Spring has FINALLY come to the Northeast and what a joy it is after an unusually long winter of sporadic temperatures and overcast days!!!!
It feels wonderful to feel the warmth of the bright sun on our faces as we soak up the natural Vitamin D that we all need so much. Be aware that this time of the year the sun’s rays are very intense, even more so than the middle of summer, so we should take the precautions we need to, to keep from overdoing it. I prefer to wear a hat and not put anything on my face but perhaps some facial lotion containing zinc oxide. St John’s wort oil is a good natural sunblock. If you have extremely sensitive skin, approach hot days carefully and wear long sleeve, loose fitting shirts if you are going to be in the direct sun for a long period of time. Otherwise just breathe deeply and enjoy it.
Then there are the little faces of spring. The flowers come in such bright contrast to the brown earth and then against the bright green of the grass as it turns overnight. Flowers like dandelions, viola, spring cress and green superfoods like burdock and ramps (wild onion) that we can add to our salads.
Forage in your lawn for plantain, viola leaves, and dandelions. (That is if you don’t spray your lawn with pesticides!). It’s amazing what your lawn will provide if you let it grow naturally.
Forage at field’s edge for coltsfoot which flower before their leaf comes marking the place to pick those leaves later on, so take note. Horsetail is prolific and tender to pick for tinctures, drying for tea and tooth powder.
Forage in the forest for trout lilies(dog-toothed violets), sorrel, cress, bloodroot
Forage in your perennial garden beds for French sorrel and asparagus(great for strengthening the kidneys after a long winter).
Don’t forget to just take some time to stretch your legs for a walk amongst them. It’s a great way to reduce stress God’s way. These days you can almost hear them stretching their “limbs” from a long winter’s nap, their colors crying out for attention to admire their beauty.
Don’t let spring pass you by, without taking note of what’s around you and maybe collecting a few specimens to take back and identify from your Peterson’s Field Guide. If plant walks and foraging are your passion, let us know. We are just putting together our summer evening series for July and August. Or perhaps you’re a more serious forager and want all the particulars of what to do with these plants so you can use them. If so you might want to join our Family Herbal Series that starts the end of June for 5 2-hour sessions of learning. More serious than that? Consider joining the first year class at the Potting Shed Herbal School. There are many ways to learn and we are a community of folks with similar passions, ready to share our knowledge as well as fun.