Backyard Wildcrafting- Introduction
Updated: May 4, 2019
Let's go play out in the back yard. Together, we will learn to recognize, identify, gather and process nature’s abundance and coax the uncommon healing powers within into soothing tinctures, oils, balms and sprays to use as remedies for everyday discomforts, from headaches, to cracked heals. (so, literally, from head to toe.) A little prep, and you can stock your medicine cabinet with these all-natural, low-cost herbal preparations.
There are a couple of movies - movies based on books - that fascinated me when I viewed them, then stayed with me all these years: "My Side of the Mountain", the story of a 12 year old boy who ran away from his parents and made his home inside a tree; and "Into The Wild", about an older teen who left civilization to live in the wild. Into the Wild might scare you off from ever wanting to use wild plants for medicine or food! In this movie, Christopher McCandless lived years by foraging, until one day he ate the wrong plant... and died. Sheesh!
Growing up, there were three things that helped develop a strong interest in making great things from simple plants found right around me.
1) my parents. Dad who wanted to tell me all he knew about every living thing, and mom who wasn’t afraid to let me roam in the woods and fields around our rural community. My grandmother was the original hippie! She was wild crafting, and eating healthfood and supplements long before it was cool.
2) my brothers. One brother who read the encyclopedia for fun, and another brother who was absolutely fearless, both of whom accompanied me in the summer time. <
3) Natural curiosity and entrepreneurial spirit. I would occasionally pick up one of my brother’s encyclopedias and read just enough info to make me think I knew it all. But reading about it wasn’t enough for me, I had to do it and experience it.
There is something extremely satisfying as well as confidence building in knowing which plants are useful for first aid, or survival food. At the same time, a cautious nature is highly important! As Christopher McCandless found out, it is vitally essential to have absolute confidence in your identification before consuming, ingesting, or using, any plant material medicinally. Even if you are 99.9% sure of the plant, but don’t have complete assurance, continue to key it out! 99.9% sure isn't sure enough. You must be able to stake your life on the safety of the plant.
So let's explore our Missouri Backyard! Let's discover the bounty the Good Lord has provided, and reap benefits from simple, common everyday plants.
Come on, let's go!