One way to be a zero waster is to make everything yourself, and another is to forage and wildcraft. Ever since I took Amber Westfall’s Plant Walk in June, I’ve been slightly obsessed with nature. I always knew I loved nature, but now I really love her. I just want to continue to be her very dear friend and take care of her. There is a part of me that has always envisioned me somewhere off in the woods where people can visit or contact me for some sort of healing. I’ve always admired those who take care of the land and bring good from it (my Dad is a great example). I would hope that I could be someone that could do that and this is obviously just a start – I am just a student.
Amber’s course was about 2 hours. She was extremely knowledgeable in her teaching and brought a great sense of peace with her. I definitely respect her for what she does and what she teaches. If you’re ever wanting to learn, I’d recommend her and her prices are great. We learned about 7 different types of plants, both for medicinal and edible purposes.
My friend and I went together and while I took pictures, she made notes. After I put them all together like this:
Since then, I’ve been able to identify all of them both here in Ottawa and in Muskoka during my get-away. I’ve also been able to identify other plants on our cottage property that my Dad couldn’t figure out, one of which was ‘cowbane’ aka water hemlock – one of the most poisonous plants out there and Field Scabious. I’ve also harvested St. John’s Wort and Chaga Mushroom. I’ve created mostly healing salves, teas and foraged for salads. While I have been reading books and studying, I’ll probably end up taking another of Amber’s courses to learn more.
When it comes to wildcrafting, there is a certain code of ethics, some of which I’ve found here: http://www.sustaincreateandflow.com/tenets-of-wild-crafting/ and the ones that Amber gave us here:
We are extremely blessed to still have a huge green space in Ottawa and that not all of our city is concrete. However, it’s important no matter what your environment to please do your part to harvest sustainably and responsibly.