The trees are calling for you

Dear clients and fellow nature lovers,

Those of us who have experienced and been deeply nourished by the trees and forests in our lives, may share my experiences of helplessness and despair when realizing that our natural wild spaces have been systematically destroyed for fleeting monetary profit just in our lifetimes. The act of replanting rows of financially profitable species of fast growing trees with the goal of “harvesting them” does nothing to correct the error of disturbing centuries old forest communities. These elder forests do so much we still don’t understand, but some of what we do know shows them sequestering carbon and harboring multitudes of beings, including undiscovered and rare or possibly lost species. The medicines contained therein are incalculable.

If you need a more greedy perspective, there are many discovered and many more undiscovered human and animal medical cures in the plants and trees of the forest that heal and cure and prevent diseases. These could realistically save your and your loved ones lives one day, if they haven’t already. Also, because of the amount of carbon they sequester, they are vital to help insulate us against the catastrophic weather events that may continue to occur more frequently than in the past. Most of us feel deep in our hearts the inherent value of respecting and protecting the trees of the Earth.

Any of you who grew up, as I did, climbing trees and sitting for hours in their strong protective branches, who watched forest creatures become increasingly comfortable with us as we sat in their worlds, will know the truth of this and want to do everything we can to keep mature and old growth forests in all of our environments. These are vital to all Life.

Now is your chance to do something that will make a difference for both forest and human communities for generations to come- for we are inextricably linked and bound.

Hopefully, this is one step on a path of ever increasing human awareness and respect for our small but vital part in the web of Life. If we want to survive as a species on this gem of a blue green planet, we have to act as a people who are willing to cooperate with each other to protect and expand mature and old growth forest ecosystems.

Here is a link for ways to help reverse a logging contract into our pristine lungs, the forest ecosystems along the US – Canadian border- some of our last remaining mature forest communities.

https://protectancientforests.org/stopblackram

Here is a short film about this project to stop the black ram project

https://protectancientforests.org/

Here is a links to learn more about the proposes Curtain of Green and

https://protectancientforests.org/curtain-of-green

Celebrating Old Growth with Robin Wall Kimmerer and more

https://protectancientforests.org/learn-more

Thank you for caring and doing and being part of the solution. I appreciate all of you!

Peace in every step.

Love is in your hearts.

Breathe in and out

Feel the harmony of Nature.

Love to you ALL

Thyme in the Garden

Thyme in the Garden

More ways to navigate the world as an empathic person.

Peppermint is so vibrant and so good for us.

Puttering in the garden.
I’ve never really been able, or more likely, chosen, to sustain a vigorous aerobic exercise routine, like running or biking miles each day. We each have to know what works for us to maintain our health – physical, mental emotional and spiritual. Most of my life that had meant long hikes in wilderness areas. Now, as I (try to-lol) age gracefully, I realize that long hikes are not as enjoyable and neighborhood walks are fine. I can appreciate the details of where I live, meet my neighbors and relax without having to drive somewhere. Walking a mile or two each day is a baseline I try to follow and it feels good to do so.

And…

Where I really shine is in the Garden.

St John’s wort, capturing the spirit of sunny summertime

When the world of people and culture and expectations and missed opportunities collide with what feels best in the present, sitting in a garden with green growing things can be the answer we need to relax and refresh and center again.

Queen Anne’s Lace, showcasing the beauty of Nature and centered symmetry.

Relationship with the plant world is something we each can define on our own, find what that means for us individually and to encourage healing in our world. We can do this by exploring and getting to know the plants that grow in our backyards and on our walks. Learning in books about them is a start. Sitting with them and feeling their green freshness and the enthusiasm of blooming flowers is vital, and we learn on a whole different level about them when we sit with them. How are we refreshed after this action?

Echinacea in bloom and Basil smiling up at us

In the city or the country, there will always be green beings. 

