I have been doing this for years and have recently had a student who I mentor privately start on her calendar. Here what it looks like. Every year I keep a calendar on the following things: -Bud Break -Emerging plants -Blooming Reproductive Structures -Harvest time, parts, for what use -other notes include elevation, location, weather, etc
This is an amazing tool and if you have never done because you think all of the plants are completely in your memory-just try it! Its not that you don't have your favorite plants memorized-its that the relationship of what growth stages other plants are at, work to remind you when to harvest things. It also helps you become more a part of the ecosystem much in the way that native people looked at the forest.
My friend Heidi Bohan (if you haven't see her awesome book, People of Cascadia, you should) does an amazing explanation on how Coastal Salish people would look at certain plants blooming and they knew it was time to get blueberries in the high country or even herring spawn! I realize I have been doing this as well over the years, but my calendars have reinforced it to a whole other degree.
My next idea is to see if I can coordinate the stages of plants on the West side of the Cascades with the East side so I know when to go harvest my favorite plants over there! I know its not an exact science, but it sure does work!
Tell me about your internal or external calendars! Any other ideas out there??
Joined: Oct 12, 2013
Location: Portland, Oregon
I am a transplant from Michigan and am realizing just how much more there is to harvest here and how very different, of course the plant varieties and harvest times are as well. This is very fascinating to me and time well spent! I love learning the cycles of the plants and learning just how much they offer to our health.
I have been considering getting a very large map of Oregon and somehow marking it with the plants that I have seen growing in areas that I explore -
having a plant categorized list on the side that would be used to look up when and what to harvest of the plants.
I would enjoy sharing more information with you as we both discover more wildcrafting opportunities.
Happy Harvesting to you!
Have you been taking in any winter selections? Cedar tips, hawthorn, rose hips...?
Remember how wise, capable and beautiful you are...even when the world may not see it.