Free Webinar: Equity and Wild-Harvested Plants Co-Hosted by the FairWild Foundation – American Botanical Council

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

We are happy to announce the next webinar in the Sustainable Herbs Program (SHP) Toolkit Webinar Series: Equity and Wild-Harvested Plants: Building Mutually Beneficial Relationships.

This webinar will discuss what it takes to create and maintain mutually beneficial long term trade relations among those wild-harvesting plants for the global supply network, including equitable sharing of the costs of sustainable production. The speakers will talk about what these trade relationships entail, the responsibilities of buyers, and the role of standards and certifications like FairWild.

Speakers include: Marin Anastasov, Sourcing Manager at Pukka Herbs; Peter Rangus, Business Development Manager of Arxfarm, Slovenia; and Bryony Morgan, Executive Officer of the FairWild Foundation. Guest discussants include: Krystyna Swiderska, Principal Researcher in IIED’s Natural Resources Group, and Elizabeth Bennett, Associate Professor of International Affairs, Lewis & Clark College.

Equity and Wild-Harvested Plants: Building Mutually Beneficial Relationships
Thursday, May 20…

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What It Takes To Find Morel Mushrooms

Experience has shown me that morel mushroom hunting involves no less than three general factors.

Luck.

Like a first-time bowler who bowls a 200 game, some people find morel mushroom honey holes without even trying.

Skill.

This is a somewhat more predictable factor.  Without proper awareness of habitat, timing, and tree associations, a successful morel hunt will be impaired.

Persistence.

Any inveterate morel hunter will tell you that leg work is essential.  In order to consistently find, one must fearlessly seek.

During a recent excursion in the woods, I found several morels near elms and tulip poplars.  Instead of harvesting every mushroom and calling it a day, I decided to film a video and analyze the specific factors involved in finding such a bounty.

The following analysis parallels the specific points mentioned in the previous video (“6 Reasons You Can’t Find Morels”) in order to help you better locate these elusive fungi.

You can watch the brand new video here.

Experience has also shown me that encountering spring migratory birds can be just as exciting as finding morels.  This particular bird spent his winter in Central America and has recently returned to the wilds of Pennsylvania.  Have you seen him or heard his song?  Check out the latest Instagram post to learn more.Click to view post

I was a recent guest on the Awake Aware Alive podcast hosted by Jacob Gossel.  In this interview, we discuss many topics including how to read landscapes more effectively, the importance of learning directly from humans, and what I think about ticks.  You can listen to the interview through one of the following links:

Thanks for reading and watching, and thanks for your continued support!

-Adam Haritan

6 Reasons You Can’t Find Morel Mushrooms

Some wild mushrooms are easy to locate and are so large that single specimens can easily weigh 15 pounds.

Morels are different. 

They’re not easy to locate.  Their season is short.  And multiple specimens are required just to provide a single meal.  Still, morels are among the most coveted of all wild fungi.

Every year countless foragers eagerly head to the woods in search of these treasured mushrooms, and every year countless foragers dishearteningly leave the woods without them.

If you are someone who cannot seem to find morel mushrooms no matter how hard you try, check out the following video.  In it, I discuss 6 common reasons why people have trouble locating these elusive fungi.

You can watch the brand new video here.

Like clockwork, this migratory bird sings in my neck of the woods three to four weeks before morel mushrooms appear.  Are you familiar with this harbinger of spring? Check out the latest Instagram post to learn more!Click to view post

Thanks for reading and watching, and thanks for your continued support!

-Adam Haritan

Delectable Native Edibles

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Andrea DeLong-Amaya

tradescantia flowersYou may be one of the growing numbers of home gardeners who have put shovel to soil in the effort to nourish themselves and their families with wholesome, organic, fresh, and ultimately local vegetables and fruits. It is empowering to know exactly where your food comes from. And, while gardening is perfect exercise…it can be a lot of work! What if you could grow food plants that all but took care of themselves? Or better yet simply harvest, with caution of course, from the wild.

Native produce? Yes! The plants I’m about to tell you about are all easy to cultivate within their home ranges and, once established, may not require any attention outside of harvest. There are many virtues of raising locally native plants, such as decreased use of water, fertilizers, and pesticides, and promoting regional identity, and providing for wildlife. But those aren’t my main…

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A Spring Equinox Meditation: The Mysteries of the Dandelion and the Three Currents

The Druid's Garden

Fields of dandelion Fields of dandelion

One of the hallmarks of spring is the blooming of the vibrant and colorful dandelion. Emerging as soon as the coldest of the temperatures ease, the blooming of the dandelions affirm that the long, dark winter is indeed over and summer is just around the corner. In today’s post, and in honor of the Spring Equinox and the incredible dandelion, I offer a spring tonic and meditative journey to celebrate the Spring Equinox and learn more about the mysteries of the dandelion. This is one of my monthly AODA-themed posts, so I hope you enjoy it and have a blessed spring equinox!

