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Natural Medicine Around the Farm

Goldenrod, the autumnal firework display.

Time is marked in many ways. For some, it's through the crossing-off of the calendar days. For others, it's through noticing homelife changes like the bustle of the back-to-school season. Our preferred methods of keeping track of our days speak a lot about where we are in life. Currently, most of my days are spent in the dirt watching the waning nature of our sunlit hours. On a daily basis, I'll look at many of the same plants watching them grow and change, or I'll look at the angle of the sun to see what plants are getting more sun or more shade. Noticing minute changes is part of the job description. Lately, I've noticed an increased brilliancy along the back roads of Hanover County. It's as if a golden thread has been woven into the tapestry of the local landscape all because the native Goldenrod plant has begun to bloom. Luckily, native pollinators are hard to fence in and you may have even noticed some of these perennials lining up along the grassy hills off of I-64. We're very fortunate to have such beautiful native plants to usher us beyond the height of the summer heat and into the first signs of autumn.

But did you know that these tiny golden flowers that look as though they're tumbling out of the woods are actually filled with medicine? The plant itself is the perfect shape to provide all the local pollinators with ample food to keep them buzzing around our fields throughout the fall. These flowy wands of golden yellow are lined with thousands of tiny flowers and decorate our landscapes with piney-scented resinous leaves. For medicinal purposes, both the flowers and the leaves may be used. Traditionally, goldenrod has been used in Native medicinal practices both topically and internally for a myriad of health benefits including digestive aid, allergy relief, toothaches, burns, wounds, etc. Notably, goldenrod contains more antioxidant potential than green tea! It's because o