|Hawthorn in RavenCroft's East Hedge|
Many species of Hawthorn (Crataegous monogyna, C. oxycantha, C. douglasii) can be found gracing hedgerows in rural farming areas of western Washington. During this merry month of May they are easier to find as they burst into bloom. Remnants of a bygone era, these hardy trees continue to offer fruits, flowers and branches to foragers of all kinds; beckoning us to again include them as a participatory part of the rural and urban scene.
Blooming in early May, the flowers make a delicious, nutritive herbal infusion used for centuries to strengthen and restore heart and improve the function of the circulatory system. Hawthorn’s mild pleasing flavor is delivered in a golden hue that inspires one to remember the lengthening days and bounty of summer. Gladdening the heart many ways!
Hawthorn Herbal Infusion Recipe
Place 1 oz dried Hawthorn leaves and flowers in a 1 qt canning jar
Pour over 1 qt boiling water and cap
Steep 4-8 hours, then enjoy warm or cold
Simply wonderful and you can drink as much as you like. The health value accumulates with regular use over time.
|Hawthorn infusion steeping|
On the Farm: In the Garden
Hawthorn is an excellent tree to improve habitat, creating homes for diverse insect and bird species. A versatile, contribution for many farmscapes or even urban gardens as a tree of small, compact stature which seems to enjoy heavy pruning, resiliently springing back after each harvest. As herbs again gain popularity for improving health, hawthorn trees will provide a source of income and habitat enhancement for local farms and an easy hands-on nutritive and tonic medicine for urban health enthusiasts.
Inspiration: Then and Now
Commonly known as Mayflower due to its habit of blooming the first part of May or the festive occasion of May Day, the hawthorn is the perfect tree to remind us how far the farm to table movement has come in the last 20 years. A new generation of farmers and eaters are changing our world bite by bite. The medicine of the Haw offers us a strong heart open to courage, hope and joy; qualities anyone might need to begin a journey into the new territory some call "the future". The Pilgrim’s trusted the Mayflower to bring them safely to their new world. Today, the cellular wisdom of this tree still offers a pathway to a strong, resilient heart carrying us forward in our ever-changing world!
In the next 20 years, farm and food communities world-wide will bring earth back to our medicine, strengthening the health and restoration of what we value most. Hawthorn is willing to grow with us, how can we grow with her?