Food, Herbals

Foraging & Cooking with Ornamental Purple Plum Blossom: Spring Floral Confections — Gather Victoria

For me, the heady sweet almond-like fragrance of the Ornamental Purple Plum is the very essence of spring. Standing beneath their sensual pink and rose flower-laden branches on a sun-warmed afternoon is an absolutely swoon-worthy experience. Sadly underutilized as a culinary ingredient, plum blossom has a unique scent and flavour which infuses beautifully in cream,…

via Foraging & Cooking with Ornamental Purple Plum Blossom: Spring Floral Confections — Gather Victoria

Herbals, Wild Foodism

Manzanita Tree Medicine

I love this tree. It’s an all purpose tree with beautiful wood for woodworking and fragrant in campfires and bar-b-ques.

Elder Mountain Dreaming

Arctostaphylos Manzanita is in the family of the Ericaceae. Various names are Greenleaf manzanita; Big berry plant (Navajo); Big Manzanita, Mariposa Manzanita, Whiteleaf Manzanita; Madroño Borracho, Pinguica. They grow along in California, Nevada and Oregon up to the west slopes of the Sierras into the Great Basin and Rocky Mountains. In some areas they are large trees and some are like shrubs, all have a beautiful smooth, matte-finished red bark and a light to medium sage colored evergreen leaves.

Leaves are smooth, wide, dull green and thick as leather. The flowers bloom in little nodding clusters and are pinkish and urn shaped, maturing into red, tart, mealy berries with from 4-10 seeds. It is hardy to zone 8 and has green leaves all year. Flowers from late February to April. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by bees. The
plant is self-fertile.

Harvest the berries when just ripened and…

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Food, Health, Herbals

11 Coffee Alternatives to Help You Kick the Habit

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

A cup of joe is a key part of many people’s morning routine. Coffee isn’t just aromatic and delicious — it promotes alertness and focus, suppresses appetite, and even aids with digestion.

Coffee acts as a stimulant, which means that it can increase your blood pressure and heart rate; it also gives some people headaches. And while it helps digestion in some people, it can cause stomach pain and indigestion in others, especially people who drink several cups a day.

Maybe your healthcare provider recommended that you reduce your coffee intake or remove it from your diet entirely. Or perhaps you just want to live coffee-free for personal reasons. No matter the reason, we have good news.

Several delicious drinks can ease your transition away from coffee while still providing some or all of the same effects. Many of these coffee substitutes have more natural sugar and no bitter taste, unlike coffee. Here…

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