Mindful Plant Harvesting
I decided to harvest the peppermint and lavender that have been growing on my tiny balcony. Prior to cutting what was needed, I stopped for a moment and touched the peppermint plant lightly and explained what was happening and gave thanks for its life and beneficial properties. Ever so gently, I snipped off some new growth leaves and moved on to do the same for the lavender plant.
I grew up with the teachings that you give thanks for everything you hunt, harvest or grow. Everything in nature is alive and radiates the energy of its life force whether we are aware of it or not.
If you are going to harvest plants in the wild, there are a few things to consider:
- Never gather more that 10% of one particular area as this will ensure that there is enough for other people, animals and for the growth needs of the plant.
- Never gather endangered or protected plants.
- Know what you need, be sure to thoroughly identify the plant and know what time of year to harvest the parts you need whether it is berries, bark, flowers, leaves, stems or roots.
- Study the area and the plants to ensure it is healthy and chemically safe. Avoid areas that are sprayed by pesticides, weed killers or are next to roads or factories.
- Give thanks to the plants for their life and explain the reason you are harvesting it whether it be for food, general wellness or medicinal needs. You can make an offering of whatever feels appropriate to you such as tobacco, sage or a crystal. If that method doesn’t speak to you, offer up a prayer.
- Harvest only what you need and what you will use for that season. If you need leaves for tea, simply harvest leaves off from various plant stands. There is no need to kill the entire plant for a small portion of it.
After harvesting what was needed, I rinsed the leaves and made a tea which turned out to be light and refreshing. Nothing is better than a cup of tea from your own garden.
If mindful harvesting is new to you, I encourage you to give it a try. This method is also recommended for vegetables and fruit in a garden as they are grown specifically to nourish us. Caring for a garden is more than just weeding and watering, it is also about respecting the plants and caring for them with a kind word and a gentle touch.
Until next time, discover the power of mindfulness.