Violets (Viola spp.)

Violets (Viola spp.) Family: Violaceae Some common names include wild pansy, viola, and heartsease. There are over 600 species of violets throughout the world and many modern cultivars! Parts Used: flowers, leaves Energetics: cooling, moistening Taste: sweet, salty Plant Properties: alterative, demulcent, inflammatory modulator, lymphagogue, mild sedative Plant Uses: congested lymph, food, dry inflamed tissues,…

Violet Flower Jelly

Violets are certainly a springtime favorite! The beauty, food, and medicine they provide for all is a gift. Violets can be found growing in damp, shady areas. The flowers and leaves are edible and offer both cooling and moistening properties. Nibble on each and see for yourself how they taste and feel in your mouth….

Maple Blossom Fritters

Big leaf maple trees bloom from April to early May here in New Hampshire and what a treat it is! Such a beautiful bouquet of yellow-green blossoms. The flowering clusters emerge in the spring, right before the leaves grow. Each stalk is full of nectar and taste pleasantly sweet. They can easily be plucked from…

Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

Ground Ivy, also commonly known as Creeping Charlie, is a fast growing ground cover with ‘hoof’ shaped leaves. Other names it goes by include Gill-over-the-ground, Alehoof, Gill-go-by-the-Hedge, and Run-away-robin. This plant is not related to Ivy but is, instead, to the Mint family. Identifying You’ll find a square stem and opposite growing, kidney-shaped leaves, similar…

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

Garlic mustard, also known as Jack-by-the-hedge, is an unassuming plant with a powerful punch of garlic and mustard. This plant was introduced to the United States in the mid-1800’s, for food & medicine, and has since been creeping through the continent ever since. Garlic mustard is now considered an invasive species, a single plant can…

Forsythia Twist Bread

Forsythia Flowers It’s mid-April and the Forsythia is blooming here in New Hampshire. These cheery, yellow flowers are one of the first plants to add a pop of color to the landscape. Forsythia bushes are deciduous shrubs that can grow 3-9 feet in height and, rarely, up to 20 feet. Their drooping branches grow yellow…

Stinging Nettle

Stinging Nettle (Urtica spp.) Family: Urticaceae Parts Used: young leaves, seeds, and roots Energetics: cooling, drying Taste: salty Plant Properties: nutritive herb, diuretic, alterative, adaptogen, astringent Plant Uses: weak hair/bones/teeth, fatigue, arthritis, eczema, metabolism, seasonal allergies, urinary tract infections, sluggish metabolism Plant Preparations: nourishing herbal infusion, tincture, tea, freeze-dried capsules, food When preparing to eat…

Hairy Bittercress

Hairy Bittercress, Cardamine hirsuta, is one of the smaller wild mustards in the Brassicaceae family.  Oddly enough, this plant is less hairy and bitter and more non-hairy and spicy! The hairs are very fine and without close inspection, you’ll miss them all together.  Identifying  Hairy Bittercress This plant consists of compound leaves with tiny leaflets…

Pine (Pinus strobus)

Pine (Pinus strobus) Family: Pinaceae Genus: Pinus Largest conifer family in species diversity 250 recognized species in the world including pines, larches, spruces, firs, and hemlock Parts Used: bark, needles (leaves), pine resin, pollen, seeds Energetics: warming, drying Taste: pungent, bitter, sour Plant Properties: stimulating diuretic, stimulating expectorant, stimulating diaphoretic, modulates inflammation, nutrient-dense food, vulnerary,…

Stinging Nettle Crepes

Stinging Nettle Crepes Crepes are very nostalgic to me! My grandmother taught me how to make them when I was young and I continued making them for many years after. I made them every father’s day for years. Since then, I have strayed from the basic recipe by adding spinach, stinging nettle, and turmeric to…