People often comment on our beautiful bundles of sage, so we decided to reveal the person and some of the techniques behind these special dried bouquets.
[Rose] Today we're here talking with Robert Medina as a continuation of how we at Prairie Edge/Sioux Trading Post prepare our sage for our customers. We just want folks to know that we're just not throwing it together, we're actually doing some preparation…and Robert's the best!
[Robert] One thing that I like to do personally is go through every bundle and separate the best, leafiest stems from those that are less leafy or pretty bare (some loads are going to be better than others)…because in the end, we want to give our customers the best of what we have. We also like to pick out any grass or other plants from the stems.
I like lining them up, just because when you're getting ready to roll them into a bundle, it looks really, really nice…this just gives it a little extra when you're going to present it.
Through out the process, I always find little things to pick out (like grass, bare stems and twigs) that aren't really usable. Then, once I have all my stems lined up, I cut the ends again to make sure they're all even and won't poke through the tissue paper we use to wrap it.
Place the sage bundle on a nice, big piece of tissue paper, gently roll it up, fold in the end, tape it…and its ready to go!
[Rose] So, the majority of the product in your bundle is usable? In other words, there's not much waste.
[Robert] Of course. Like I said, we like to give the customers the leafiest stems (what they can use) as opposed to the bare stems or unusable twigs. This is just a step we like to take because we want to give our customers the best of what we got.
[Rose] Isn't that inherent with a natural product?
[Robert] Of course, sometimes you're just going to have plants that are just not growing…and that's natural . We do this all the time when we're out picking…so we know the process of how it goes. If you've gone out and you've seen sage, you know it grows just like any other plant…you're going to have your good crops and your bad crops.
[Rose] …and since it is wild crafted, it is subjected to the environment…bugs, wind, hot, hail.
[Robert ] Yes, especially now in the climate we've had. We haven't had a particularly good Winter and that has carried over into Spring, so the sage hasn't grown as well as it has in past years, but its still growing and its still well harvested.
When we're done, we have some extra, but we put that to use as well. We'll strip the less leafy stems (that we set aside from the bundle) and just use the leaves…just some small steps we do here at Prairie Edge/Sioux Trading Post when we roll sage.