One of the best things about living in Tayport is meeting, and chatting to, its many creative, fascinating, generous inhabitants. I’ve just had the pleasure of interviewing one such person – Katrino, a yoga teacher, outdoor adventurer and creator of the business, Yogi Oils. Katrino has a deep passion for nature, the seasons and the plant medicines of Scotland. I started by asking about her thoughts on this time of year and it was heartening to hear Katrino’s positive views on this seasonal transition as we move from a difficult – and for many ‘lost’ summer – into autumn.
“I think September is the most beautiful month, the colours change and more than anything, it’s just noticing that. It’s my favourite time because the mushrooms come out and I go foraging for chanterelles in Tentsmuir. You don’t pick all the mushrooms from your spot; you must leave some for next year and it doesn’t matter if you crush one or two as it helps to spread the spores. Mushrooms are full of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, which is important at this time of year when we are losing some daylight,”
Katrino went on the say that she has investigated the merits of locally gown food and says it is worth highlighting the closer you are to your food source, the more beneficial it is for you. This, of course, fits in exactly with the ethos of PLANT and our current veg harvests. Katrino then went on to plug the enormous benefits of a tree found all around Tayport: the elderberry.
“The Elder tree is amazing and its berries are out in abundance just now. They are very high in vitamin, D, C and B6. They are probably the best berries to pick right now. I’ve got a really nice recipe for elderberry cough syrup which is probably needed at this time of year. It’s really good for colds, allergies and boosting the immune system. I also have a nice port or brandy recipe which is fab because you can keep it into the winter and you can have a little sip whenever you need a top up of vitamins. Elderberry tea is lovely, too.” (look out for these recipes in the next blog).
We could have chatted all day about beneficial berries but I wanted to move on to the delicious smelling oils and candles Katrino produces and any advice she had about living in these difficult times of change and transition.
“The thing that we want to try to do is to get out of our head and come back to our body. The body can hold a lot of wisdom and tell us a lot of things. Because so much is going on in the head, you need to find ways to get into the body and that can be keeping up with the lockdown walks, finding a hobby, gardening or just listening to music. In terms of plants, using body oils is a really great form of self-care. Use ‘grounding oils’, that is plants and trees which have deep roots and have musky, earthy scents such as sandalwood, cedar and patchouli. Your skin is an organ and it picks up on everything in your environment, also, your head and feet are the biggest receptors. Never put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth.”
I finished our conversation by asking Katrino for some final reflections on these times we are living through:
“A strong sense of community and connection and the openness to that connection. What keeps ringing in my ears is slowing down and living more locally. It’s as simple as that.”
And finally, I must mention Harry, Katrino’s gorgeous, little dog who had snuggled up to me for all of the interview. What a cutie!
NB – Please go foraging with an expert and never pick or eat anything you are not 100% sure is safe to eat.