Strawberry Mint growing in hard dirt

For me.
Beauty refreshes the Soul.
Gentle movement refreshes the body. Focusing on the heart, and what nourishes a happy heart, enriches our life every moment, and keeps us on the path to continued health.

Borage and honeybee in the eternal dance


Communicating with plant worlds compliments and enhances my ability to communicate with animals. It is one way to nurture heart energy and feel more connected to the Pulse of Life.

Impatiens flowering

What are the ways that you connect with your heart and your inner soul, and how do you express that in the world?

Please feel free to comment below with ideas for others to find peace and centeredness in the ever-changing world around us.

Borage again – herbally I had always been told that Borage was able to “gladden the heart”, so I love having it around!

Thank you for caring.

Ebbs and Flows

In the last few months, I’ve had time to realize the huge difference that subtle energetic shifts can make. It’s sometimes hard to realize that you’ve been pushing yourself too hard in some areas, and starving yourself in other parts, at the same time.
Here are some suggestions to develop (or continue to develop) habits of checking in with various aspects of who-you-are, all of you, your full life, daily. It’s kind of like taking a very close look at a bug you may never have thought to look at closely before…

A leaf-footed bug I helped outside yesterday


If you are an intellectually minded person, see if your thoughts and intellect have been dominating every other part, or are your thoughts and logic working in harmony with what your physical, emotional and spiritual needs are? 
If you feel more identified and ruled by your physical needs, has your emotional or spiritual health suffered as a result of a dominance of focus on the body? Is your physical body in balance, or is it constantly being pushed to perform longer harder and faster?
Has your emotional self, such as fears, depression, or even joy and pleasure, been ruling your life to the detriment of your health?
Hopefully you have find a happy balance, where your emotions inform your intellect and help direct care for your physical needs and direct you where to find the ways to replenish your unique spiritual wellspring.

Spring flowers just bursting with Energy!


We live in a world that values external experiences, possessions and situations above most else. How often do we check and adjust to what our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual bodies are asking for? Remember too, the other important Beings in your world, to check in and listen to our animal companions’ silent and not-so-silent communications, or the way that the plants that grow in our backyards reach out to inform us of wisdom they have acquired, as the evolutionary elders to the human race. Plants have provided some of the most fun and wise and loving conversations I’ve ever had!


I can pretty much guarantee that as you start and continue to develop this habit, you will make startling and profound realizations about your own health and well-being, along with that of the planet and all her creatures. This will benefit everyone around you, the world at large, and your animal friends.

Rays of sunlight on my Bud at the Stream


Be well everyone, and if you’re not, please adjust accordingly and get “well” asap, whatever that means for you.  

Magical gateway in the woods :0)


Wishing  you all the Grand Peace of Nature, the kind that overtakes you and becomes an experience of sacredness that is unsurpassed anywhere. 


With Love, Karen and the animals

Ways to reconnect with gratitude and joy

Photo by Karen Peters
Appreciating the beauty

I’d like to share some techniques to encourage a state of contentedness or joy or something better than the winter blues. I’d love to hear back from any of you who have other ideas that I haven’t covered here. Winter can be a tough time for many people, and the holidays can be triggering for many. Please know there are others who feel like you do, you are not alone! Reach out and connect with others who care, especially your animal friends, and your human friends too.

What keeps you going during the cold dark months of Winter? This could be a time that is natural for reflection, for inner nurturing.

. Here’s some ideas.

