|You probably know this, but it's my responsibility as a Gatekeeper to the West aka: Granmother Bear ~ to CYA: When you harvest, always try and take the ones from the bottom since they are usually the older branches and harvest only a few from each plant ~~ Leave it as though you have not been there. This will help them grow for the next season and also leave some for the next harvester. Never pull on them, as they will tear and you may wind up pulling out the plant or destroying it.
Before you harvest any living thing (which is everything), always offer a pinch of tobacco (water or strands of hair, etc., if you don't have tobacco with you, but you should make it a point to have some when you go to harvest) to the largest plant (usually the Mother/Grandmother of all of the offspring nearby) thanking the Creator and the plant for its gift and explain what you are about to do, in acknowledgement of their sacrifice. PLEASE, DO NOT take from that plant ~~ only from the surrounding other plants. It is advisable to take with you a container to put your clippings in and leave the area as if you were never there, being ever so careful not to step on any plants nearby. You would think that everybody knows that, but I've seen smashed plants and uprooted plants and even baby sprouts taken, which is a very big no~no.
It is best to go with someone else because of our creepy crawlies that live around these plants which are not always happy that you are there.... hehehe... it would be advisable to wear boots to protect your ankles from snake bites, etc., and you may need assistance coming down or going up the hill.
Happy harvesting ~~~~~