Foraged Fields

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (With The Mother) Hair Rinse Recipe

April HolmanComment

Apple Cider Vinegar.

I'm a big fan. This stuff is awesome. Yeah, I know, it doesn't smell so good, you say. I thought the same thing a few months ago. But now, I feel like my body craves it. You can Google it and read all about it's health benefits if you don't want to believe me; I like to listen to my body.

I use apple cider vinegar on my hair, on my face, for my kidneys, and to clean. I don't mind the smell anymore and it has become rather pleasant to me. I made a hair rinse using apple cider vinegar and rosemary which has been shown to promote hair health and growth. I'm sharing this super simple recipe in the hopes that you take your life into your own hands instead of wasting money on plastic bottles and chemicals, while lining the pockets of zillionaires.

Apple cider vinegar helps to balance the pH of your skin and hair. It has been shown to flatten the hair follicle, making it shinier and smoother. Please keep in mind that, like anything, moderation is key. If you use this every day you will be overdoing it. Once a week is a great place to start and to see how your own body reacts to it.

It's not hard to make either; you can do it!

1 Tbsp Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (With the Mother)

1 cup spring water

Several sprigs of Rosemary or Rosemary Essential Oil

 

Mix this up and squeeze it onto your hair/before/instead of shampooing. Rinse well and don't fret; your hair will not smell like vinegar once it is dry. If it does, what did you do, use the whole bottle? A little goes a long way, man.

If these ratios in the recipe aren’t working for you play around with it. It is supposed to be a guideline so that you can feel confident in making your own products. Add more vinegar if you need to.

Let me know your thoughts! Or questions. One of the greatest aspects about trying new things is the support that the internet can provide. And switching to all natural stuff takes guts. I applaud you.

How High Does the Sycamore Grow?

April HolmanComment

I thought that the sycamore tree was something everyone knew. Like an old friend. A towering monster that took your breath away every time you happened upon one. But a friend of mine recently said she didn't know what they look like. I was shocked! I asked others if they knew what the Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) looked like. They had no idea either.

I realized just how little we all know about the world around us. Instead we are all busy burying our noses in our cell phones and televisions. This seemed to be the kindling that ignited the fire inside. I need to start spreading the word. These trees and plants that are around us are becoming unfamiliar and the knowledge of how we can use them is thrown to the side.

Sycamore Tree

This is a sycamore tree. They have yellow, brown and green mottled bark against a white background, with the white usually becoming predominant on the taller sections of the trees. The largest one in the US is 50 feet around! Needless to say they can get big. "How high does the sycamore grow? If you cut it down then you'll never know." That song will be stuck in my head the rest of the day. Maybe I feel an affinity for Pocahontas because she had long brown hair too but something about the message that that movie portrayed has always stuck with me.

Growing up I always saw this tree but never know how useful it could be. The sap can be used in place of water for cooking, drinking or making wine. It can be tapped and boiled like maple syrup but doesn't produce as much in the end. The inner bark is mildly astringent and can be used as a dressing for wounds or as a wash for skin or eye problems. The leaves can be used as a cooking wrap for foods and impart a sweet flavor. The wood can be used to make utensils, boxes for food storage or baskets. Green Deane from www.EatTheWeeds.com says, "Native Americans used Platanus occidentalis for a variety of medicinal purposes, including cold and cough remedies, as well as dietary, dermatological, gynecological, respiratory, and gastrointestinal aids." Who knew?

There are a few different kinds of sycamore and look alikes as well. Make sure you have the right tree. It will have maple like leaves with 3 to 5 lobes, and one single inedible seed pod. Getting to know this tree can help you if you are ever stranded anywhere without water. They also get big enough where they split and people have been known to reside inside them. Pre-made shelter, anyone?

Trees are so often overlooked for their edibility and uses these days. Share with me your stories of Old Sycamore!

sycamore-tree.jpg

The Start to My Foraging Journey...

April HolmanComment

Learning about something new, and bettering yourself, is always so exciting. I feel like when I actually try, and care about something, my happiness level increases. I have been feeling down lately, mostly because of the cold, but I can combat that by learning more about foraging.

In the summer of 2012 I foraged for the first time. I hadn't really known enough before that and it was slowly introduced to me more and more. I went outside. I sat in a sunny field and looked at the world around me. I enjoyed the sun on my back and bugs near my face. I threw away all my taught preconceptions about life and the way that we should live it. It became harder and harder for me to go into a grocery store and purchase food. Everything lacked luster and something about it felt dirty. The more food I ate from the ground, the better my body felt. I craved those things. It made me feel alive and truly happy, deep down inside.

I attended a foraging walk, purchased for me by a friend. I won't name names, but the person who held the walk seemed to have sold out. They talked about their "app" every 7 minutes and made sure to scold someone else for bringing a book written by another author. They failed to let people know when something was poisonous, simply mentioning it in passing. But what really got to me was the size of the group. There were at least 50 people there. How on earth can anyone take home information, actually retaining it and applying it to their daily lives, when they didn't hear what that plant was that was held up from 20 feet away?

It frustrated me and infuriated me. I know at some point in their lives, the guide had passion for this. Perhaps living in a major city and holding thousands of these walks wore away the passion and sparkle of it all. It truly made me want to have my own small walks and make sure that everyone got attention and learned to love each plant. It's not so much about getting to know a plant but also coming together as humans. The social aspect of walking through the woods has eluded many of us, as we shelter ourselves in our homes with the light of our televisions.

I have been studying and learning since then, excited for my chance this spring to take my friends and their friends, and their friends friends on walks. Come with me into the woods. Follow me in the fields. I promise that you will feel, deep inside, what your modern life has been missing.