  1. Journal on gratitude. Journaling in general is a great way to get out your feelings and express yourself in a safe and totally private way. I’ve been told that the actual act of putting pen or pencil to paper and physically making marks is healing to our brains. Sometimes typing into a computer feels most satisfying. After you pour your heart out to the paper or digital machine, you can either burn or erase what you wrote, or save the words to review and get perspective on your life another day.
  2. Exercise. There are tons of studies showing that exercise releases natural endorphins and is good for mood regulation and circulatory health, among other things. I’ve found the key for me is being realistic about what kind and how frequent and long each session needs to be. If you have an already active life, with alot of walking and stairs in your day, that counts too. It seems to matter that at least some of your exercise is cardio- active, or getting your heart rate up to a level that is appropriate for your age and fitness level. One of my favorite ways to do cardio is to put on some of my favorite music, then sing and dance to my  heart’s content!
  3. This brings me to the next great idea- Music! Music is the great healer for people. It connects us and brings many different emotions to the surface. What emotions are strengthened is up to you. Upbeat happy music, soulful evocative music, R&B, Funk, Country, Classical, all of the above might be right on one day and not another. I have my favorites. Spotify has some great playlists that they have created. Check out some recent ones around a Giving Thanks theme
  4. Notice dietary habits that may be helping or suppressing your natural Joy and satisfaction with Life. I’ve been taking a course with Charis Lindrooth and Paul Bergner called Food for Optimal Health. It’s been really good to reconnect with what I put into my body, including the power of plants and flower essences. I highly recommend this course or something similar.
  5. If anxiety is part of the mix for you, you could try some farm grown individual whole plant high CBD plant tincture. I think anything we are going to put into our bodies needs to be researched and either made with our own hands so we know what is going into it each step of the way, or buying from someone, in this case an herbalist, whom you know and trust.
  6. Connect with old friends or make new ones. I know this can feel  hard for introverts like myself. I also realize how nourished I feel when I make connections with other people or animals. Sometimes pushing past your comfort boundaries just a little bit can be very rewarding. Take baby steps and retreat if it doesn’t feel good. You can suggest a project to help others in the community and see who signs up with you, this can be the basis for a new friendship.
  7. Do Art. I am a watercolorist – and I have a very individual style. What is your way of expressing yourself creatively? It could be sculpy animals, knitting, dancing, and so many other possibilities.
  8. I’ll be updating this post as I think of any more ideas to share. Please reach out and connect. 💓💗💕💜🌈
Photo by Karen Peters😌
Soon the endless stars will come out!

Communications with Jack the Dog

In my work, I am sometimes called on to help during a transition time for an animal.  Upcoming, we have Halloween, All Saints Day and All Souls Day, which is a time for remembering and honoring our loved ones who have crossed over. I’m going to recount one of the times I had an opportunity to help an old client with the painful grief she was feeling at having to assist her dog Jack in crossing over onto the Rainbow Bridge. I was given permission by both human and canine to write about the essence of what Jack said that day.

Jack had a difficult life. In addition to being a rescue dog who had some trouble finding one forever home (until Kathy decided she was in love and hers would be it no matter where she went) he routinely had a large range of emotions, as he called it, waves, that would wash over and often overwhelm him and everyone around him. He also had a number of physical ailments including a long battle with cancer, which complicated life.

On his last night, as his breathing slowed, and Kathy rushed him once again to the hospital. There, the vets informed her that his lungs were filling with fluid, one more phase of the sarcoma that had attacked him long ago. They made the decision to put him to sleep, unable to find a better solution, but filled with pain at having to say good bye to an old friend. Kathy called me to help her make sense of everything that had just happened.

Jack shaved in Kathys car 2009

As we asked Jack for his perspective, he described what a relief it was to be released,  not only from an old body that wasn’t working properly, but especially from the lifelong waves of emotions that he’d had to ride up, down, sideways, and often just chaotically all over, all his life. What a grand relief. Such a bright happiness and contentment permeated his every word now.

He began to describe, as Kathy and I listened in rapt attention, what the Purpose of Life really is. I’ll try to reproduce it here, and please forgive me if I don’t do complete justice to these deepest of musings.

Jack said “Life is not about getting it right or achieving this status or that job, this or that title or property, these people liking you or those not liking you.

It is about the waking up each day, going to bed each night, setting a goal and then living that journey as far as it takes you. It’s that simple. Then doing it again with another goal or focus.  That that is what is important, right there, living the journey to the goal. Not whether it was the “right” goal, not how you performed or if you thought it didn’t turn out the way you had hoped it would, or the way others had predicted or you had even  prayed it would.

