Dear Friends,

It’s time for our third annual summer solstice wildcrafting party! This event happens right at the peak of arnica season at our Homestead in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado – the entire hillside behind our cabin will be golden yellow with bright arnica blossoms, and just about everything else will be at the height of freshness (except the raspberries, of course). I offer this once a year as an opportunity for folks to tour our apothecary, and to see where the Homestead harvests and stores our herbs, and to show you how incredibly simple and easy it is to build your own herbal apothecary with very little space! (Our mountain cabin is very tiny!)

Arnica
Arnica grows in large patches on well-drained high-altitude mountain slopes and open fields

It also gives folks a chance to see how I work…which I’m learning is a bit different from what you’d expect. Every time I go out to harvest, I start by sitting on mother earth, preferably under a large tree (like the giant blue spruce “Grandmother” tree in the center of our property). With my mother’s drum, I sing songs of devotion to the earth, of love and caring for all creation, of gratitude for my place in nature’s delicate web. Then I go for a long walk.

Before harvesting anything, I get as close to the earth and the plant as possible and listen. What do you hear? The plants will talk to you, they will tell you if they are good medicine, they will tell you which part to use. They will tell you if they have any special friends that should be in the mix, or if they are potent enough on their own. They will tell you what they need, and will offer what you need…if only you will listen.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA
yes, I’m standing in a field of nettle!

Even with a semi-commercial operation, I still never harvest more than 10% of any given plant in one area. I want these plants to thrive, to propagate, and to provide shade and nourishment to the other creatures with whom I share these precious forests. Mother nature always provides enough.

Click this link to buy your ticket for our once yearly celebration! Solstice blessings, Arwen

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