search instagram arrow-down

Join 898 other followers

Follow Andrea Hejlskov on WordPress.com

Support my work

You can support my general work via Patreon
and I hope you do, will.

I´ve been reconnecting with nature as of lately, it has been intense and if I had the words I would write about it but I don´t.
Something happened this winter. Something definitely happened this winter, in the depth of my unknown, in the silence of the white, in the underlying movement of the ice, in the deep dark forest, in the warm embers of my home; a unconsious shift in perspective and now everything feels new and strange.

Sometimes I think the deprogramming took four years and that´s why it´s only now I experience that… depth… it´s only now I´m even able to notice my surroundings and to take them in.
In a definitively new way.
It´s massive.
The world has a million colours, smells, the wind touches me, speaks to me, I go into the woods and I lose myself, I come back… stronger.

It´s very, very strange.
Not like I´m a BETTER person now or anything (and don´t ever dare call me happy!) it´s just kind of like the viking-amish of the outside has sunken into the inside, things are melting into each other, action, words, talk, walk, something happened, surely and so pardon my french but I feel re-born.

*

Today I´m going to tell you about tea.

One of the more wonderous things about my mother in law (whom is visiting these days) is that fact that she´s a ceramicist.

So this is my tea-cup.

DSCF2388

And this is one of the fermentation jars she made for me (the brilliant thing being the water lock: a drill between the jar and the lid, fill it with water and kapam!)

DSCF2393

(you can order all of the ceramics ware you find on my blog just sent me an email for info: andreahejlskov@gmail.com)

I´m a tea drinker. I have a “writing tea” a “reviewing tea” a “reading tea”, a tea for when I´m sick. The tea is ritual to me. Focus.

And also: when we first came to the forest four years ago the first thing we did was to clear an area for our campfire- pulling wild forest raspberry branches out of the ground. It was a tedious and horrible job. As it turns out (and I didn´t know then) each and every plant you encounter have feelings and energies and if you align yourself with these: some plants have healing properties.
Moreso: the world is like a giant pantry, we have everything we need, we are surrounded by food, we don´t NEED all of those structures, all of those container ships, all of those trucks.

Raspberry is good for women (we can call this: Unverified Personal Gnosis) high in all kinds of estrogens, vitamins and minerals, raspberry has become one of my favorite teas.
I also dry the fresh raspberry leafs and store them for winter to use in crock pots, pies and breads (as I do with nettles whom are by the way essential and delicious in the form of pesto). Picking raspberry leafs (and nettle leafs and birch leafs) is my favorite spring time chore, these are the first crops to arrive.

Tea is in essence a fermented beverage. The leaves of the tea bushes (the bush probably have a name) are fermented and then dried before packing and shipped off. Herbal tea is normally not fermented (instead dried) – but since I like the fermentation process and believe it to be very healthy I have become increasingly fond of making my own tea using the raw material around me.

So here´s how you make fermented wild raspberry leaf tea:
First you dress up real, real,real nice for the holy occasion (I recommend gloves when picking raspberries, good shoes, thick pants,  I recommend a hat in the spring time, I recommend always carrying a knife)

DSCF2369

Then you proceed onwards to the mighty fields of raspberries

DSCF2367

Wild forest raspberries grows on areas that have for some reason been cleared or logged.
I have all kinds of hatred towards the logging process itself and all kinds of strong emotions about how raspberries are the first plant to take back the lost territory.
This is, in essence, why raspberry is holy to me. This is what I drink when I drink rasberry leaf tea: taking back territory.

Pick the fresh green sprouting leaves

DSCF2349
You´ll need a rolling-pin and a sharp knife

DSCF2380

Roll to crush the leaves (roll it hard)

DSCF2381

Chop them up (not too much) and pack the leaves tightly in a jar (let the lid sit loose)

DSCF2400

Place the jars in a hot place in your kitchen (I place them close to the wood burning stove) and leave them there for four days, turning the jars upside down once in a while.

The leaves will turn black and smell weird. After four days dry the leaves (I have a drying rack above the wood burning stove) and then store in an airtight container (I´ll post a picture of the leaves in four days time).
This is tea. This is good. This is ritual.

At while you´re at it why not make raspberry leaf muffins, scones or whatever

DSCF2408

DSCF2405

– always a good way to stuff some health benefits into the mouths of your family!