That there is nothing wrong with, and everything right with, picking something, anything, to focus on and seeing what that brings. If that isn’t pleasant or desirable, then picking a new goal to journey toward and immersing yourself in all the highs and lows and in-betweens as all equally valid and good and valuable. You can decide to step back and relax about it all, no problem. There is no badge to be earned for suffering, or conversely for appearing successful to the outside world and living a life seemingly free of angst. Suffering is ok to do if that is what happens. To grieve the existence of suffering as lost opportunities or grave mistakes we think we made is to miss the point. To coin a phrase “it’s all good”.  However, Jack had more to add to that thought. He was showing that we benefit from all of it that is part of it.  Immerse yourself fully in the experience, as so many dogs (and cats!) are so good at doing. Fully experiencing exactly what they are feeling at the moment. Barking lustily, staring intently at what they don’t know(or what they do know), diving into the same food they’ve eaten every day for years with gusto and enthusiasm, well you know the list is just endless. Just pick something and lean into the experience. Leaning forward into the ride toward the (whatever) goals you set. These “goals” are anything that you pick to move toward – there is no right and wrong. And even if you are thinking while you are living it ‘this is so wrong’ or ‘this is so right’,  that doesn’t really mean anything. That the greatest fun comes after all the rights and wrongs are over and you are just floating on the biggest wave of all – heaven from a dog’s eyes. The failed attempts and faux pas’ are all equally valid with the victories and accolades, neither better or worse, all good to experience and live. Jack on front sidewalk Oct 2012

We may never really know all Jack is saying here, but just to get a taste of it, coming from one who’s life was rarely if ever easy because even when there weren’t outside pressures, he had his inside pressure cooker bubbling, well it makes it that much easier to accept. You don’t have to live a perfect life to live life perfectly. In fact its better if you don’t. 🙂

Autumn paths of healing

THIS being pretty much my absolute favorite time of year in NJ for getting outside, I”m including a few photos from my walks in this newsletter.
Autumn is a great time to reflect and reevaluate what you are doing and where you are going in life. 
I find over and over again that our animals, whether cat, dog, horse or one of the more unusual ones, often can hold a part of the key to what the next most important thing to learn is. Being that our animals are sometimes closer than any of the human beings in our lives, they can sometimes reflect our deepest issues, needs and desires. If there is an issue that comes up in your life with your animal friend, have you tried asking yourself what gift this problem has in it’s hand for you? It’s a valuable tool to use.

MANY times when a client calls, distraught over an ongoing issue, and we have a consultation about it, an “aha” moment ensues. All of the sudden it all makes sense. Why there is an issue with this particular thing and how the solution is often part of their own healing journey. What a relief!

WE all have things we have been hurt by, and hopefully are healing from, each day. Life has a way of bringing up our pain so that we can clear it out and live a more vibrant life. If you realized that you have a code breaker living with you in your life, showing you how to heal some of your deepest issues, wouldn’t you take the time to listen and heed the call? Yes!

PLEASE take time today to look, listen and learn from what your animal friends are showing you. Just stop talking and listen, relaxing your body, and opening your mind. It could make all the difference to enjoying the rest of your life, instead of just living day in and out. Tap into the code of your best friend’s love and concern to see how you can improve both your lives.

SEE if you can find the young deer in the photo below. I was so proud of my doggo that he simply gave this little one a passing glance, then kept going at my side! This is a huge step forward for us from the day when he first came from the shelter to live with us, and I can’t express how grateful and thrilled I am with his progress. Training with empathy and kindness is a gift for both the animals and the people in their lives, never underestimate clear two way communication between people and their animals. 🙂

The Importance of Stretching

I’m writing that title knowing that it has (at least) a double meaning. The importance of stretching in life is also related to the importance of stretching out our bodies every day, and to remembering to take breaks to stretch our minds when doing desk work (like I am now).

