Haines Arthur - Ancestral plants Volume 1

Author : Haines Arthur
Title : Ancestral plants A primitive skills guide to important edible, medicinal, and useful plants Volume 1
Year : 2010

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Foreword. Plants, those innocuous life forms that share our breath, hold down the soil, and provide us with clothing, medicine, and food, are all around us. Constantly under foot, their tenacity is inspiring. When we cut them in our lawns, they modify their growth and evade the blades of our mowers. They break through the cracks in concrete sidewalks, recover compacted and nutrient-poor soils, and create the foundation for the rest of life, ourselves included, to gain a foothold on once barren landscapes. Plants are the original solar panels. Turning sunlight into fuel with efficiency we have strived for, for decades. All that we eat, burn, and generate is due to these diverse, and subtly powerful, beings. Plants are the foot soldiers in the spread of the fragile carpet of life that blankets our planet. Their green hue helps to regulate the temperature of this unique life-supporting world. In fact, against the cold of the universe, it is the plants, or their absence, that dictate the climate of every bioregion. On a deeper level, plants change our mood with their colors, they inspire us toward beauty with their fragrance and inflorescences, they teach us through prickers and oils that cause our skin to blister to be aware of their presence. They mark time with their gifts. Early spring is a celebration of trout lilies, fiddleheads, and coltsfoot flowers, while summer is an explosion of overlapping plant celebrations as they gift us with their fruits in fleeting succession. Autumn is marked by the apples, mast crops of acorn, autumn-olive, and the countless roots and tubers. In short, knowledge of the plants, their gifts, their rhythms, and how they create an orchestrated banquet set in time to the seasons will empower you to live beyond the confines of the kitchen cupboard, grocery store, the medical establishment, and the pharmacy. You will be called by their beauty, their taste, their usefulness, and their ability to heal. They will compel you to move off the pavement and into natural places. The plants will entice you to explore fields, the edges of waterways, and wooded areas. As you open your door, every day will bring you new surprises. Tasty buds will give way to fragrant and edible blossoms. Delicious fruits will yield to valuable sources of fiber for making cordage - strings powerful enough to cast the shoots you formed into arrows the season before. As your plant repertoire grows within you, the plants will begin to change your awareness. Bird song will become more vibrant and informative. You will know the availability of broad-leaved cattail shoots by the song of the red-winged blackbird, the peak of the autumn-olive by the trill of the cedar waxwing, and the availability of northern red oak acorns by the scolding of crows and jays. It is the landscape of plants that will begin to direct your thoughts and movements. Your pace will match that of the rest of the wildlife that forages and utilizes the countless gifts of this diverse kingdom. ...

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