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Taking Charge of Your Health


good morning hi I’m Maggie and this
morning we are outside of our offices in Ashland Oregon and we have a special
treat for you today because we are going to go out to the banyan farm project
outside of Ashland and Williams Oregon and harvest ashwagandha yeah we’re gonna
go check out what’s been growing out there and see what the process looks
like for taking that ashwagandha out of the ground but it is raining a little bit and we
weren’t expecting them but hopefully it’ll lift up by the time we get out
there this is a little Drive so we’ve been growing Ashwagandha in
India at our cooperatives for like many many years but and actually we’ve been
growing Ashwagandha in southern oregon for the last like three or four years
but those have been kind of small little experiments and this year we grew a
whole field with the intention of- really coming down now – with the
intention of being able to use this ashwagandha root in our production and in the making of our products all right we are here on the farm we
made it out here and it’s not raining so that’s really good and we’ve got Tyler
and Tommy and these are our guys who are working out here a year ago we found
this farm and then since then I’ve been working alongside Tommy just making the
day-to-day decisions here and what we want to plan and how to do that and how
to tend to it so working alongside Tyler and the other four members of our crew
to really just try and steward this land the best way possible and fill it up
with all the different herbs that we can grow for Banyan here and yeah a lot of
Tyler and I’s roles is you know planning figuring out what’s what’s
going to go grow best we’re coordinating planting times harvest times and so
forth and today we’re gonna be harvesting ashwagandha yeah so here we are with Ashwagandha and the beginning of these plants life was in the end of March right around the
spring equinox and here we are shortly after the fall equinox oh it’s been with
us just about six months from seed to now when we’re harvesting it this is
what you started with so you had dried seed like this
we had dried seed like this and each of these yeah we seeded each of these in a
little cell right around the spring equinox
you mean cell you mean like those little planters yeah just little
planters yeah yeah it takes them about a week to to to germinate and
we’re having about six weeks in the greenhouse before we plant them
out in the field so we planted everything out here yeah right around
the beginning of May through throughout the month of May and it’s taking them
May until now here at the beginning of October until they’ve gotten to this
this lovely queenly size as gauging by the size our roots yeah it feels like
we’ve done pretty well okay so you’re gauging by the size of the roots because
really that’s the part that’s gonna be going into products that’s the medicinal
part this little part is the root yeah are there other medicinal parts in there
Tyler do you probably maybe have some more info there I would say to this
point the root is primarily what’s been used but we are having more and more
interest in using the aerial parts and so there’s research and emphasis being
put into the leaves and I could see that over the next year’s being incorporated
alongside the roots and part of people’s apothecary are the actual leaves without
you’re down the plant as well Ashwagandha is a it’s a member of the
nightshade family and this the seed and these seed pods being the most most
strong characteristic we see of these so this is a bit reminiscent of a tomato or
a tomatillo that sort of thing yeah just like a tomatillo it looks just like a
tomatillo yeah they grow in these they grow in these pretty pretty lanterns and
yeah really really quite neat and these lantern like seed cases enclosing the
fruit and then the fruit encasing the seed and are these seeds toxic generally
the yeah the fruit and the seed is mildly toxic
yeah or not recommended to you as is the case with lots of blots in the
nightshade family that too much tomatoes being ones that we have to
spread that that characteristic Adam questioning when we want to harvest
especially in a climate like this in Southern Oregon so we’re considered to
have a temperate climate we’re in a zone eight and so this plant we want to
collect before we get those first really hard frost and that’s when we start to
see a greater impact on the plants vitality and especially the integrity of
the root and one indicator for us is when the swollen calyx is shift from a
green to a brown and so when we see a good percentage of these calyx is shift
to this brown color that’s an indicator that it’s time for us to collect the
roots and so out here we’re gonna be collecting ashwagandha root anywhere
from the end of September through mid-october is typically our harvest
season I think the ashwagandha really thrives
in a variety of different soil types I think the main thing is an adaptogen
it’s an adaptogen it adapts you had all these different areas but I think
generally like with most plants it really wants it wants a loose soil it
does well in sandy soil that drains well which we certainly have on this farm and
just really some soil that’s really deep and loose so you can just encourage that