I am a Certified Yoga Instructor but these days I am enjoying just keeping it simple. The important thing is to be regular and consistent in your stretches. Simple neck stretches, chin tucked, back of the neck lengthened, and feeling my spine stretch up from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet is a good basis to start from. Paying attention to what feels out of whack and listening for what will help. Following your body’s cues for what feels better when you do it. The simple remembering to tune into your body’s wisdom and act on it can make a huge difference. A recent client was so stressed out that it was greatly affecting her relationship with her horse and their ability to compete well together. One aspect we often neglect in looking at why our animal friends are not going well, is our ability and willingness to care for ourselves. This will then affect our ability to relate to our animal partners and color the world in a corresponding way. Our animals are extremely empathetic to our feelings and our physical state, and this affects everyday interactions. If you want the best from your animal friends, start by taking good care of all aspects of your health. Being present is the first step in Animal Communication.

For a start, while your reading this right now, stop and take a moment. Tune into your physical body. Ask, “what do I need, right now”? Wait for the answer, and don’t rush or predict what it will be. It may very well be something as simple as “take a breath” “slow down, sit down and look around to enjoy this place” or “I need a drink of water, I”m really feeling thirsty and didn’t even notice”, or something simple like that. Do it! Don’t wait for your body to have to scream at you. (It might also be something for your emotional body.) More examples are “I need to write in my journal to get these stuck feelings out” “I need to have a good cry so I can move on” I need to be silly and express how happy I’m feeling inside” or ” I need to mark this good feeling so I will remember it tomorrow” or so many more.

The point is, to listen to the still, small voice. It is a peaceful powerful voice that always points you to greater health and contentment. Whatever you do, feel better in the doing of it. And in feeling better yourself, you inadvertently, or directly, help your animal friends feel better and be better able to do their jobs. Whether that’s sitting purring on your lap, walking through the park helping you to get some exercise, or carrying you around a Grand Prix course with finesse and style.

Good luck! And have fun!

Photo by Laila Klinsmann on Pexels.com

May All Beings Have Happiness and the Causes of Happiness

MAY ALL BEINGS HAVE HAPPINESS AND THE CAUSES OF HAPPINESS.

MAY ALL BEINGS BE FREE FROM SUFFERING AND THE CAUSES OF SUFFERING.

MAY ALL BEINGS DWELL IN EQUANIMITY, FREE FROM ATTACHMENT AND AVERSION.

MAY ALL BEINGS NEVER BE PARTED FROM FREEDOM’S TRUE JOY.”

~from David Nichtern’s “In Praise of…”  lyrics based on Metta practice in the Buddhist tradition

These words that form the practice of Metta also known as Lovingkindness practice in the Buddhist tradition are a great comfort to many when focused on as part of a daily practice of training the mind.

I was thinking of how much suffering I put myself through by worrying and stressing about all the ills of my life and in the lives of animals and the environment. While meditation on Metta is a great way to release some of that worry, I think another great thing is when we can turn worrying into action, and then let go of the results.

I recently heard a conversation about one of the more sensational and horrifying news stories here in the US, and the people I was with assuring each other that it was the karma of the people involved to be part of this horrific act of torture and violence. While I trust that the people speaking were well-meaning and kind people, I have to disagree with this outlook, or at least the result it seems to have, which is to then dismiss the entire situation as out of our hands and not our responsibility.  Instead of the tendency to generalize pain out of our awareness, because it hurts too much to think about, we do have a responsibility to look at suffering and see what we each can change in our lives or ways we can help in individual ways to relieve this suffering. This is one reason I went to Thailand and volunteered with the Elephants, why I contribute to environmental and animal rescue groups, why I admire people who walk their talk every day in their work and personal life. I wondered if the only way that people who abuse animals for instance can do so, is to see them not as individuals, but as objects or groups over which people  have control. So would it help to see some individuals in the animal world? I’m going to include a few pictures of individuals at Elephant Nature Park, which I find very beautiful, and I hope you do too. These have been saved from a life of suffering and are some of the lucky ones. Each of us can take small and big actions to help more individuals become free of suffering, especially ourselves. Because would you ever hurt another unless you were suffering yourself? Each time we help heal another, we help heal ourselves. And if you are now in too much pain to help another, hopefully someone will reach out to help you out of your darkness.  This is what we can do to make the world a better place, one step at a time. We help each other, even when we don’t understand why the world is the way it is. In this way we help ourselves out of our own pain and misery.

