Today I am preparing herbs for a tea blend to be given out at the NACA Indigenous Foods Symposium next week in Tucson. I am using a blend of herbs found growing wild in Tijeras Canyon, New Mexico, where my family is from, combined with regional herbs that grow well in the area.
Knowing which plants grow wild in that area helps me better understand their story, as well as my ancestor's stories. Certain herbs were used and regarded very highly to people like my great-grandmother, who was an herbalist. Knowing that these plants were part of the landscape she once walked on with her bare feet, makes me smile inside with a feeling of connection. Some of the herbs I am using are bitter smelling, some beautifully fragrant, others with little scent at all. Knowing stories of where your family is from is very special, however having the opportunity to smell where your family is from is quite surreal.