Decarbonisation Dreams, Earthing in December, and More Uses for Chaga

Wild chaga on a birch tree

This is just the most amazing winter. Today is December 15, and it’s 60 degrees, with bright sun. I walked outside barefoot this morning (earthing ( in December? Yes!), and soaked up some vitamin D with that great Earth energy. The lettuce bed is thriving. And the Italian parsley just keeps growing. Fresh garden greens nine days before Christmas. This is a gardener’s dream of winter.

I’m not naive of the fact that our deteriorating global climate has a big hand in this. Atmospheric warming feels good on the skin, but the source of this spring like December is not positive for the planet. There is real worry mixed with this drunken joy I feel when I pluck fresh lettuce from the greens bed in mid-December. 

Greenhouse gasses are at fault; decarbonisation is a solution. The emissions cuts pledged in Paris last week will pioneer Mother Earth’s journey to lesser warming through negative emissions technology, but only beginning as far down the road as the later second half of this century. I won’t live to see that progress. I’m fervently hoping that we can successfully slow this disaster down for all the life (and gardens) to come. Every human, animal, vegetable, and mineral on Earth depends on it.

I just bought a pound of chaga chunks from, a gatherer and seller of wild grown chaga from western Maine white and yellow birch. But I’m really aiming to go on my own chaga expedition here in Northern Connecticut. I’ve yet to see a really large birch stand here, but this part of New England is no stranger to birch trees, so I think it would be worth a try. Worst case scenario? I get to spend the day wandering through the woods, commiserating with trees and wildlife. I call that a win-win, chaga or not.

New uses I’ve found for chaga – as a cooking base. Fresh chaga, simmered for a few hours, makes a great soup base. Also use it to boil rice for a potent and medicinal rice dish. Use stewed chaga to cook beans. There are probably a thousand ways to incorporate the beneficial constituents of chaga into food.

I’m also discovering the better ways to make chaga tea. Using fresh chunk chaga that’s been ground to a powder at home, add it to water (use a good source of water, not municipal tap water), bring to a boil, and simmer, covered, for three hours. This is the pure, folk method of preparing chaga tea. It makes a black, rich, potent, delicious infusion.

I’m learning as I go with chaga, and loving it.

Peace on Earth

Popular Posts