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,…

Maytime Bread

In New Hampshire, May is that time of year when the air begins to smell sweet! The trees are budding, the violets blooming, and tiny bits of green are emerging from the ground. We begin to gather and nibble on plants around the yard during this special time of year. This month we’ve decided to…

Forsythia Flower Syrup

Forsythia flowers are absolutely stunning early spring! The flowers are indeed edible, often bitter, but edible. Sprinkled on fresh garden salad or tossed in a pasta dish, they are sure to brighten your meal. However, their beauty doesn’t last. After a few short weeks of shining bright, they blend in with the green foliage. A…

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…

Chive Blossom Pasta

Chive Blossom Pasta Homemade pasta can be such a fun way to explore various herbs, flowers, and tastes! Once you have a basic pasta recipe handy, the sky is the limit. Last year, I found myself making some stinging nettle pasta. It was fun to play around with the green color of nettle.  However it…

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,…