About the Dandelion

The blooming of the dandelions is a special time of year. For us here in Western PA, dandelions bloom just as the final frosts are easing, and are a sign that we can start planting some of our more tending crops in…

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HSA Webinar: Virtues of Violets

The Herb Society of America Blog

by Jen Munson, Education Chair

Viola_sororia__Freckles__2010A common harbinger of spring is the showy dandelion with its bright yellow flower that pops against newly greening lawns. With dandelion sightings, so the debate begins between those who want the perfectly manicured lawn and environmentalists who see dandelions as an early food source for pollinators and beneficials. The dazzling dandelion outshines another harbinger of spring, and that is the less-assuming violet. 

Join HSA onMarch 23rd at 1pm EDT for the “Virtues of Violets. For guest speaker, Katherine Schlosser, the arrival of violets is one of the happiest times in her garden. While her neighbors are out spraying herbicides on their lawns, you can find her swooning over the tiny botanical treasures, harboring in the joy and knowledge that these plants chose to be present in her yard.

Kathy 2-page-001Little do many of us realize that violets have been sought…

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Cheesy Dandelion Spirals: Serpentine Spring Magic — Gather Victoria

Note: This recipe was originally shared on Gather Victoria on Patreon. It was originally a recipe for Imbolc but for reasons that will soon become apparent- I thought I’d share it here for St. Patricks Day! St. Patrick was said to have driven all of the snakes out of Ireland – which is odd. While…

Cheesy Dandelion Spirals: Serpentine Spring Magic — Gather Victoria

A Prescription For Swans (new video!)

The arrival of spring can easily be seen on a lake.

Melting ice, blossoming poplars, and migrating waterfowl are among its most faithful signs.  Like an unerring calendar, the lake reminds us that the darkest days have expired and a season of growth awaits.

While walking the shores of a local lake one chilly morning, I observed and heard several signs of spring.  One sound in particular, emanating from the center of the water, caught my attention.

As I approached the sound, its intensity changed from a periodic “coo” to a chorus of whistles.  Too early for spring peepers and wood frogs, I thought to myself, but not too early for something else I had hoped to find.

Tundra swans.

I peered through the cattails and alder shrubs to confirm my hunches.  The icy lake hosted hundreds of tundra swans that had stopped for a visit on their journey to the Arctic.  With a camera in hand, I decided to document the experience while musing on the subtle power of swans to heal.

If you’re interested in seeing tundra swans up close, check out the new video!

Less vocal and numerous but still a sign of spring’s impending arrival are these diminutive diving ducks.  Have you seen any buffleheads this year?  To read about my recent encounter with a small flock, check out the latest Instagram post!Click to view post

In case you missed it, here’s a recent interview I did with The Mushroom Hour podcast.  In this interview, we discuss many topics including nature connection, reciprocal living, and supporting land conservation trusts.  You can listen to the interview through one of the following links:

Thanks for reading and watching, and thanks for your continued support!

-Adam Haritan

Sacred Trees in the Americas: Spicebush (Lindera Benzoin) Magic, Ecology, and Sacred Uses

The Druid's Garden

Spicebush leaf and berry in August in Western Pennsylvania

As I continue to explore some of the most important understory trees in the US East Coast and Midwest region, we turn our attention today to the amazing Spicebush (Lindera Benzoin).  Historically, Spicebush was an incredibly important plant, medicine, and spice both to Native Americans and early white settlers in the US and yet today has largely been forgotten in history. Spicebush is a native understory tree with a large range in North America, spanning from Maine to Florida and all the way across the south and Midwest to Texas and up to Ontario. While I’ve taught this plant routinely on my plant walks, and what amazes me is that nobody can even identify it, much less recognize how it might be used. Spicebush has an incredible flavor, medicinal value, and offers much in the way of magic and mystery. It…

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Sacred Trees in the Americas: American Hazel (Corylus americana) Magic, Ecology, and Sacred Uses

The Druid's Garden

American Hazelnuts in a cluster getting ready to ripen

For three years, I have had my eye on our American hazel bushes here at the homestead. When we first moved to the property, much of the understory was damaged with the logging the previous owners did and it took time for the hazels to recover.  Thus, for the last few years, I’ve watched the hazels grow taller and larger each year and kept looking excitedly for any signs of nuts setting. This past fall, I was delighted to find handfuls of delicious wild American hazelnuts and connect with the incredible wisdom that they offer.

While Hazel is a critically important tree in the mythology and magical tradition of Druidry and in Europe more broadly, The Hazel is one of the sacred trees identified by the druids as a tree tied to wisdom and the flow of Awen, and it is…

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