We hope that you have been able to find some time and space to connect with the new season of Lammas – also thought of as high Summer or the birth of Autumn.
One of the ways I like to connect to a new season is by creating a tea blend that seems to hold the energy of the season in the plants that I blend.
In celebration of Lammas and the abundance of edible & medicinal plants available at this time of year, we created this vibrant and flower filled mix that we enjoyed drinking in our garden around a fire last night. It was not only visually pleasing but delicious too!
We were gifted some lovely Nasturtium plants early in the season which we planted up in our herb garden. We are now greeted each morning with a wealth of the most vibrant orange flowers. Nasturtiums have been so easy to grow, requiring very little care. They are an excellent companion plant drawing aphids away from other more delicate plants.
The whole of the Nasturtium plant is edible adding a watercress-like pepperiness to dishes. We have particularly enjoyed topping soups and salads with flowers and leaves.
Nasturtiums have strong antibiotic properties helping to increase resistance to bacterial infections. They are extremely rich in Vitamin C and Iron, Manganese, Flavonoids and Beta Carotene all of which help support a healthy immune system.
Aswell as enjoying them fresh, we have started to gather some leaves and flowers to dry out to use in supportive tea blends throughout the Winter.
As a forager and lover of wild food, I think Nettles are up there as one of the most nutritious and versatile additions to any diet. They are perhaps one of the easiest plants to identify and their abundance and long season means that they are often visible everywhere from gardens to woodlands.
Nettles are especially rich in Iron and vitamins A & C and offer cleansing and detoxing properties. Not only do they benefit our diets, they also provide nourishment to our hair and skin when added to natural products.
We tend to use Nettles in much the same ways as we would use Spinach – in curries, soups, smoothies and juices. As soon as Nettles are heated, dried or blended they lose their sting but they do require a fair bit of caution when handling before hand! They make a wonderful tea using either fresh or dried leaves and can also be steeped overnight for a wonderful cleansing and iron rich morning tonic.
It is always a good idea to do some of your own research before foraging and make sure you are prepared. A good introduction to Nettles can be found here, and you can read more information about the foraging code of conduct here.
There are so many reasons we love to forage for wild plants. Firstly any excuse to be out in nature, is always inspiring and restorative for us. The discovery of a plant that is growing wild, without pesticides and can be bursting with nutrients and healing properties all for free always feels like such a gift. But another reason I love it, are for the lessons I learn along the way.
A few days ago, I set out with an intention to gather some freshly bloomed wild Rose. I had been seeing it in abundance along roadsides for a couple of days and hoped to collect some from a pollution free spot for the first time this year. However upon arriving at our destination, the Rose buds were tightly coiled and far from blooming. The place was so beautiful though; bird song vibrant, wildflower rich and I felt so at peace as my senses absorbed my surroundings with glee.