Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Tree Year – White Pine

Not long ago, Kristine, of Herbal Roots Zine and Dancing in a Field of Tansy, suggested we might want to choose a tree as our herbal ally. In December, Kristine had came up with the Herbal Ally Challenge, and I just didn’t get started with it for one reason or another. I then saw Lucinda, of Whispering Earth talking about participating with The Tree Year blog , and that it was the International Year of the Forest, I got thinking about which tree I might choose. While Eric and I were in Urbana, and visiting our friends Jackie and Brad, Jackie gifted me with a lovely watercolor of a white pine and I knew she was the tree I would choose.

GEDC1156

When I saw Kristine’s post about maybe choosing a tree as our ally, I knew I wanted to get going and start posting about the white pine as my ally and  I want to participate in her herbal ally challenge and in the year of the tree. It will also be my tribute to this particular tree, as it is my constant companion. It grows on the south side of my house, and her branches peak in through my bedroom and living room windows. Her she is today, while the blizzard was blowing all around us

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This particular white pine, is one that my husbands daughter Tonya, brought home from school one Arbor Day, years ago. Unfortunately it is planted way too close to the house. When I met my husband 10 years ago, I suggested to him, that maybe he should take it down and plant a new tree further from the house. It was tearing up the shingles on the roof then. He just cut the branches on that side, and reroofed and the tree has kept growing why he yearly procrastinated on its destiny. Now, its roots are actually starting to become a danger to the integrity of our basement wall, so soon, very soon, he will have to deal with this. Knowing my husband, I have at least another year, so I will document a year of my getting to know white pine, even more intimately than I do. I look forward to this. I already feel as if I sleep in her embrace.

I mentioned we were in the middle of a blizzard. When I got home today I went outside to clear paths to the beehives so I could poke a stick in their little entrance way to keep the air flow in to the hives.

GEDC1154

I then came into the nice snug house to do a simple project I have just never done before. Making homemade lip balms:) I have made lip balm before, and just put it in little containers to use, but had never purchased the actually lip balm containers before! lol I asked my husband to drill out some holes in a piece of wood so the containers would stand nicely while I poured the balm in. It worked out real well. Now anyone in my little village who wants a lip balm will not have to buy one:) I just made a simple balm out of 1/4 cup pure virgin olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon of wax, 4 drops of peppermint essential oil and 8 drops of orange EO. You of course would not have to add the essential oils at all and this would still be a nice lip balm:) The little containers are super cheap too and much neater than the little tins I was using, especially for children:)

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I need to play around with the labels more, but they don’t have to be fancy anyway as I am not selling them.

For those of you who haven’t been following my blog for very long, I have written a little bit about white pine before here.

Big herbal hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages xx

 

9 comments:

Stephany said...

I love that you picked pine as your ally. I love pine.

dreamfalcon said...

Welcome to the Tree Year!
That Pine really looks, like you are close to it ;-)
Looking forward to hear more about it.

Comfrey Cottages said...

Thank you Stephany and dreamfalcon! xx Happy to be participating in both the herbal challenge and the tree year:)

whisperingearth said...

Lovely Leslie! Will look forward to reading more about your beautiful white pine ally. It's great that so many of us are doing this, I'm really enjoying reading about other people's trees as well as following my own.
xx

Comfrey Cottages said...

I am really pleased so many people, from so many different places, are participating also, Lucinda! How nice it is going to be to learn about all of the trees:) I like the idea of a whole year project also.xx

Rita M said...

So sad that those beautiful White Pine has to be cut.
Your homemade lip balm is a success Leslie, well done :)
XXX

Comfrey Cottages said...

It makes me sad that we will have to cut down the tree also Rita! She is such a part of my life and I so love her:( I think it will help me documenting about her every month for the next year. I will send you one of the lip balms next time I send you a little package;D love you xoxox

SouthernHerbalist said...

I *heart* Pine!!

We don't have White Pine here... so sad... we have Yellow Pine, so the flavor is a little different, but She is so nourishing! :)

Hugs
Dana

*Ulrike* said...

I love that watercolor Leslie! It is too bad that the pine will have to come down as it is beautiful. We have pines all around us, too many tall ones that make me just a little bit nervous during storms! Thanks for the recipe for your lip balm. What a neat idea, and fun to share!
Hugs sent your way
Take Care,
Ulrike