Yarrow is well-known as an antibacterial, analgesic, and anti-styptic (stops bleeding). It's wonderful for insect bites, paper cuts and any other little painful cuts. It’s a perfect choice for all abrasions,cutting down the pain dramatically within minutes and minimizing chances of infection. A thin layer on the inside of the nose will also stop a nosebleed. I recently held a Yarrow Salve making class at Thrive. Here are some photos & the the recipe we used. Happy Wildcrafting! Yarrow Salve
1. Wild, white yarrow (not the golden yarrow or other hybrid colors)Gather the leaves (flowers in full bloom can also be used), and dry in the shade or indoors (never in sunlight, which degrades the chemistry once it is separated from the earth). Dry for minimum of 5-7 days, longer is fine. Store in clean paper bags (not plastic, as this will promote growth of fungi, with any stored herb)
2. Melt 4 cups of olive oil and 1/2 cup of pure beeswax on a stovetop, or if funds are tight 4 cups of Crisco instead (no need for the beeswax to solidify it at room temperature).; smaller batches are simply scaled down from these proportions, using about a 1/8 ratio of beeswax to olive oil
3. Add as much dried yarrow leaf (and flowers if included) as you can immerse in the oil, stirring gently with a wooden spoon on simmer. Avoid "french-frying" or blackening or browning of the leaves. Simmer 15-20 minutes on low, stirring. The medicinal aroma will be prominent, and the color of the oil will turn green or golden green.
4. Cool approximately 15 minutes to allow safer handling. Strain through a fine metal-screen sieve into a 4-cup glass measure, then pour from that into clean, small glass jars, e.g. baby food or tiny jelly jars.
5. LABEL each jar with "yarrow salve" (Achillea millefolium), and the date. Store in refrigerator. Will last for over a year if refrigerated. These make great gifts for friends and family.6. Use liberally with a band-aid or other sterile dressing, to cover the wound, keeping in the salve and keeping clothes protected from the oil.
Two beautiful, excited children are finally sleeping.
Tomorrow, school starts.
I officially have a 5th & 3rd grader.
Friday morning, we were able to go into our school for the very 1st time & to meet our teachers. Discovery Charter is a brand new school. For the last year, we have attended many meetings, wrote letters to the newspaper editors, voted, signed petitions & rallied support of this new environmentally focused green school. It was very interesting to be a part of the process. Many people were against this school because our public school system really is amazing. It was a tough choice to leave our old school. They were like family to us with a staff so kind and loving. I was involved in many debates with close friends who opposed it & teachers who were worried about funding. But decisions had to be made & I am beyond thrilled that we have this opportunity.
As we begin a school year filled with new beginnings & not really knowing what to expect, I have watched my children go from anxious about it all to being incredibly confident & brave.
Some of the things that make this school amazing ::
1. All lunches will be organic/locally grown when possible with a vegetarian option offered every day.
2. All oil used in cooking will be recycled to make biofuel.
3. The cafeteria will be zero waste. What can't be composted will be reused &
all sack lunches must be packed with no waste.
4. We have a Composting Committee.. how cool is that?!?
5. The children will spend at least 1 hour a day hiking & learning outdoors in all kinds of weather (unless of course there is lightening or danger.)
6. The school is located right next door to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore & has a trail system being built through the woods & wetlands.
7. Cross Country Skis & Snowshoes are being purchased for Winter outdoor activities.
8. The school was an older building that had been converted using the greenest methods.
9. Nature themed artwork & photography lines the walls of every hallway highlighting the beauty of the area we live in.
10. Children are inspired to learn in such a way that they hold on to a sense of wonder & develop a connection with the world around them.
I really could go on and on.
It's all so new..we shall see how it goes.
Don't you just love the fresh possibilities of a new school year?
“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after.” ~Henry David Thoreau~
It was a normal Saturday afternoon.
We had been to the farmers market, the house was cleaned & the laundry washed.
I had just sat down with a glass of ice tea when Maya walked into the room looking rather glum.
"Whats wrong? Why the frown?", I asked her.
She replied, " There is something I've been wanting to do this Summer, Mama. Something you don't usually do because Papa would take us."
"Well, what is it Miss Maya? Is it something we can do together?"
"Mama, I just want to go fishing this afternoon. I know you don't like to but it would make me really super happy if we could. Can we pleeeeeeeeeeese?"
River looked up from the book he was reading & smiled really big.
Before I could even say "yes.", they were running out the door to gather poles, nets, tackle boxes and..... little did I know, while I was cleaning house, they had been in the yard digging up worms... a whole yogurt container of them.
I grabbed my camera & we were off.
Now, let me just add here that while I have fished in the past, it really isn't something I enjoy. As a vegetarian, I just can't get past how sad it is..how painful..how brutal to the worms..but, alas, my children really wanted to go. And I knew deep inside this was more of an emotional sort of thing..a familiar ritual they had with their Papa.
So, I quickly learned to put a bobber on the line, a hook under that
and well, then there was that worm part.
The wriggly, helpless worm.
"I have an idea.", I said excitedly.
"How about we let these worms free & then we use the bread I brought along to put on the hooks?"
My kids weren't buying it. After all, they had just spent several hours digging up these slimy creatures & plotting & planning how they would talk me into going.
They had a lot of time invested here.
So I picked up a worm (oh the things we do for our children) and I proceeded to try and tie him on the hook. I pleaded with him..I begged..I did not want to stick his poor body.
But he wriggled and jiggled off every time.
Now, 10 year old boys can become quite impatient when their Mamas aren't as brave as they may be when it comes to these things.
River took the worm from me and hooked it on good with ease.
(I swear I only shrieked once when half its body fell off and crawled away.)
Casting his line, he sat on a rock & waited quietly for something to bite while Maya did the same on the other side of the pond.
We sat here for the next 3 hours quietly taking it all in.
In the end, no fish were harmed..a couple worms were dinner..and a beautiful frog hopped right into our net. We were greeted by dragonflies, bumblebees, butterflies & the most beautiful, golden sunset.
They may not have had any luck fishing, but the peaceful joy they brought home was enough to make this a new hobby for us all.
May you find much solitude in the lazy days of Summer.