Spring Nettles: DIY Recipes By Aisling Badger, May 19, 2017

Nettles are one of spring’s most enticing traditional herbs, and are also a delicious wild food. Nettles are an annual plant found in wooded areas and forests, in natural grasslands, along fertile fields and riverbanks, and along shaded trails. Nettles can be thought of as springtime’s green superfood, packed with minerals and vitamins.

Nettles are a great source for wildcrafting in terms of sustainability since they are a naturally spreading weed. If you have a nettle patch that you visit often or one growing in your garden, frequent harvests will ensure second growths, making it a viable plant all summer long.

When they are young they are full of fresh juicy goodness just waiting to be eaten!

stinging nettles diy harvest

Adding nettles into your wellness routine and diet not only gives you essential nutrients that your body needs but they support healthy tissue states and sinuses. Fresh nettle is always found on an herbalists’ lists when it comes to supporting healthy eyes, nose, lungs, and sinuses. Some favorite ways to use them include a fresh nettle tea, cold infusion if you can or fresh nettle juice!

Cooking with Nettles

Nettles are delicious in many spring recipes — from soups to salads, pizzas, and pastas. They are a great stand-in for greens like chard or spinach in certain recipes—soups, pastas and warm grain dishes, as well as treats like nettle tart or quiche.

Harvesting tips:

– Harvest the top cluster of young nettles (the top 5” or so) as they are the most juicy. They are tender when young and easy to harvest!

– Wear […]

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Landscaping With Native Perennials: Support Wildlife, Pollinators, and People! By Guest Blogger Erin Keith O'Hara, Turtle Hill Native Plants, April 21, 2017

Gardening season is upon us in northern New England. After another weird winter characterized by a series of freezes and thaws, and then a late winter rally of cold and snow in March, spring seems like it is finally here to stay. When considering perennials to enrich our landscape, the array of species at our fingertips is staggering. A trip to the local nursery will expose us to an impressive array of glossy-leaved, long flowering, insect-resistant plants from all over the world.  Some of the most popular perennials are genetic anomalies, having double flowers, or leaves and/or flowers that are a different color than the original plant.  In the case of double flowers, the pistils and stamen, the nectar and pollen producing parts, are replaced with showy petals. This renders the plant useless to pollinators like bees and butterflies. Right now your local nursery may be selling a sterile double-flowered bloodroot, a sumac with purple leaves, or an Echinacea with lime-colored flower petals. These are indeed flashy, but from an ecological standpoint, most of these plants are dead weight in the garden, as they contribute very little to the ecosystem.

native perennials praire blazing star

Bumblebees and butterflies love Liatris pynostachya (Prairie Blazing Star)!

Despite all the eye candy available to us, many gardeners are starting to think more broadly when we plan our gardens and landscapes, beyond just aesthetics. Alongside our personal needs for food, medicine and beauty, the plants we grow can also serve the creatures that share this earth with us. The plants can provide food and shelter for pollinators, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds! Essentially our built […]

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Natural Beauty Rituals for Spring By Aisling Badger, March 14, 2017

Spring is approaching and it is the perfect time to renew and refresh our best and most beautiful selves. Our beauty rituals and routines offer a luxurious moment of calm, self-love and appreciation. What we use to nourish ourselves internally has as much of an impact as what we use externally. What we eat, where we live, and how we feed our body and soul all play a significant role in how we outwardly represent ourselves. No beauty products can replace how you are feeling on the inside. It shows on the outside when we feel good physically and mentally. Happiness and self-love are beautiful.

Tending to the Internal Garden: What you put on your skin matters, but it’s more important to pay attention to what you are putting in your body. The age old saying, “beauty starts from within” is true in many ways.

beauty red clover nettle
What you put into your body will also determine the health of your skin, hair, and overall physical being. It can be helpful to seek out the advice of a skilled herbalist or do research on your constitution, because often our constitution is optimally paired with specific foods or energetic qualities of plants, and this knowledge can help you work with imbalances. Gaining insight into our individual internal garden allows us to understand better what foods, plants and ingredients work best for us.

Whole foods rich in essential fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals and vitamins support your hair and skin. So load your plate with whole grains, leafy greens, root vegetables, berries, avocado, olives, nuts, seeds, superfoods like raw cacao, turmeric, maca, and green superfoods like spirulina.

spring rituals nutrient rich tea

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Love, Self-Love and a Valentine’s Day DIY Recipe by Aisling Badger, February 8, 2017

As Valentine’s Day approaches, there are those who feel the pressure of buying expensive gifts to show their love, those who shy away from it altogether and those who dread it because they aren’t in a relationship. We are also at a pivotal time in our country where love is being questioned on all fronts, our hearts are heavy with the state of the world, and the idea of self-care and heart nourishment is of utmost importance. Rather than hate on the day, why not reclaim it to be something we want it to be?

self-love valentine's day ingredients cacao rose

There’s plenty of hate in the world so why not make Valentine’s Day an opportunity to spread love, whether with one Valentine or a whole community of people dear to your heart?

Whoever you choose to share this particular day with, let’s remember that strong, open hearts and the ability to be kind are the most important during these trying times.

One of our favorite ways to weave in the magic of plant medicine at this time of year is through the use of aphrodisiacs. Aphrodisiac plants, named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and sensuality, are plants that are almost always in our medicine cabinets, as they are some of the most widely used.

Aphrodisiacs are herbs and foods that support calm in the body and awaken our senses. They quiet mind chatter, support the nerves and soothe tension in the body.

aphrodisiacs ingredients for valentine's day recipe

They nourish our nervous system and reproductive […]

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