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Salt and Shadow

Evergreen Tea

Two of the evergreens all over this region are manzanitas and foothills pines. I admire the manzanitas with their twisting branches and peeling red bark, and bluish green leathery leaves. They offer a pleasant surprise in the middle of winter with pink and white sweet smelling blooms, and hummingbirds can feed on the nectar instead of flying south. The berries and flowers are edible and the leaves can relieve poison oak rash if boiled into a decoction and poured into a bath.

The foothills pines, also known as gray pines or ghost pines have huge pine cones, and their nuts provide a major food source to the Native Americans in this region. Pine needles can be used to make tea, and are high in vitamins C and A.

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