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Getting Comfrey in our surroundings

Welcome to our Hippie Hideaway, our slice of heaven here in Leverett.

We’re making our way toward a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle and have decided to share with the world how that is going, I’m no writer but am happy to share my thoughts along with Rich if it can inspire or shed light on the way these things can go.

One part of a sustainable lifestyle is using locally sourced ingredients to make the things you use in your home. My first foray into this has been using the plant Comfrey that grows voluntarily at the edge of our woods. I made a salve and it was wonderfully simple -- I don’t like to spend time in the kitchen so it had to be.

Finding the plant: It’s been a little over two years since we moved here and we have begun to familiarize ourselves with the plants, animals and the subtler things we share this space with. The Comfrey was a pleasant surprise and it’s a very useful plant to have around.

The discovery was made by one of Adam’s friends who had stopped in to help Adam and Rich with some gardening tips. He noticed the Comfrey growing in the lawn and got excited because he makes CBD oil and other health products and knows what a great resource it is. I’d had Rich mow around it because the flowers are amazing. We had no idea it was special in other ways. I looked the plant up online and found its properties are good for healing sprains, bruises, swelling, burns, minor abrasions and shallow cuts. It’s also good for easing tight muscles and boosting softness and shine as a hair rinse. It’s also a moisturizing ingredient in lotions.

Okay, great. So this was my chance to delve into old-style homesteader crafts that have always appealed to me. I harvested the new leaves in the Spring and while doing that, I noticed we have at least three more Comfrey plants in the yard. Very nice! The harvesting and drying was pleasant, being out in the sun and listening to the birds and all, but it is time consuming. While I was enjoying my time in the sun and the way the leaves lined up on the lines, I was also having a battle with myself about the time it takes, time I could be in the studio. While true, it was just a dumb thought process because the whole project was inspiring from start to finish.

There was one minor snag that came about during the process: I made the oil infusion from both olive and coconut oils. The coconut oil stays solid at room temp so the normal six-week soaking time took longer. I put the jar near the stove when we were cooking, then next to the kiln when it was firing it, and near the wood stove when it was lit. I basically babysat it. Since I like the coconut oil, I may use the faster stovetop method next time.

Anyway, if you’d like to try my salve and give us feedback on its effectiveness, I have 10 tiny salve pots for just that purpose, contact us. Below is the link to the info and recipe I used if you happen to have a Comfrey plant where you live and want to put it to use. The recipe has suggested essential oils, I used Tea Tree and Peppermint oils and went light on those.

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