I have a story for you….
Four months ago when we were all settling in to our new reality, it occurred to me, that now would be a good time to flex my gardening muscles…I had no experience, but I do have some outdoor space. Everything that I had been able to grow up until that point had either been a volunteer, (a wild plant that just showed up), or something I bought from a herb supplier). None of “my gardening” was well thought out or planned…
In any event I decided now was the time, so I placed an order for seeds with Strictly Medicinals. Unsurprisingly, they were overwhelmed with orders in early Spring, and it was many weeks before my seeds arrived.
While waiting for my viable seeds, I decided to experiment…Nothing to lose! I looked through my herbs and stared at my jar of oat seed, which is generally used for a simmered tea to calm the nervous system and nourish that inner need for a baby blanket. I wondered, “will any of you grow?” I had once asked this question to one of my teachers, and had not been encouraged by the response, but I decided to give it a try.
My best successes with getting seeds to germinate seemed to be with the damp paper towel method, so, I took 10 seeds and placed them on a moistened paper towel in a semi closed ziplock. (Plenty of videos on how to do this on Utube!) And then I waited…
Holding the ziplock bag up to the light after 7 days revealed one seed that had broken free from its dried out state, and against the odds, this one seed had sprouted!! I stared at it in disbelief and photographed it from every angle, to document the delight…
I found a paper cup, pierced some holes in the bottom and in case you can’t read what’s written on the inside of the cup, I wrote “Grow”….And as you can see it did….This oat seed had a strong will to live, which I found even more inspiring after I left the little pot outside and it got drowned in a torrential downpour. (Felt very guilty over that!)
After a couple of days recovering, it revived and kept on pushing towards the sky. It doubled in size, got repotted twice more and then, it surprised me beyond, because it went to seed and produced its coveted fresh medicine, milky oats!
The fresh oat seed will produce a white milky substance for a few days and this is the optimal time for tincturing its deliciousness. I did miss this phase because I wasn’t expecting this obvious next step, so instead of picking the seeds, I decided to watch them in awe…Almost as good.
The majesty and determination of the little oat seed, the one in the many, pushing through against the odds, feels like a metaphor for so many of the experiences that we are all having in this shape shifting year. We are being stretched in ways that we couldn’t possibly have imagined just a few months ago.
My wish for us all, is to be like the oat seed, strong and vital and continuing to rise up against the physical and emotional odds. I am pretty sure we can all align with this wish.
For The Tea:
Grab a handful of fresh herbs, (any culinary herbs will work), and put them in a clean mason jar with filtered water. Cover, and leave in the sunshine for 4 hours. Refrigerate, strain, and you’ve just made your first sun infusion!
Soak up the flavors of whatever you made and find a moment of peace in these crazy times.
Be well, and check out the upcoming classes:
Classes at NYBG
Herbal Popsicles, Panna Cottas & Jellos: 7/11
Sign up Closes this weekend. Please email me if you miss the deadline!
Summer Wellness With Plant Medicine: 8/22
Classes at NY Open Center
Herbal Remedies To Rebuild The Nervous System: 8/10-8/24
Additional class listed here