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babyeleNew life, new hopes, new dreams in this little one, baby Dok Mai was born a week before I arrived at Elephant Nature Park, born into a free life.

May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.

May all beings be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.

May all beings dwell in equanimity, free of attachment and aversion.

May all beings never be parted from freedoms true joy.

Green Goodness in our own backyards

The plants in my life have always had a strong and clear voice, especially when I put my focus on listening.

I was beginning to prepare my modest raised bed garden this week for the growing season. Which is always a tricky proposal for me, because there are so many nourishing and delicious plants already growing there.

Any gardener has to decide, do I let this one keep growing and harvest it responsibly over the season, or do I pull it out by its delicate little roots? Often it becomes a dance of blending everyone’s gifts and needs. For instance, this year so far I “weeded” the first raised bed by pulling up all the volunteer grass and feeding the greens to my happy hens, who were quite pleased with that development. But when I got to the 2nd bed, there was this gorgeous patch of grass and chickweed (Latin =Stellaria media) which clearly was having a great time growing here.

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So, I trimmed the tops of the grass for my cat and dog to munch on and cut a big bunch of cooling tasty chickweed to have for my fresh salad tonight. You could not get a fresher, more nutritious, more packed full of minerals and vitamins plant then this one… unless you turned around and looked at my friends the Stinging Nettles, which I brought to plant here when we moved here, and who was kind enough to come in for dinner tonight. Yum yum yum. I haven’t felt this totally nourished after any store bought or restaurant meal I can remember. There is so much goodness free right outside our back door, especially if we commit to never poisoning the plants (and ourselves) with herbicides and pesticides, which are also often hidden in lawn care products – another reason to grow food not lawns on your quarter acre.

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This above is Mugwort. A lovely and magical plant that volunteers many places and is one of the plants resistant to Roundup- ugh- so you will see it many places where people have been foolish enough to spray.  Mugwort, called Cronewort by herbalist Susun Weed, is a main ingredient in moxibustion, a technique used in the ancient art of Acupuncture for deep and soulful healing-one of my favorite techniques! I also have been really loving making Smudge bundles to burn and use for purification of one’s energy and living spaces. This is a wonderful deep plant to spend time with and learn from – she is called Cronewort for a reason!

Well, that’s enough plant lore for one post – go out and love a wild plant today!

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The Joy of Dandelions

I have to send out this quick instructional blog post because it is that time of year again, Spring! And the Dandelions are in full glory.

This is my neighbor’s lawn, and I love seeing it because this means he is not spraying toxic poisons that will run into my backyard – Yea!

ImageDandelions are a wonderful symbol of rebirth, of making it through the winter, and of a cheery brilliance in the face of so much hate! They are a flower that evokes strong emotions in some people – in me, admiration for all their health benefits and long history of benefiting people over eons (there is lots of evidence that cave people dined often on Dandelions. All parts of her are edible or usable for medicine, and her strong tap root will simply multiply if torn out of the ground. In other people, the feeling is one of strong dislike or dare I say even hatred? Hard to believe that anyone could hate such a sunny and happy looking flower, one of the first heralds that winter is really over, but I’ve seen and heard people like this with my own eyes and ears! If they only knew what I knew – that Dandelion is chock full of benefits, a few of which I’ll list here.

