...sometimes even a single feather is enough to fly. (Robert Maclean)


goldenrod tonic


There are almost 100 different types of goldenrod
and it tends to get a bad rap
because people think it's ragweed,
that very polleny plant
that sends allergy-sufferers into a tailspin.

In folk wisdom stories and herbal circles,
goldenrod, besides being a beautiful wildflower,
 has some positive and healing properties.

Thanks to Susun Weed for this recipe
which she says will help keep the immune system strong in winter.

We're all about that.

So I harvested a bunch of goldenrod flower tops,
chopped them up, leaves and stems and all.

Then I stuffed them into a clean glass jar
and filled it with some of our homemade
apple cider vinegar.

Stuff the jar well,
so that it's spongy when you press down with your fingers... 
like a cushiony mattress.
Susun likes to call it the "fairy mattress."
(i.e. if a fairy were trying to sleep
on your flowers, would she fall through, or would she rest comfortably?)

I learned this after the fact, and did not make a very cushy mattress
for my little fairy.
She definitely would have fallen through.

Hopefully I'll still have a good tonic, though.

definitely a little bit of sunshine
saved for the winter days
helping us get through
those long months 
tilted away
from our favorite star.

Cover it with a plastic lid.
(metal will rust, and sometimes stick shut)

Let it do it's magic for 6 weeks.

Then strain and use it as you would any vinegar
in a salad dressings, on some vegetables,
or even make a spritzer with
some fizzy water and
your favorite sweetener.


Some other bits of information about goldenrod:

- In the Appalachian Mountain region, goldenrod "Blue Mountain Tea" was used to battle fatique.
- Native Americans drank goldenrod for sore throats. 
- Chippewa Indians called it gizisomukiki, meaning sun medicine.
- the flowers of the goldenrod can be made into a wonderful dye for cloth and watercolor paint.   Each species produces a different color. 

Not sure if you have goldenrod or ragweed?
- look to see if insects are buzzing about it.  Insects are needed to pollinate goldenrod.
- it often grows next to blue asters in the fall.
- if you shake it and there's a ton of pollen wafting off, it's not goldenrod!
- consult a wildflower identification book.  Look carefully at the leaves. 
- in general, ragweed is far bushier.  Goldenrod is, well, more rod-like...

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