deep root growth and as far as growing the grown goes but what ashwagandha
really likes how it really thrives is that summer heat which we haven’t have
an abundance here on a hot week where we’re getting consistent hundred degree
weather you really you notice these plants grow on those times you know they
could grow they could grow several inches in a week and it’s really the
heat that they respond to I could just quickly demonstrate what
the harvest process looks like choose a hardy Hardy plant right here
generally the bigger they are the harder they are to get out of the ground so we
harvest these using these handy digging Forks generally we’ll just get as close
to the root face of that plant as possible
get under there you generally do that a couple of times so it’s avoid breaking
any roots loosen the soil and now it’s ready to pull out there’s our Ashwagandha root they’re generally unlike a carrot or something though I’ll grow it like kind of this
more sprawling root mass and this is a yeah this is a healthy specimen this is
about what we’ve been getting on average here’s a couple for comparison just to
give you a sense of what each one looks like side-by-side those are three
separate plants they’re basically will the separate that’s that root mass from
from the stock and the leaves so generally that all this will get left
out here in later compost student we’ll bring this into the to the wash and pack
and wash it before it goes into the dry room so each of these ashwagandha plants
when they’re wet just coming out of the ground weights just about a quarter pound one pound of fresh way it translates to about a third of a pound of dry weight
so in translation that means it’ll it would take us about twelve of these
plants just in order to get one dry pound of ashwagandha the stage of the
process after we harvest it is just about breaking this down into smaller
pieces before makes it at the dryer room we can’t send send this whole chunk to
the to the processing facility so basically just cutting off about one
inch pieces off of all these stuff all these roots breaking it down til it’s a little more uniform and small so after we have a a nice nice pile of
one-inch ashwagandha root pieces built up then we’ll just put it through the
washing process so we’re just trying to get every last bit of dirt off of here
to end up with the most clean and bacteria free product possible and then
the final stage is leaving into the dry room and it’ll it’ll be in the dry room
for about 10 days before it’s fully dry yeah so we’ll get it packaged up and
we’re actually going to be sending it to the processing facility in Albuquerque
it’s the Banyan processing facility and this will make it into some of the
products we see Banyan offer and I think these in particular and we’ll be going
into some oils okay like being oil like our Ashwagandha Bala oil absolutely, vata massage oil okay nice mmm it’s like chewing on a stick I’m surprised it tastes pretty green but
not bad though you still get that Ashwagandha flavor that shines through
I definitely am getting the bitter right now mm-hmm
that one shines the most so for me personally I can feel a little restless
at night and I would say if there’s any stress that is accumulated in my life or
that day it tends to show up and express an evening and so I’m usually looking
for a plant or plants or practices that are gonna help calm me down and help me
get into that sleep and rest state and ashwagandha is one of those plants that
I like to work with and really I do it every evening and so when we look at
what that is I will take the powder – Ashwagandha root about a tablespoon to 6 to 8 ounces of milk and IU is goat milk but you can use cow milk you can use a
nut milk and I’ll add that ashwagandha root powder to that milk and then I’ll
slowly bring that to a boil and while I’m bringing that milk to a boil I
continue to stir so that Ashwagandha is integrating into the milk well and the
reason why I don’t boil for a long period of time is as you can tell Maggie
as you’re chewing on this root it’s quite bitter and so the longer that the
ashwagandha is in hot or warm milk you’ll get more of those bitter tones
and sometimes that taste is a little overpowering and for me I have a
sensitive Constitution so I like a subtler flavor profile so I don’t
influence it by that much heat but I’ll bring it to a boil I’ll continue to stir
once I shut that heating element off then I’ll continue to stir for another
few seconds and then I’ll drink that milk about 30 minutes to 1 hour before
going to bed and it comes my body it allows me to feel comfortable and any of
that stress just just diminishes that’s one of the amazing powers of this plant alright so that was I look into the
ashwagandha field here at the banyan farm project thanks so much for watching
and checking this out with us today I really hope you learned something about
ashwagandha and that if you haven’t ever tried it before that you are interested
in giving it a go so check out our products with ashwagandha in it
we’ve got oils tablets and even just bulk powder if you have any questions or
comments just leave those in the comments section below and yeah don’t
forget to subscribe to our channel for more Ayurvedic videos thanks for
watching bye

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