24 comments on “First crops hallelujah

  1. Søren says:

    Words create! But creation is limited! Words limit what Is, forms it into something seemingly solid.
    Kirkegaard Said it nicely: “when you name me, you negate me”
    Our words trail behind the endless potential, and it frustrates the hell out of both them and us …
    Words are very concieded that way, thinking they can do it all tell it all …

    So I am a Man, but I am really a Girl and a Woman too
    On tuesdays a tree, some days I am a dolphin, some time ago I was in a field in Poland with Obama, another time in his office. Some days I just watch my self, for a long time, for days, watching
    Some days I watch my self in the faces of sad people, other days in the faces of fearfull people
    I prefer to see my self in the smiles of people In Joy
    I See my self all over the place – dont you …. see your self?
    Most times I have no words
    Dont seem to need them so much any more
    Words slow me down

    Green tea with honey – those are nice words – slowing down is nice, too

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear andrea
    You might be interested to know that “tea” tea is actually the leaves of a camellia plant, Camellia sinensis. It has a lovely white flower, but mine seldom blooms because it is not really hardy where I live. Its seeds are also an oil source of high quality that is used for many things.

    Thank you for the news about your foraging and tea-making. (I too have a ferment crock similar to the one your mother-in-law made you. Mine is German, a gärtopf, not as elegant-looking as yours! Sure takes the guess work out of fermenting though.)

    You sound as if you are well on your way to becoming what used to be called a “witchy” woman, a person versed in the ways of plants and the world of nature and the wild. No wonder the power structure coined such a term, because a witchy woman had the know-how to circumvent the conventional authorities! Many of them were put to death for using their skills. Those skills might make the difference between health and sickness, eating and starvation, in some dystopian future.

    All best,
    ~ abigail

    Like

    1. I am. Have been for a long time but am embracing… working with Voluspá is changing me.
      So you can actually grow camellia in Scotland? (that´s where you live, right?). Oil has become interesting to me, this year I´m growing a lot of linnen to see if I get enough seeds both for bread baking and maybe also for oil…

      Like

      1. Abigail Higgins says:

        dear andrea
        i actually live in coastal southeastern massachusetts. however camellias of all sorts are probably more at home in scotland than they are in massachusetts, at least in protected spots influenced by the gulf stream!

        the oil piece is important. as well as flaxseed, giant sunflowers might be a good bet? flax and flaxseed is generating a lot of interest as a crop that is suitable to small scale agriculture, and luckily the know-how or folkway still exists.
        what is flax or flaxseed called in danish? in german it is leinsamen and leinol.

        it may be possible to acquire used hand oil mills from the netherlands or india. (it seems that people in india traditionally used to buy their oil freshly pressed in the street, but these local oil sellers have been driven out! it has been alleged that lobbying by multi-nationals, such as unilever, resulted in so-called “health & safety” regulations enacted to discredit the product of the local oil sellers and make them illegal.

        today in the usa it is mothers’ day. did you know that this was originally proposed as an anti-war gesture in the wake of the american civil war? may your sons never be required to participate in one!
        all best,
        ~ a

        Like

  3. Tricia says:

    Thanks for sharing…we just transplanted about 30 black raspberry plants and I’ve been curious about using the leaves for tea. Along with a book I just checked out about fermenting, your words are speaking my language:}

    Like

  4. DM says:

    Our wild black raspberry plants are also starting to have leaves.. Which lit a fire in me to .try to make some tea for myself. I am a big coffee drinker/ fan, so this is exciting to find another hot drink I can make for myself. Thanks for the update and pictures! DM

    Like

  5. ncfarmchick says:

    We have a hillside of wild blackberries which we use to make tea as well as eat the berries by the handful, of course. I like your harvesting attire and assure you, you look MUCH more fashionable than I do when doing such chores in an old shirt of my husband’s and overalls. Does Lemon Balm grow in your climate? It is one of my favorites for tea and its scent is heavenly. Plus, it has the lovely habit of somehow popping up all over the place once you have a good patch of it growing and it is pretty much unfazed by the not-so-delicate handling of little boys.
    I bought a couple of tea books this past year (Homemade Tea by Cassie Liversedge is particularly good) and have been wanting to add a few more plants for tea that bees like, as well. But, I really love everything about foraging for the wild stuff the best. There is something wonderful about a plant with thorny canes and delicious fruit being the first thing to rise up from an area whose trees have been stolen. I find that comforting
    So good to read a new post from you! Many thanks!

    Like

    1. A book about DIY tea. Wow. Interesting 🙂 Lemon Balm. Yes. Must plant soon!

      Like

  6. Pernille says:

    This post also inspired me, and I have also been going to a remote place in the national forest for some spring leaves of the rasberry branches. I already knew where to find them from our uncountable trips in the forrest. I have been so tired and bone lazy this winther so I think I need some concentrate of spring in my system. I am looking forward to follow the process of the fermenting. The fresh leaves dont taste of so most, but I will wait and see. Do you think peppermint leaves could spice it up?

