Medicinal Plants Walk with Laura and Alexis –and a special plant!

 In classes, earth tracks, edible plants, Edibles, foraging, gathering, harvest, herbalism, land stewardship, Medicinals, Mentoring, nature connection, nature education, Wild Plants Apprenticeship, Wildcrafting



On Sunday July 19th, we left the Rebel Roots Herb Farm land and headed to the Krug Forest, a beautifully preserved tract of land near Dornoch, Ontario.
Introducing us to the many medicinal plants we saw today was Alexis Burnett, head instructor of Earth Tracks and guest instructor, Laura Gilmour of Wild Muskoka Botanicals.

We stopped along the edge of a wetland and found many plants and creatures along the way. Blue Flag Iris and Boneset grew near the marsh along with many Cattails.  As we discussed harvesting the pollen of the cattails we spotted a frog. This wasn’t just a regular frog but was two-toned! The frog was half blue and half grey-brown and was patient with us and let us photograph and look at kin.

We found a rarer Skullcap flower and learned about it’s medicinal properties and then found both False and True Solomon’s Seal right next to each other.  We had a thoughtful discussion about these two plants, including their roots, young shoots and their berries-a grizzly bear’s favourite fruit.

Another wetland along the trail had bright red Cardinal Flowers, so tall and stately and the brightest, deep red you have ever seen.  One of the most beautiful of our local wildflowers, at least according to this apprentice!  You can also see a picture of White Snakeroot, a plant that has many healing properties but is also quite toxic.  It can affect humans who eat the plant, but is also transmitted from the milk of cows that consume the plant!

After a lunch off-trail, we changed gears.  We did a quiet walk through the forest in fox walk and owl eyes.  Walking separately but in a line, we had a neat experience of feeling the forest with our feet, hearing the sounds, and smelling all the scents on the breeze.

After the walk we each found quiet spot and did a sit spot with a particular plant. We connected with the plant while at our quiet spot, with the intention of learning what we can from kin. We each harvested a few leaves from our plant and put them in a cup with some boiling water to make a tea.  We spent quiet time with our tea as we drank it, and then gathered together to share our experience.

Walking back, we caught sight of a baby raccoon in a tree that we had passed in the morning.  This time, ki was having an afternoon nap and didn’t even notice us pass underneath kin!

*As per Robin Wall Kimmerer’s article, the pronouns for animals have been changed, instead of “he” or “she” I’ve used “ki” and instead of “him” or “her” I’ve used “kin”.

Written by:  Alex Thomson – 2nd year Wild Plants Apprentice

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