Today, I want to talk a little bit about plant communication, a little bit about gratitude, and a litle bit about one of my favorite wild plants: the farkleberry. It’s a blueberry that’s native to Texas.
Actually, some people call them sparkleberries, because apparently the Boy Scouts had too good of a time with the name farkleberry! But I still call them farkleberries. They’re just delicious little berries. They’re a little bit mealy, but a little bit sweet. If you cut sugar out of your diet like I have, you’ll find that it’s very nice to be able to enjoy some sweets like these.
Now, whenever I harvest anything—especially wildcraft—I keep in mind that this is a living plant that has produced things that I’m taking. In fair exchange, I want to express my gratitude to this plant for producing these berries and letting me pick and eat them.
The number one way to do this—the thing that plants would love the most—is to simply urinate at the base of the plant. You have a highly available form of nitrogen in your urine, and plants really appreciate that. Of course, that may not be passable in a lot of places, like public parks or maybe even your backyard. Or you might not be comfortable yet doing that kind of thing.
So, if you have a canteen of water with you and you’re living in dry country, another great thing you can do is use a small bit of water to express your gratitude.
Another thing I like to do every couple of years is grow some tobacco. Tobacco is a plant that has been used historically by the native peoples here in America. It can make a great fertilizer. Just take a pinch, sprinkle it on the soil around the plant, and say, “Thank you so much. I appreciate your fruits.” The plants don’t understand your words, but they get your intent.
Just making an offering of some sort is immensely beneficial in that relationship.
One of the kind of “woo-woo” things that I found out about this is that the more I do it, the more I’m suddenly able to see farkleberry bushes when I couldn’t see them before. It’s almost as if they know that I’m looking for them, and they call to me. Again, a little bit mystical, but isn’t plant communication in general?
I’d love to hear your experiences with this type of thing. Leave me a note in the comments! 🙂
Marjory Wildcraft is the founder of The Grow Network, which is a community of people focused on modern self-sufficient living. She has been featured by National Geographic as an expert in off-grid living, she hosted the Mother Earth News Online Homesteading Summit, and she is listed in Who’s Who in America for having inspired hundreds of thousands of backyard gardens. Marjory was the focus of an article that won Reuter’s Food Sustainability Media Award, and she recently authored The Grow System: The Essential Guide to Modern Self-Sufficient Living—From Growing Food to Making Medicine.