Transformational Gardening

Disclaimer: Foraging can be fun, rewarding and provide health benefits. As a novice forager, I will be sharing my foraging experiences. However, in order to be safe, always consult with local foraging experts and guidebooks before beginning foraging. Children should learn to forage safely by being guided by experienced adults. Never ingest anything unless you are certain of the identification and safety of the plant. Some plant species are inedible and some are poisonous.

Scouringrush Horsetail (Equisetum hyemale): Images

Date Location Notes Images
July 25, 2010 Southeastern, New Hampshire
Date Location Notes Images
October 14, 2010 Southeastern, New Hampshire Picked Scouringrush Horsetail to use as a pot and pan scrubber. The silica crystals in the stem were traditionally used for scouring. I tried it on dirty pots, a wooden spoon and glass bowls and it worked extremely well and it kept working without any loss of scrubbing capability.

I saved some Scouringrush Horsetail so I can lash it together and try to make a more stable “scouring pad.” Also, I want to repeatedly reuse the stems to see how long they last.

In Japan, the stems are boiled and then used as fine sandpaper to finish furniture and other workworking projects. Reportedly, the Scouring Rush Horsetail works better than fine sandpaper to provide a smooth finish. I boiled up the stems, but I don’t know what to do with them next. I’ll try letting them dry, lashing them together (or perhaps cutting them into flatter pieces) and then using on a piece of red oak that I recently finished with natural stain and resin.

The picture on the lower right shows two bundles of Scouringrush Horsetail. The bundle on the left was used for washing dishes, especially pots/pans. The bundle on the right was in boiling water for 20 minutes and then dried for a day. I used it as fine sandpaper on a piece of finished wood.
Date Location Notes Images
April 10, 2011 Southeastern, New Hampshire Old growth of Scouringrush Horsetail in the early Spring.
Date Location Notes Images
April 15, 2011 Southeastern, New Hampshire It looks like new growth of Scouringrush Horsetail in the early Spring.