Growing and wildcrafting the Essiac herbs, Part 2
Part one of this series was posted in April 2013, and the very next day we got ten inches of snow. Fast forward to Feb. 2014. This keeps happening. I have been remiss on updating! Now that spring 2014's official start is just weeks away, Montana is again playing catch-up on snow. When other parts of the US were getting blanketed from the Polar Vortex, we had blue skies and no snow…now we are getting 'Vortexed' too.
Last April ended up with a total of three of the year's largest snowfalls but the Sheep sorrel didn't mind one bit. The Slippery elm went on to grow a LOT inside my greenhouse, which will be getting moved this spring so the two trees I planted in the ground inside can keep growing! Growing and wildcrafting blog #1 featured the first bud on a sapling the deer had nibbled down on my porch the previous fall. Below is a time lapse:
In photo #2 you will note the very friendly Burdock 'companion' plant. It wanted to take over and had to be 'un-friended'. Other Slippery elm youngsters were 'farmed' out to spend the winter in a nursery bed outside. Once it stops snowing, I will be out to check on them and I hope they fared ok this winter. They were mulched with straw.
The Sheep sorrel took very nicely to growing in a Hugelkultur bed, a six foot tall raised bed full of rotting wood that supplies nutrients and moisture for a long time, and which plants love! This idea was the brainchild of Sepp Holzer. Go to holzeragroecology.com for more info, and check out the arial view of the farm just below Sepp's picture on the Home page - it is one of two permaculture farms that we will be growing the Essiac herbs at - called The Place of Gathering. Good folks! Montana's Flathead Valley is full of innovative ideas like this. It is a wonderful place to be.
2014 marks planting Sheep sorrel and the other herbs on a bigger scale than before. We have sold a lot of Essiac Seed Kits. I am not too active on Facebook but I see how it can work to put people and ideas together, and would be a good way for us to all share our growing experiences. So, welcome to the Essiac Growers Guild, or EGG, which has just been 'hatched', haha. It's an open group, all welcome!
Before we know it it's going to be greening up again - I for one am looking forward to that!
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