appalachian dogwood series
Now, I’ve never worked with lye before and didn’t feel comfortable to learn alone (I did find one soap-making class at Renegade. This will taking my making to the Mountain level and I hope you’ll join me as I explore this exciting new, but so very old, path. WHEW! It was potent to say the least. GAH! For your listening pleasure, here’s one of my favorites by the Carolina Chocolate Drops, “Genuine Negro Jig.”. In this recording, you’ll hear bad key changes, bad timing, and so many other little missteps that mark my baptismal-style dulcimer education. Appalachian series Developed by plant scientists at the University of Tennessee, this line of dogwoods has several named varieties. – Not sure what I’ll be able to find, but I’m hoping for some Morels in late Spring to make some Venison Stroganoff. The oldest English version of it dates back to 1656 by yet another name and there are version of this ballad in more than 5 different languages. Seeing as I’ve been fighting a nasty cold virus (aka the Black Plague of Death by Phlegm) for about a week by this time, I tried out my meadowsweet tincture. I learned that accompanying a singer is NOT easy, even when that singer is yourself. I’m still working on key changes and maintaining tempo, but those things come with a lot more time and continued practice. So if I have any rich relatives or free West Virginia farmland out there just waiting for me… You know what to do. West Virginia isn’t all hot dogs with chili and slaw or pepperoni rolls. In our house, if we do happen to pull a root, it gets cut and replanted in our patch for future generations to enjoy. Better plan to give your friends a VERY wide berth. I speak from experience. Developed by the University of Tennessee's Dogwood Breeding program, 'Appalachian Spring' is fast growing with apple green foliage and bright red fruits that are larger than those of the species. I’ll definitely be taking it once they offer it again, though.) So I used a melt and pour goat’s milk soap base for this application. From there, I knew there needed to be a bit of acid to balance the flavors, so I added a couple of tablespoons of cider vinegar. I’m not an expert on this chapter in Appalachian culture, but I hope to learn more about these fascinating women and their practices over the course of this semester. I’m just saying, be prepared. I’m talking 4 foot, at least. As he ate a bowl of collards at a local seafood restaurant while we were in South Carolina last week, he reminisced about those days gone by and mentioned how much he’d love if I’d try to make them at home some time. The Appalachian series of dogwood introduced by researchers with the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture includes selections bred for resistance to powdery mildew as well as dogwood anthracnose. So without further delay, here is “the creepiest song” my son has ever heard – and we routinely listen to murder ballads in our home and during commutes (Silver Dagger by OCMS is his favorite). I used a recipe found in “Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide,” which included lavender both to add a delicate scent and for its antibacterial properties. The Appalachian Joy dogwood is specifically bred for enhanced hardiness and disease resistance. Cornus florida var. Rob declared my collards a near exact replica of the ones he remembered growing up, so I’m putting this southern Appalachian tradition in the win column. I won’t be posting those results here, because I collected the information with the promise of anonymity, but if you have a story about granny medicine you’d like to share in the comments, I’d love to hear it! Check back in the coming weeks as I begin a project for next semester on Granny Magic and Medicinal Practices of the Appalachian Region. Anyone who knows me knows that I *LOVE* recreating recipes. You are also welcome to inquire about Appalachian Spring at other local nurseries. Also, it’s too early in the year for collards right now, so we purchased these in the store. Or possibly lead into my big project for next semester, which will definitely feature something to do with the four corners. So several months ago, I collected my jewelweed and put it in a pint jar of fractionated coconut oil in my herb closet to steep until I was ready to make the soap. I have long made face washes, lotions, scrubs, and bath soaks for myself and friends. Trees in moist, shady understories were hit the hardest, and one of these unfortunate areas was on Catoctin Mountain near the Presidential Camp David Retreat. I’ll be sure to continue posting in the months to come, just not always about herbs and foraging or playing the dulcimer. I hope you’ve enjoyed my forays into herbal medicine and Appalachian foodways. We’ll be using it in our home for cuts and scrapes. In our house, we are constantly stocked on jewelweed soap, as my mountain loving 14 year old hiker/hunter is highly allergic to poison ivy. A few months ago, I combined the wild cherry bark with some good old-fashioned white liquor to set for a while in a dark cabinet. It was a very simple, but haunting tab which I then modified even further to meet the version of the song I wanted to play for this final post. 