It’s the start of foraging season here on the mountain! Horsetail and Arnica are cropping in nicely, with many others not far away from prime picking time. We’ve harvested and dried one large batch of horsetail already. It’s important to harvest horsetail early in the season when it’s most medicinally active! Not to mention tender and fragrant! We had so many folks asking for horsetail by the pound last year that we hope to put up enough to offer it in that kind of quantity this year. Time will tell whether or not we can manage such a feat.
Arnica is next on the list to forage. If we get a wet start to summer there will be succession crops of Arnica flowers to be had. If not, it might be a lean year for Arnica herb.
On the sunny slopes, wild geranium, larkspur, Indian paintbrush, and arrowleaf balsamroot are in bloom. Lupin is not far behind. Along the moist creeks, avens is just beginning to think about flowering and alumroot is in full bloom. Once avens has spent its blooms, self heal will crop in- fashionably late as usual. The Oregon grapes are flowering fitfully, as are the elders. Meanwhile, the sleepier herbs like yarrow and ox-eye daisy are still working on their green growth.
It also looks like it’s going to be a great year for bear grass seed! They only flower every-other-year, and we missed year-before-last’s harvest, sadly. So we’re excited for a shot at beargrass seed this year! Speaking of seeds, I scattered some of my 2020 fireweed seed stock (the very same seed I have for sale) along the roads when the snow was melting this year, and I have fireweed cropping in fabulously. I can’t wait until the roads are boxed-in with a stunning wall of tall, luscious fireweed this summer! Yes, photos will abound when they are in bloom!
On our recent outing we even found an old elk skeleton! Yes, that’s being cleaned as well!