Morgan Botanicals

  (Loveland, Colorado)
Herbal Information and Recipes
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Street Foraged Plum Abundance!

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

I had been listening to the sound of the plums bouncing off the street for two days. Plop and roll....


They were jumping out of the tree by the pound and collecting in the gutter of the little old lady's house across the street. The side walk was squished red, well plum colored from two days of pitter pattering plum dropping madness. It was driving me wild.  Oh and the sweet and sticky hot plum juice smell had been seeping into my windows at night tormenting me. Tormenting me good. I've been dreaming of plum everything. Plums. I love plums.....



A month back I noticed that the over flowing, drooping branched juicy red cherry laden tree friend fifteen steps away from my eyeballed plum tree went utterly unnoticed, except by the birdies of course. And I just couldn't bear to watch one more plum get squished. So I asked.

 

I just simply wondered right on over there and asked her if I could collect any usable fruit ....which of course was rolling on over to me anyway. (I like to think these plums were eyeballing ME just the same.) She told me to pick all I wanted and the ladder was around the back, and while I was at it.....to go right on ahead and glean her apricot tree!

 

Holy yummness huh!

I already had my bag in hand too. One must listen to the plum tree when the plum tree is throwing it's plums at you. They were dropping on my head and I barely had to but shake them into my bag.


Plums1


 

 So here you have it, my street/tree foraged plum motherload! Now dreaming of cardamom plum jam, plum and rosewater fool, plum chutney, plum sauce, plums in honey syrup, plum leather, plum upside-down cake, roasted plum and pistachio frozen yogurt! Plums. I love plums......

 
Plums2

 


So I fondle them. I pick through them. I wash them. I dry them. I polish my little fruit jewels right up! Everyone does this right?

Plums are perfect. They're complicated and juicy and tart and firm and yummy. And I just adore them.


Plums3


 

Over the last week I've been experimenting with several batches of plum preserves - some with more success than others. But my favorite so far is the deep ruby red cardamom plum jam....and so I must share it with all of you. It's quite simple really.

 

Deep Ruby Red Easy Cardamom Plum Jam

I made about 6 half-pint jars

You need:

  • 4 pound juicy ripe plums, pitted and chopped
  • 2 cups of delicious honey
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 cup approx water


Over low heat warm the honey. Then add the chopped plums, and let them cook for about 8-10 minutes, tossing them over to evenly coat them with the delicious honey.

Bring the mixture up to a boil over low heat, stirring frequently. Add the lime juice, water and the cardamom powder and mix well and continue to let it boil for a few minutes longer. Simply remove any foam that forms at the top of the jam while cooking. When the mixture appears soupy and slightly thick, your jam is ready. As it cools down, it will get a little more sticky and thick, but not solid since this recipes doesn't use gelatin. I like it chunky, but if you prefer your jams without skins just pass the fruit preserves through a sieve or colander.

 

Your jam is ready to put into sterilized jars and then into the canning pot. Or you can just eat right out of the pot!




PlumJam


 

***Half of the first batch of jams went to the sweet neighbors who so lovingly shared their harvest with me.

 

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, Herbalist


 
 

My gardens. My legacy.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.My gardens are my legacy. Somehow or another I've wandered. I have to wander. I have to give. I get antsy and dreamy. I love excitement, new land and change and growth. Barefoot and barehanded from the ground up, I build a new garden. It's what I do.  It's a gift to myself and my kids and the community for those here now and those to come. I like to start gardens and play in them for a while and pull people into them. Show them the miracle.  That's what I love....and then I move on. I leave this beauty for those wandering in after me.  I'm a vagabond gardener and I guess I'm ok with that. I leave a bit of my heart in the land where ever I roam...it's my gift.


I can picture each and every garden I've tickled, or has tickled me...

From that old neglected acre of fruit trees in my high school Ag class, to the mini alfalfa garden for the fat little guinea pigs, or my own little food and medicine gardens that tend to get bigger each and every year, and the community gardens that I give my heart to and ask nothing in return and all the gardens of friends and loved ones I've dug my hands into and beyond. Heh, I even dream of new ones waiting for me. Each unique. Each very special. Each stuffed with food and medicines and those lessons that can't be found anywhere else ever. Tons and tons of lessons. Lessons for those who wish to learn....

There is hard earned sweat and joy. Disappointment. Patience. Oh and those blackberry claws that reach out for your attention, and the spruces that wanna braid your hair and those milk thistle pokies arguing with you over their trusty seeds. And callouses....lots of callouses and mud filled finger nails. Smiles. Good health. Muddy sweat smeared foreheads. Hose drinks and tears. That big ol silly raven turd on the one flower you waited all damn season to get a peek of or the green nibblings stuck in your teeth that only another garden nibbler would tell you about. Bounty and reward. Abundance. Giggling kids and the neighbors' recommendations and stories and those dandelion warnings. Questions. Once you get someone in the garden, they see the miracles. And they don't wanna leave.

I like to build gardens and memories and give them away....



Spiral

I like to take a piece of dry, un-loved, dusty cracked dirt and breath my life right into it, water it with my sweat, tears and spilled cups. And feed it silly plant jokes and childlike laughter. Well, and probably some animal poo or two...and some comfrey tea.  I like to introduce myself to the land, give to it and let the land introduce herself to me. She gives me a garden to love and to learn from, and then we pass it on.


