Well the rains have finally stopped and the river is beginning to recede back to its normal flow. Another flood scare here at the farm has led us to redraw the medicine trail so that the bulk of our replanting efforts will be out of the range of average flooding.
In the meantime, as we watched it rain for about three weeks, I was able to get all the signs painted for the trail as well as getting a lot of medicinal herbs planted in flats in the greenhouse. We’ve got Bee balm (Monarda fistulosa), Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), Marshmallow (Althea officinalis), Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), Arnica (Arnica Montana), Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea), St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum), and Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) all going in the greenhouse.
Out on the trail, we have new wild plants that seem to have appeared after the flood. In addition to the Jurassic Thistle (seriously, over 8 ft tall!) we have a nice population of plantain, horsetail wild licorice, mullein, yellow dock, red clover, and catnip. I think we even have some milk thistle, which isn’t all that common here. I’m still anxiously awaiting to see if the goldenrod and milkweed will re-establish themselves in the flood zone.
But the most exciting thing is that some of the plants that I thought I had lost last year actually seem to have pulled through. Last season I had planted four Black Cohosh plants. They all struggled and seemed to die back at the end of the season, but they are going strong this year!
I had added a lot of trees last season and they too struggled. Our weather has been so odd for the past 18 months, and the trees just looked awful by the end of last season. But as of now they are all leafing out and looking good! A horse chestnut, a white oak, 2 willows, a wild cherry (chokecherry) a hawthorn, a buffalo berry, and a couple of cottonwoods for the horse pasture. I am so pleased and excited to see them awakening and looking good.
We still need to wait for things to dry out a little bit before we start adding the plants to the medicine trail, but things are looking good!