Weed Walking!

My good friend and bellydance teacher Michele Donner Ramsey wrote this blog post after a visit. Check out her blog Learning to Live – Living to Learn. My notes are in purple.

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  I visited my most gorgeous friend Melanie the other day. We share many loves and the one I plan to explore in great detail is herbalism. I have signed up for TWO herbalism courses recently and right now I am focusing on identifying common local herbs, especially the so-called weeds! Melanie is a fabulous resource for this! She identified a few weeds in my own yard (Yellow Dock and Lambs Quarters) to my delight. I just had to go on a weed walk in Melanie’s yard while there!
We identified so many things that my poor brain did not retain it all. I should have taken my notebook with me on the walk so that I could write the names down as I took pictures… lesson learned. But I do now remember a few of them (borrowing a few books for identification helped!)

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Mugwort – This one made it into one of my very first jars to make a tincture. I was supposed to make a dream pillow with it, but I forgot and tinctured it instead. Ha! I also tinctured some wormwood.
Wild Rose – this one I could identify but I snapped the picture because of those odd globes attached to the leaves, I wanted to know what those were. (galls from a gall wasp)
Foxglove! the picture does not do it justice.
Prairie Milkweed!
We tentatively ID’d this as trefoil. It seemed smaller than it was described as the book, but all other attributes matched up.
Burdock – now we’re trying to decide if it’s first year growth or second year.

And here are some that I forgot their names, so Melanie will have to fill in the blanks for me!
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Melanie said the flowers were lovely but they close in the evening.
Echinacea – getting ready to flower 
 I found this new one right outside the front door. I tasted the leaves. Nothing. I tasted the seed pods. Yum! Wild mustard! 

We saw a lot more, but I did not take pictures of everything especially since I knew most of them.  We saw yellow dock, lambs quarters, red clover, thistle, nettles, shepherds purse and yellow wood sorrell. (Don’t forget the plantain! She’s an abundant treasure!) I knew fleabane, which I think was one that Melanie hadn’t been familiar with. And she had a mint she did not know, which I was sure was catnip (an easy verification with my cats took care of that ID).
I had the best time! I can’t wait to do it again, this time perhaps more prepared (I’m thinking of pressing samples!)

   OK all you Green Witches, here’s a reader challenge. What the cuss is this? It grows near the artemesia on the south side of the house. It has small white flowers. 

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What’s growing in your yard? I look forward to your responses. Thanks again Michele!

Author: thewitchmama

Melanie Elizabeth Hexen is a midwife, regionally famous bellydancer, homeschooling mother and matriarch of the Many Hands House. She has been a witch for 25 years, and her belief system is currently based on the writings of Terry Pratchett and the teachings of Steven Posch. With her coven, the Prärie Hexen, she is creating the Hexen Tradition of Witchcraft.

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