One of the things I promised myself I'd do when I decided to come back to blogging was to share more off the cuff herbcraft. Part of what got me tripped up before was feeling like I had to have these perfect posts, with research about constituents and healing properties and identification tips. But, it felt like writing a paper for college each time. It so wasn't me and the time I spent trying to do it that way took up all my free time for just writing and sharing about the playful side of things. And so, I got bored with it. The idea that I should write that way started to make me a little afraid of sharing anything at all. But then, I realized there are so many folks out there who do those kind of posts really well. Leave it to them. My voice, my version of the craft is what I have to share. You have to take responsibility for doing further research, looking at your individual health, and no amount of ID tips I can give you online will help fully in wildcrafting unless you just get out there with other folks and your books and do the work.
So what is it exactly, that I do like? I love to inspire a playful relationship with the plants. I've always referred to Herbmother as a gateway drug. I gave up long ago trying to be a teacher of herbalists. But if you're looking for a safe place to dip your toes and lead you down the green-brick road, this is a good start.
Which brings me to today's post. This winter I've chosen to get involved with the trees. Since returning to the pacific northwest, they have been calling me to go deeper. There are so many of them, however, I got overwhelmed in the ID game and tabled it. This year, with a self-designed slower life, I have collected my resources and I have the time to go sit with my sister trees and listen. I've traded my water devotional for tree devotional, just for the season.
The truth is, I still have trouble identifying the trees very specifically, but I've picked up a few things that give me the comfort to work with them in spite of not knowing exactly what species it is. For our final wildcrafting playbook, my Sowing Circles Group is working with evergreens in December. This salt is from the playbook and one of my favorite herbcrafts to make and gift.
Evergreen trees are beautiful wintertime allies. They are immune enhancing and supporting not to mention the comfort they provide with their bright leaves and wonderful smell. Switching up your regular salt for this one will give you little hits of the goodness all season long, which we know is really how to keep ourselves well anyway. I enjoy it on just about everything, though it loves to be rubbed into meat, especially red meat. Sprinkled on top of a hard cooked egg is also a favorite snack. I think this year, I'll try it in my mexican chocolate bark too.
In general you can eat most conifers. Yew is one however, that is toxic and fatal and should be avoided.
Evergreen Salt Collect a handful of evergreen needles. Fir, pine, larch, and spruce all work well. Chop them very fine. Mix in a ratio of 1:1 with a good sea salt. My favorite for this is sel gris. Usually when I make herbal salts I use a ration of 2 herbs to 1 salt. You can try this as well, though I like the extra salt with the evergreen flavor.
At this point your salt is ready to enjoy. However, if you let it sit a few weeks, the flavor only gets better. You can also toast the mixture in a small cast iron pan for a few minutes, stirring constantly to bring out a caramel taste.