercise and recreation for both mind and body, it provides nourishment, and nutritional supplements to augment the supermarket agribiz products that we have allowed ourselves to accept as our prime
source of food. It can provide a closer bond with our natural world, an opportunity to closely observe the natural cycles and local ecosystems, a quiet pursuit to escape from the ravages of rush hours and artificial deadlines; or whatever other irksome factors that each of us may care to mention.
Idyllic? I think not, as insects may be counted on to spoil perfection,
sweat in the eyes still stings, loads are still heavy, sunburns are possible,
and so on, still ,it beats working.
So You Want to be a Wildcrafter
Stop and think for just a minute, about whether you have picked and eaten a wild berry, fresh from the bush. Remember how juicy and delicious it was? Of course you do, how could anyone forget such a sensual and gratifying experience?
If this applies, you, dear reader, are a wildcrafter
Do you occasionally or consistently gather firewood? [camping trips count too] Pick bouquets of wildflowers? Gather and dry flowers that you did not plant? [exclude the ones you stole from a neighbour's flower garden because you forgot to buy a corsage]; Round up twigs, bark, pitch, etc... for use incrafts and or decorations? Notice the odour of mint or some other species and bring them home with you just because it
smelled so nice ? [pine and balsam count] Sample various edibles while out for a walk?
If you have committed any of the above niceties, you too are a wildcrafter.
Do you want to preserve, know more, supply friends, or commercial firms; sell or trade or otherwise increase your personal productivity?
You are a serious wildcrafter.
Can you recognize a range of useful plants, positively identify them and know what some uses of them are? Can you be consistently short of cash? Work hard for low pay? Get by
without all the modern conveniences like large screen t.v. ,home theater, exercise machines, fancy cars, cruises and the like?
You may be able to survive as a professional wildcrafter.
Why would you?
Nothing [in my mind] beats a day afield, in the low decibel level that Mother Nature supplies. Type A personalities beware, you just might relax, and accept life as it really is . If not, you will have an interesting day complaining that the stuff doesn't grow fast enough or close enough together and you will probably invent a machine to rape the landscape.
Tips on Personal Cleanliness If you like perfumed soaps,[Irish spring etc.]; do so after the days work is over. If you are a morning shower type, use unscented soap. it does not have the same tendency to attract insects.
For you gents, carry water. the urge to piddle on a tree will become irresistible, maybe it's a throwback to our carnivorous ancestry that makes us want to mark our territory, or just knowing that there will be no worries about whether the seat is up or down. You should at least rinse your hands before resuming work. Ladies seem to know how to handle these matters instinctively. Oh yes , avoid white t.p. during deer season.
APPALACHIAN NATURALS HERBS ROOTS AND BERRIES
Appalachian Naturals specializes in the gathering of wild herbs, roots, berries, leaves, bark, nuts, and seeds for medicinal , nutritional, aromatic, and cosmetic properties. There is absolutely no chemical contamination from such things as fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, or any other "cides". These are plants that grow under the strict guidelines imposed by mother nature.
Wildcrafted plants have been recognized as the best available form of herbs for many years. Among the medicinal plants that I gather are St. John's Wort; Elecampane, Hawthorn, Mountain Cranberry, Burdock, Dandelion, Taxus, Agrimony, Evening Primrose, Balsam, Cedar, Balm of Gilead, White Willow, Willow Herb, Golden Rod, and Wild Sarsaparilla. Raspberry, Blackberry, Strawberry, and Blueberry, can all be found ready
for wildcrafting, each to it's season. Seeds, Flowers, Herbs, or Bark are all available.
Among the fresh greens available in season are Fiddleheads, Cattail Shoots, and MapleSeed. I gather and dry at least 24 varieties of the world's finest herbal offerings, and will customize my efforts to suit your needs.
In the future will be aromatherapy materials, such as Wild Carrot and Parsnip seeds, craft items such as Balsam Fir tips for wreaths, and Cranberry clusters for Christmas decorations.
Sample Packets $2.00 For more Information Email us
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