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Anna Merkwelt

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since Jan 24, 2019
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foraging medical herbs homestead
east Kentucky; foothills, bottomland; zone 6b
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Recent posts by Anna Merkwelt

I'll second the benefit of having a sturdy wall!!
My husband built the beds I use.  He had planned on adding stump chair/benches here and there... but he made the walls so wide that I started sitting on them before he finished.  The width of the sides probably also insulates the soil from drying.

True the space is much smaller than I had before, and it may not ever feed us the way my old gardens did; but it's worth it to me for the therapy aspect.
10 months ago
I would love some advice like this as well!  My body can almost kinda sorta do everything it used to, but slower and with much less strength.  Any good tools or even better/easier ways to use regular tools.
Are you using the trough for planting into?  I don't have specific advice there, but from using wooden raised beds- I personally like having the soil a bit lower than the edge of the bed.  Seems to dry out slower with that tiny bit of extra shade.
10 months ago
I've heard the same.  Also to add oil to the sand to avoid rust.
I keep sewing needles/pins this way, seems to work well.  Laziness is the only excuse I have for not trying it on my outdoor tools.
10 months ago
Thank you for those lists!
I was going to ask if anyone had suggestions for under the trees; *deep* shade. I'm trying to expand my grown herbals. I love foraging but I've recently been dealing with leg issues from lyme and it's just too difficult anymore.
I should poke around and see if there are already threads about this.
1 year ago
Love Anne's suggestion for living well!  I'm a fan of food as medicine.  One has to eat anyway...  and a healthy creature would need less *medicine* medicine.  
Though I did think of more during a nap (and I even remembered a few of those):  staghorn sumac, bayberry, barberry, walnut.

More on the forsythia... and why I should get better at using latin.
Forsythia suspensa is the Chinese medicinal shrub. It's a really close relative of the common one (f. x intermedia - which is a cross between f. suspensa and f. viridissima)  I'd think there would be medicinal properties that cross over, but I have zero personal or book knowledge on that.
The fruits are bitter and cooling. Helpful for clearing heat and toxins.  Notably upper respiratory infections, but many others; also used externally for sores and such.
With a lot of plants the parts that aren't *normally* used are often still medicinal.  Sometimes more/less so, sometimes in wildly different ways.  Tradition plays a part as well as modern studies.  I'm not saying forsythia leaf tincture would work the same as the fruits, or at all; but if your season is too short for fruiting it's worth looking into.
1 year ago
First time posting- hi!
My favorite medicinal tree/shrub has already been mentioned (wild allspice,) it's also just a lovely one to have around.
I don't think these have been said yet, (sorry if I'm mistaken) but they should all be able to be grown in your area; chasteberry, forsythia, blueberry, jujube.  On the bigger side but maybe if you're willing to coppice; sassafrass, linden, birch, prickly ash.
1 year ago