Backyard Medicinals Workshop, April 26th

Join me from 10 am to 4 pm at Fire Om Earth, 872 Mill Hollow Rd., Eureka Springs, Arkansas, for a one-day work: Backyard Medicinals: Into the Wild with Steven Foster. This is the only Arkansas event I have scheduled for 2014!

For details go to Fire Om Earth’s workshop page.

Early bird registration deadline extended until April 15th. $75.00. After April 15th, $95.00.

Also checkout Melissa Clare’s Plant Spirit Communications event, and Lorna Trigg’s Creating a Medicine Wheel Garden at Fire Om Earth, April 27th. Make a weekend of it.

What to look for and where to find it

The Ozarks have nearly 3,000 species of plants, which includes about 25% that are edible and medicinal, perhaps 500 species. It is helpful to understand that different plants occur in different habitats. We will look at which plants you might find in a specific habitat. Spring is our best season for wild edibles and medicinal plants, the time when we get dandelion greens, wild onions, pepper grass, plantain, pokeweed, and purslane, among others and a good time of year to enjoy edible flowers such as violets and elderflowers. Come prepared to learn, enjoy, and ask questions.

Weed or Herb?

Japanese honeysuckle, to some a weed, to me a medicinal plant.
Japanese honeysuckle, to some a weed, to me a medicinal plant.

In segments of the conservation community the question has arisen as to whether the possibility exists that some plants considered weeds in the United States may have some kind of economic value in terms of medicinal or food use that could translate into a commercial harvest, and hence an opportunity to control the weeds.
Japanese honeysuckle produces two major ingredients in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The flowers are known as jin yin hua which consists of the dried, unopened buds of Japanese honeysuckle. Another product is the dried stems with leaves attached known as ren dong teng. The Chinese name jin yin hua means gold and silver flower. This refers to the fact that the white flowers turn golden yellow one or two days after blooming. The Chinese name, referring to the stems with the leaves attached, ren dong, means “stand in winter” in reference to the fact that the leaves are evergreen.
more info…….well come to the workshop!!!!

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Steven Foster

Describing her first visit with Steven Foster in 1977, Harvard University botanist, Dr. Shiu Ying Hu (1908-2012), wrote, “Our conversation reminded me of something that Confucius said two thousand years ago. ‘In any company of three persons, there must be one who can be my teacher’. . . I found in Steven Foster a teacher who could share a profound knowledge of economic botany, particularly in the cultivation and uses of herbs.” In 1974, at age 17, Steven Foster, began his career at the Sabbathday Lake, Maine, Shaker Community Herb Department —America's oldest herb business, dating to 1799. There he established three acres of production gardens and managed 1700 acres for the commercial harvest of botanicals. For forty-three years, Steven has photographed and researched herbs from the Amazon rainforest to the highlands of Vietnam. Foster has over 900 photo-illustrated articles published in a wide range of media. Steven also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American Botanical Council, and a Contributing Editor to the organization's journal, HerbalGram. Steven is the author, co-author and photographer of eighteen books, including the NEW 2014 Third Edition of A Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants: Eastern and Central North America (with James A. Duke), along with National Geographic’s Complete Guide to Medicinal Herbs (2010), and A Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine (2006, with Rebecca Johnson), awarded a 2007 New York Public Library “Best of Reference.” He is senior author of three other Peterson Field Guides, including A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs (with Dr. James A. Duke), 1st & 2nd editions, 1990, 2000; A Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs with Dr. Christopher Hobbs, (2002); and A Field Guide to Venomous Animals and Poisonous Plants of North America (with Roger Caras, 1995). Other titles include Herbal Emissaries: Bringing Chinese Herbs to the West (with Prof. Yue Chongxi, 1992); Herbal Renaissance (1994); among others. Foster makes his home in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

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