sweetgrass braids

About a month ago I was with my sister in Fort Erie, tagging along with her when she went to pick up her CSA share at a local farm. While we were there I was treated to a tour of the medicine garden they had on the property, which was fascinating to me. It was divided into quadrants North, South, East, and West, with each quadrant planted according to its direction on the compass. Sweetgrass was the main plant in one of them – I believe it was the North, but I may be wrong – and I was gifted a bunch of it in order to make myself a sweetgrass braid.

sweetgrass

Lucky for me, my bunch also included lots of seeds! I’ll be trying them out in the spring, so let me know if you’re interested in growing your own as well. Sweetgrass braids are burned, which produces a lot of sweet-smelling smoke since they really just smolder. The smoke is said to be purifying in the traditional medicine of our aboriginal people. But even if the braids are not burned, they do have a lovely scent and can be enjoyed as they are.

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My instructions were to hang up the sweetgrass to dry, then soak it and braid it. Which I did, after first taking out all the seeds and saving them for later.

sweetgrass soaking

I didn’t keep track of the soaking time, but it needs to be pliable enough to braid.

sweetgrass braid

My braid is now dry, and still intact. It’s enhancing the smell of my office. I want to enjoy it a bit more before I burn it.

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