Sometimes I get a little sad. I'll sit and recall past gardens and green-spots and lush flowery nooks and just long to revisit them, like I long for a long lost childhood pet or old friend. I know some grew into other earth caring hands and some were neglected and some probably turned into happy wild thriving green motherwort, tansy and lemon balm beasts by their own will. Nature does have its way of doing what she wants. I suppose some have even been destroyed, but I created them, it's my keepsake and that's good enough for me.

Garden My life is my dream, my dream is my work, my work is my gardens, and my gardens are my legacy. Each day I wake and want to share my world. I want to excite children and really big children about the soil and the worms and the veins or hairs on a leaf and the free and wild foods and medicines. I want to make a whole new playground for the moths and the snails. I want to see my hair up there in the birds' nests. It might be a tiny domestic garden or the earths wild gigantic garden but I want to share all about it, teach about, squeeze hug it and pass this love on. I want to grow more intriguing garden eyes.  I want to share the miracles.

I've been enjoying watching my life unfurl and spiral on. Seeing where it goes and what I accomplish and learn. The lives I'm lucky to wander into and the children who constantly remind me to live fearlessly and in awe. And to leave a trail....a trail of bird seed that always spouts up free gorgeous orange safflowers and yellowy sunflowers and pink and purple thistles galore. And that one must leave a trail of muddy toe prints through the kitchen in order to get to mommas icy mint tea. Because all toe tracks are cute. And to chomp those juicy tomatoes and peaches and munch the pineapple weed and blow those dandy seeds to the sky. And that all gardens need a watering hole. And a mud hole. And I will remind them to leave a trail....a trail of amazingness. And a garden.

And I've come to find that with each new home and each new place, that I rarely walk into a garden made by someone else. No I don't. So I build one because that's what I do. The bare lonely soil likes to seek me out. It pulls me to it. It tells me what to do and what to grow and what to just watch grow. It teaches me balance. It tells me that the lamb's quarters and purslane are just as beautiful and remarkable as the calendula and roses and that they taste even better..... and that the yarrow fixes dang near everything. And that cayenne will stop bleeding in two seconds and make your homegrown yummy pinto beans better. And by golly, everything likes to be tossed into soup! And that trees are perfect shoulders for hammocks and give their free shade and food and medicine. And the malva....it taught me to never neglect. Everyone should love the malva. She's gonna grow whether you like her or not anyway. I like to be a gentle pushing reminder of these things and I will continue down my mossy green path and toss little food and medicine gardens here and there until I can't anymore.

Curves



















So I do, I'm a vagabond gardener and I guess I'm ok with that. I leave a bit of my heart in the land where ever I roam...it's my gift.

And here I am. Starting over again. Working the land, working on my next garden, my next legacy. Tickling it and letting it tickle me....one I know I soon will leave. But the neighborhood kids play in it. The birds and the bees and the squirrels sing in it. The mailman passes it each day with a smile. It's got my trusty yellow sprinkler and my piggy watering can and my foot prints embedded in it.  And it's small and it's wild and it's frugal... but it gives. Just like me.

wheelbarrow





























As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

Fan me on Facebook - Morgan Botanicals

Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, Herbalist

 

 

 

 
 

Sunflowers...The Unusual Vegetable?

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

Boy, is it ever sunflower season! We all know that growing sunflowers isn't that unusual but as a garden crop they are fun and productive to grow. I tend to grow too many sunflowers- I just can't get enough! I save and search for new seeds of every color and size.

Nearly all of the sixty species of sunflowers in North and South America are edible, and to me, this make them valuable. Most of us are use to buying and eating just the seeds, but sunflowers offer so much more. Did you know that the immature sunflower head can be eaten like Globe Artichokes? Pick the buds when they're swollen but before they open- they taste just like a floral artichoke.

As for the seeds, gather the seed heads in late summer to early Autumn before the seeds are dry enough to be released. Then hang them in a warm, dry place.  The seeds can be roasted, hulled, made into a fine meal for flour, ground into butter or oil, or just simply eaten. Shells can even be ground as a coffee substitute.

I'm already starting to collect seeds for next years sunflower crop and so should you because there are so many wonderful ways to enjoy them!

Look for unusual sunflower seeds coming soon in my Local Harvest Store.

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.


 
 

Rheumatoid Arthritis and the Holistic Answer

Jessica Morgan, M.H. I am frequently asked for custom herbal preparations to help with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Most clients that I have worked with were on conventional medication and were unhappy with their results. Herbs can replace prescription drugs such as Humera, but please consult with your RA doctor before stopping Humera or any prescription drugs, and let them know that you are considering alternative methods. Herbs have been used with outstanding results for RA sufferers, they do however, work much slower, gentler, and efficiently. Consider discussing with your doctor the best way of weaning your body off the current medication and then supplement with herbs and dietary suggestions. This way your body can readjust.

Herbs; internal and external, green tea, great food choices, and yoga are all very good additions to an RA regimen. Fish oils are also good supplements to try for rheumatoid arthritis since they reduce inflammation. Cod liver oil is a good choice.

Some dietary guidelines I like to suggest- avoid sour foods (yogurt, vinegar, oranges, grapefruit, and pickles) as these over-stimulate the liver, causing it to contract tendons and increase pain. Also, avoid acidic foods (citrus, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, potatoes, red meat, excess grains, alcohol, caffeine), which aggravate arthritis.  Maybe research acid/alkaline food balancing.

Some herbal preparations specific to RA and other joint related complaints that I make include teas, balm, baths, liniments, and poultices. These blends can be customized to your specific needs. I would suggest combating RA with internal and external applications simultaneously. Together, your body will be healthier and happier. Please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.


Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 
 
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