Snow, Slow-Brew Chaga, Earth Mama Greetings, and Dreams of Colorado
Snow began to fall here last night. To think that three days ago, we were outside barefoot and in t-shirts. New England is such a crazy place.
A friend from Colorado just sent me a video of the view from her cabin porch on Christmas Day. Carbondale, Colorado saw a lot of snow this month. The wind was howling. But it was a beautiful sight: Tibetan prayer flags swaying, bunches of herbs and green glass lanterns hanging from the beams, a fire pit to the left, comfy chairs all around, mountains behind, and pure white everywhere. Jesse is a very cool woman, in a very cool cabin, and Colorado is an amazing place to live. She always greets me the same way: “Buenos Dias, Earth Mama!” What a great way to say hello.
One of my brothers lived in Colorado for several years. I’m just infatuated with the culture, landscape, and very, very hip people. Driving through the Rocky Mountains is a spiritual experience. But there’s too much cold and snow there for my husband. He’s willing to visit Colorado with me, but he won’t drop anchor there. I have to hone my skills of convincing. I’m working on it.
Colorado’s native plants are gorgeous. The mountain and high plains atmosphere produces hardy, colorful wildflowers, dense mosses, sturdy trees, and thick grasses. Indian rice grass, buffalo grass, hawthorn, and wild wheatgrass all grow unabated and form carefree, Zen garden-like shapes and mounds. The Colorado blue spruce tree is majestic and strong.
If you love purple wildflowers as I do, you’ll go insane with joy in Colorado. Wild purple monkshood, aster, locoweed, purple vetch, kitten tails, and so much more are abundant in spring and summer. Colorado is really nirvana for a master gardener like myself.
This morning, I filled our large crock pot with spring water, and added about 4 cups of freshly ground chaga. I let it roll at high for a couple of hours, then turned it down to low, and will let it brew all day. It’s an experiment. Can I do an effective water extraction without boiling? The aim is to draw out as many of the water-soluble constituents as possible.
I revisited chagamountain.com and ordered a chaga duel extract. It appears that there are elements in chaga that are only extractable through alcohol. A duel extract has been processed through both water and alcohol, in theory pulling all the liquid soluble constituents from the chaga. It’s due to arrive at our home tomorrow. Excited to give it a try.
I also bought some fresh Canada chaga. I’d like to try Alaska chaga next, although my gut is telling me to settle on local, wild harvested chaga. Best of all would be chaga I find on my own.
If the snow sticks here, I’ll get to try out the snow shoes I received for Christmas. Today, for some reason, I’m dreaming of Colorado.
Peace on Earth