Originally posted on July 7th 2015
Harvesting Slippery Elm
The harvesting of Slippery Elm (Ulmas rubra) is a process that few in modern times have ever experienced. It is a communal effort, akin to the village coming together for the buffalo hunt. Though it requires many days of physical labor, and requires the death of the tree, no part goes to waste. Once the tree has sensed it is dying, the seeds mature, are harvested, and then are planted in the surrounding area and other places, ensuring further growth of the species.
Once the tree has been felled, the inner root bark, and inner tree bark is peeled, and dried to make a demulcent chew. The wood of Slippery elm is comprised of dense interlocking fibers which, once dried, makes it an extremely effective fire starting material for use in bow-drills, as well as an excellent bow wood. The interlocking nature of the grain also contributes to shock resistance, making it desirable for use in wagon wheels, as well as more notably, as the the yoke of the Liberty Bell.
Medicinally speaking, Slippery Elm, in addition to being an excellent demulcent, moisturizes the whole body inside and out, and can help smooth out wrinkles.* It also functions as an expectorant, eliminating toxins.*
Slippery Elm Tree and Root Bark is currently available from Will via front porch pick up, or at the Farmers markets