Reply To: Foraging 21: Local trees

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Hyunsuh Kim

Willows must be one of my favorite trees, just watching them billow in the wind by the waters is calming. They remind me of one of my favorite poems:

“Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.”

– “Who Has Seen the Wind?”, Christina Rossetti

There are a lot of them by Amsterdam’s canals! They grow very easily from cuttings as well, I remember building the willow arch with my community garden crew by simply sticking the large brunches and tying them together, and already in the following year the arch was flourishing. All parts of it are edible too, though not particularly palatable due to being very bitter. Nevertheless, willow bark can be used like aspirin to relieve different pains.

I also love the smell of elderflowers in bloom in late spring. Last time my friend flavored his kombucha with some of its florets and it was phenomenal!