The root has been dried and ground to use as a healthy alternative to coffee (along with Chicory root – but that is a gorgeous pale blue fall blooming flower and roots are best dug in the fall anyways). The leaves are a well-known delicacy to use in salads and as a bitter tonic, and also have historical uses as a diuretic and to help with circulatory issues. These are even available in the supermarket aisle, but why buy them when you can harvest them for free? If, of course, you haven’t poisoned your lawn! The flowers have a history in home wine making, but are not as well-known as being edible on a spring walk or in your salad, for making a tea to ease headaches, menses cramps, backache, stomach ache and even depression (of course-just look at those cheerful faces!) You can also make an infused oil with the flowers to help heal pain in the body, easing stiffness, arthritic joints, and sinus headaches historically.  A flower essence from Dandelion’s flower is known to promote deep relaxation and facilitate release of emotions that are held in body musculature. The sap of the stalks and leaves has been used to dissolve warts, corns, calluses, hard pimples, bee stings and blisters, as well as being known as a bacteriostatic and a fungistatic.

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The crazy thing is that when people poison their lawns with weed killers and lawn food mixed with herbicides, they are losing at least two fold. 1st, filling their immediate environment with toxic chemicals. If it kills something else, you can bet it’s not good for you, your children or your pets. 2nd, you will be missing out on the extreme health benefits of these powerhouse plants. Nutritionally speaking, when you look at many of our modern diseases, there is evidence that mineral deficiency is at the root of them, and wild greens aka “weeds” are veritable storehouses packed with minerals which are in a very available form, many of them being edible or able to be tinctured or infused to make these nutrients even more available. Why go any further than your lawn and backyard for your grocery shopping and medicinal needs?

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Our great grandparents brought many of our “garden weeds” over to the New World as medicine to be used every day, especially preventively. We would benefit by returning to some of the herbal wise ways of our ancestors.  Hens love them too!

One way to utilize the many gifts of our backyard wild plants is to make herbal vinegar. And it’s so easy! Here is a photo journal of today’s herbal vinegar making.

Start with a simple quart plastic container, like you saved from your last chinese restaurant visit because you would never throw away a good reusable container like that, right? On a dry sunny day, go out and first just revel in the sheer glory of dandelions in Spring. Flowers love to be appreciated, and don’t we all? I always take a few minutes to ooh and ah over the exquisite workmanship behind the creation of each flower – the Master Architect at work again! Once I have made quite clear that I do appreciate this gift from Nature and the sacrifice of these happy little bursts of sunshine known as Dandelion flowers, I carefully pick the flower heads, looking to make sure any ants or other insects are not coming along for the ride. That wouldn’t be beneficial for them or for you!

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Next, I will fill the entire container with my herb of choice. I often add some of the Dandelion greens, and in this case I also added some Plantain leaves and Violet leaves – both edible and fully of nutrients that will be nicely broken down and made available by the action of the vinegar.

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Once I have filled the container as full of edible greens and flowers as comfortable, I go inside where my gallon of Apple Cider Vinegar is waiting for me. ACV also has a long history in its own right for easing ailments in people, so this can only be good! I will then re-fill and completely immerse the freshly picked plants in Apple Cider Vinegar, using a chopstick to get out any air bubbles and generally move things around until everyone is comfortable. 🙂

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You can use any utensil to do this, but I generally like using wooden or bamboo utensils.

As a final step, always label the container with all pertinent information. Although it all seems obvious now, give it a week or two and you’ll most likely have no idea what this strange concoction is or when it was made (and therefore when it will be ready to use!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALastly, let the mixture infuse with all the goodness contained in these brilliant flowers for about six weeks, then strain off the plant matter, make sure to label the final container, and enjoy! You can take it every day, 1-3 tablespoonfuls in hot water as a morning beverage or with meals to aid digestion (my favorite ways) or you can use any way you would normally use vinegar – such as in salad dressings. Just be sure to use it and benefit from the nutrient and mineral rich infusion that will soon be sitting on your shelf. This is just one of many ways you can benefit by working in cooperation with the plant world around us, naturally.

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