    Like

    1. David says:

      That raspberry leaf + peppermint sounds heavenly! I had never thought to try that, but soon I may need to. Peppermint is one of my favourite nervines, and I find it combines well in a lot of infusions/teas. So thanks for the great idea! Let’s give it a try, and see how it works out!

      Like

    2. Peppermint sounds sweet. Concentrated spring – it´s needed. I kind of think of the birch sap that way. Concentrated spring power kapow 🙂

      Like

  7. Tiffany says:

    Our woods are full of wild raspberry and wild rose, and at this time they look exactly the same to me. This summer I plan to tie ribbons on many of the raspberries, so I can collect the young leaves. Thanks for the info.
    I’m curious to see what changes for me mentally once we are finally living in our forest. This is our third year working on our earth bag house, and hope to be living there by fall. I knew it was an intensive building method, but three years for an 18′ x18′ structure seems too long. And then to realize that I, like you, may take several more years to begin to understand my place in this world… Well, I guess important things should be given that time.

    Like

    1. Wild rose is so wonderfull too. I make marmelade from the rosehips and it´s wonderful. One thing I learned about building your own house: time! patience! (and never live in the house you´re working on would be my advice number 3). Sounds interesting Tiffany, I look forward to following you more 🙂

      Like

  8. BeeHappee says:

    Lots of good info here guys, thank you! NC, thanks for mentioning the book and lemon balm. Lemon balm is one of my mom’s favorite and our childhood favorite. She still sends me packages of hand picked lemon balm and camomile across the ocean although I have some in our garden. We never tried fermenting so that is something new to try.

    We found some good patches of wild strawberries blackberries and raspberries in local forest preserves recently so will be scouring those until I get in trouble with my husband. 🙂

    Adding mint will work for anything, I had done that with a number of teas.

    Tiffany, dirt bag house? That sounds interesting. Where can I read more about it?

    Andrea, so are you happy about not being happy or are you unhappy about being happy? 🙂 Just messing with you. Stay well.

    Like

    1. Haha bee! Yup. Happy about being unhappy would be it 🙂
      (no it wouldn´t)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. nicoleaugust says:

    I make a tea with raspberry leaf, roasted chicory root and hawthorn berries. It is quite similar to black tea. Trying fermenting the leaves tonight :). We gathered some wild leeks in the woods today. They make such yummy soup !

    Like

    1. mmm, Nicole, I love hawthorn!

      Like

  10. Søren says:

    “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops.”

    Why the fuck try to hide who you are?!
    Just be who you Are
    Its Way Good enough!
    You are amazing
    – but you dont Think so
    Thats the problem
    Right?

    Oh, shit
    Did I mess up your work?
    Your Blixen Master piece
    (Am i trying to provoke you?) – yes
    (Is it unfair) – who gives a shit
    (Can you breathe) – hopefully
    (Kill it or look at it) – its the only way

    how has running away worked for you recently?
    Look at your self for fuck sake!
    You are worth it! – yes really 🙂

    Or Kill Me!?
    – but you can’t, really
    Cos I am you own concience

    Like

    1. You are not provoking me you are annoying me, I´m deleting your comments because you are out of line – I do not answer to you and you are not my concience so please stop.
      I understand what you are saying and in some ways I agree and in some ways I don´t.
      With heart warmth and hula bula new age fluffy love and light
      Andrea

      Like

      1. Eumaeus says:

        Baby I really really love you now
        I think you should stop your crying
        Here my kerchif to dry your eyes
        YOu know I love you hey
        Ruby, here i am Come rub it by my belly like a guava jelly.
        🙂 Damsel, Here I stand. Come rub it by my belly like a guava jelly.

        Stay with me.

        Like

        1. BeeHappee says:

          “Shut softly your watery eyes
          The pangs of your sadness
          Will pass as your senses will rise” 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Søren says:

    Point taken! – will leave you alone now

    Just for the record “out of line” as a term does exist
    But in reality “out of line” is a very unproductive way to cope with reality
    Reality doesnt tend to Go away just because you dont like it
    Aha, but this IS your reality, is it not, shit not going away

    if you look closly I havnt realy insulted you at all
    You kinda managed to do that on your own
    Dont Think so, take a look at the words!
    Not one mean word in there, you are the one filling in the blanks with negativity

    Words can’t hurt us, you know that, wright ….. Yeah, you are piss OFF
    Wrightly so, I guess …..

    Thing is, when you send your words out into the cosmos, they bounce about, hit stuff, and end up sending things back to you. So being pissed of at what you get back is in all honesty being pissed of at your self! – and if you Don not get this, fuck, I give up …..

    When the fuck has anger ever solved anything, come on! Yes you hate me! But for fuck sake …. Realy

    Like

  12. I´m love all around. Blessed be and now goodnight.

    Like

.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s