'Appalachian Spring' is resistant to Dogwood Anthracnose! And I learned that I love my dulcimer and can’t wait to keep improving, at a much less frenetic pace. ~~ Jamie, Carolina Chocolate Drops, “Cornbread & Butterbeans,”, “Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide, Jewelweed, often found near patches of Poison Ivy, Wind and Rain, aka Two Sisters, aka Twa Sisters, aka Child Ballad #10, aka The Cruel Sister, Arnica Salve – for bruises and muscle pain, Calendula Lavender Salve – for antiseptic pain relief and faster healing of cuts and scrapes, Cherry Bark Syrup – for sore throats and coughs, Yellow Root Tea – heals canker sores and eases mouth pain, Sassafras Tea – A tasty drink, good for thinning the blood (use in moderation), Mushrooms! Meadowsweet can be fairly easily found in the wild in parts of North America, as it is native to 27 states and parts of Canada. From a single pint jar, I ended up with three 4 ounce jars of salve that will be stored away for my family’s use. I wrote the name of the herbal remedy and the date it was bottled. When Dogwood anthracnose spread to Maryland in the 1980s, some local populations were nearly wiped out. The end product is still incredibly stout, but delicious and hopefully will help to relieve coughs for the adults in our household for months to come. As promised, I stayed up late last night and finally managed to capture a semi-functional recording of myself playing Wayfaring Stranger. For a ramp festival near you, check out King of Stink and stay funky, y’all! ~~Jamie, I feel like I should make an Earth, Wind, and Fire reference here. Appalachian Spring Dogwood is a true survivor. In our house – chorizo loving fools we are – we mix it up a bit, making make them very similar to the traditional way, but with a bit of chorizo to add heat and even more flavor; mixing them into spaghetti and meat sauce; chopping them finely into venison. My wonderful husband, always a willing test subject for anything coming from my kitchen, said even if this syrup doesn’t stop a cough, it’ll still make a body feel better soon enough…. Since we’re still testing out deer prevention methods for our garden, we haven’t starting growing anything since our move to Teays Valley. A cheap tuner may make you sound okay at home by yourself, but not when you’re playing along with others. It sure ain’t pretty, but it’s my ugly baby. Almost as much as I hope to one day have a homestead so I can have a dozen rescued boxers beaning all around me. We also pickle them whole bulbs and sometimes even make relish from them, as we’re doing this year. In the meantime, this will be my final dulcimer post for a while, as the project which instigated this blog is coming to an end. Calendula petals are typically grown in beds in this area and are easily confused with marigolds. As I’ve said before, this song has been covered by more than 500 artists over the years. One of my favorite ballads started the idea for project (well, this one combined with Pretty Lil Feet and a general love of Appalachian traditionals). Myself, I could lay down and wallow in a patch of it with not am itch to occur. The Appalachian Spring dogwood ( Cornus florida ‘Appalachian Spring’) is an outstanding flowering tree that blooms in the Spring on leafless branches. Its foliage turns red to purple in fall. I learned that laryngitis will strike when you least expect it, as will broken strings. I chose not include the turmeric root powder she recommended for color. Welcome back! Sustainable ramp harvesting is key for enjoying these delicious bites of Appalachia for years to come. Or they may have prayed over you and a small square of cloth, cloth anointed with oil, leaving it in God’s hands as you carried this talisman with you for protection or good will. It can typically be found in West Virginia, growing on the roadsides, often very close to patches of poison ivy. But, I digress. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, calendula has a host of medicinal uses, including: burns, cuts, bruises, dermatitis, and ear infections. While I love knowing that I now have a basis for playing music on the dulcimer, as I said in the previous post this has not been easy. I hunted this entire semester for sheet music for this song – and a little bit before the semester even started – only to find a single version of it for the dulcimer. While you may not have heard of meadowsweet before, you’ve more than likely used some derivative form of it. I hope you’ve enjoyed my forays into herbal medicine and Appalachian foodways. There are a variety of ways early Appalachians used meadowsweet, including as a tea, a tincture, or as a salve. — Jamie. As we finished up the rest of dinner for the evening (buffalo chicken and squash au gratin), I kept catching myself singing a song by the fabulous Carolina Chocolate Drops, “Cornbread & Butterbeans,” exchanging the butter beans line for collard greens. Ramps smell better. Some are deciduous trees, some are herbaceous perennial plants, and a few are evergreen woody species. Each cultivar is sold under the Appalachian series of dogwoods. So in the meantime, I created a survey asking people about their experiences with Appalachian granny medicine and compiling the results for a report to my advisor. Have you ever used poison ivy soap after a long day in the woods? With its Appalachian origins and easy, mellow sound, I felt the dulcimer and I would get along just fine. Cornus florida 'Karen's Appalachian Blush' PP 13165 Karen's Appalachian Blush Flowering Dogwood. As you all know, I wanted to learn to play an instrument. I learned that tuner quality matters. It was cultivated by early immigrants to Appalachia for it’s medicinal properties prior to the discovery of what would eventually become aspirin when combined with certain medicinal elements from white willow bark. They may have been said to know a thing or two about herbs, midwifery, or have a natural bent toward healing. They may have known that chewing on yellow root (Goldenseal) is good for canker sores. I’m gonna go chill out in a quiet room with a blanket and my dogs now and get back to the business of getting better. Just a few drops and the pain in my head and ears definitely eased up within about 30 minutes, allowing me to sleep like a baby. They knew things. Dogwood bark is notorously hard and used to make high stress tools. Cornus florida 'Rutnut' Red Pygmy® PP 15219 Red Pygmy® Flowering Dogwood. I even learned how to play and made some new friends along the way. Stay tuned to see what happens next! And at the present the moment, I really just don’t want to touch the dulcimer to give my fingertips a chance to recover from all the constantly repetitive playing.


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