A safe and sacred haven not only for humans, but for all manner of life, Orient Land Trust/Valley View Hot Springs is home to an abundant and diverse population of wild plants. One cannot help but notice the wild roses blooming in late spring, the aromatic mint surrounding the ponds and offering up its gentle fragrance in the warmth of the mid-summer sun, and the Chokecherries hanging dark and heavy on their branches come autumn. The plants at Valley View Hot Springs are brimming with vitality, owing to the mineral-rich waters and fresh mountain air which nourish them. Furthermore, many of these plants also happen to be choice edibles, potent medicines, and precious allies for sacred ceremony.
For two summers and counting, folk healer and herbalist, Sophia Rose of La Abeja Herbs has visited Valley View Hot Springs to guide guests in a week of free Wild Plant Walks. On this year's leisurely explorations in and around the village, participants became familiar with upwards of thirty five distinct plant species! Some favorites included the scattered Hawthorne Trees--a profound remedy to nourish and protect the Spiritual Heart, and the delightful Puffball Fungus mushroom, which are an easily identifiable edible and make a wonderful introduction to the world of mycology.
Next year's walks promise just as much delight and even more depth and breadth, as Sophia Rose returns to cover the edible, medicinal, and ceremonial uses of new plants on each day's journey. You'll want to be sure to catch as many of these walks as possible in Summer 2015! To receive a free PDF listing the common names, latin binomials, and pictures of all the plants covered during this year's walks at Valley View Hot Springs, email Sophia at . On your next visit to Orient Land Trust/Valley View Hot Springs, print the guide and bring it along to see how many of the plants you can identify.
While you're at it, take a few precious moments to give thanks for the beauty and healing offered by simply being surrounded by the ancient wisdom of our green relations.
Note: These walks are educational in nature and are not an invitation to harvest plant medicine on the property. To preserve the exquisite beauty and thriving ecosystem that make Valley View Hot Springs such a special place to visit, we ask that you refrain from harvesting any plant material on the property during your visits. Thank you!
by Sophia Rose