Gift from the Woods

This week I learned about a VERY interesting ‘mushroom’ that grows on Birch trees. Chaga! It has SO many wonderful health benefits.

You can read a bit about it here.  I looked it up on various sites to learn about harvesting and preparing it.  In a nutshell, this is what I’ve gleaned:

  • Harvest during the dormant season and only from LIVE trees.
  • Don’t gouge into the tree, simply use a hatchet and chop off level with the trunk.
  • Toss the chunks (leaving the black outer layer on them) into a crock pot… low simmer for a few hours. You don’t want to boil it hard.  (I used about a quart of water… simmered for an hour, let it sit overnight to steep, then simmered again in the morning.)
  • Strain well…. and drink up! Save the tea in the refrigerator, and dry out the chunks to use again. (not sure how many times they can be used?)

I was expecting a bitter bark flavor… but was pleasantly surprised!  It was smooth… and earthy. Not bad at all.



I am so happy to read about the wonderful natural gifts that are given to us. Since I have opted out of pharmaceutical treatment for a while (we are doing a watch and wait),  I am going full speed ahead with herbal medicines instead.  Yea!!  🙂    And a walk in the woods foraging certainly is healing too!!


My inspirations come from the most unlikely moments.  

Today, feeling so tired, and a bit frustrated…. I decided to pull out the juicer and crank out some good stuff.  While scrubbing off the final carrots from the garden,  (those who never want to be boring and grow straight down)… these just made me smile!  Definitely a dancer, don’t you think?

So I was reminded of these lyrics…. and had to share this moment with all of you.  🙂



I Hope You Dance Lyrics

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance… I hope you dance…

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance,
Never settle for the path of least resistance,
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’,
Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’,
Don’t let some Hell bent heart leave you bitter,
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider,
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
I hope you dance… I hope you dance.
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along,
Tell me who wants to look back on their years
and wonder where those years have gone.)

A Shout for Sprouts

I’ve been enjoying growing sprouts lately.  My winter gardening!  I’m experimenting with a variety of seeds.  Soak. Rinse. Repeat. Toss on a salad. YUM!  Little nutrient POWERHOUSES. So very good for us.  Broccoli sprouts are especially good at fighting cancer, (read about it here.)

Interesting to think about how they quietly rest– dormant. Waiting for the environment to be just right. A bit of nurturing and they explode with change as they grow.



Am I allowing the ‘seeds’ in my heart to do the same? Do I nurture and care about those as much as this handful of seeds in my kitchen?

I want to be more aware of the Holy Spirit at work. We all have dormant seeds waiting.  Let me grow in Grace.

Matthew 13:31

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; and this is smaller than all other seeds; but when full grown, it is largest than the garden plants, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”