Wild Blessings Table at the Health Fair

This week I had the privilege of manning a booth at the annual Samaritan’s Purse Health Fair.  Vendors from various natural healing modalities, health food stores, anything health related…  I shared a table with Loretta Sable, a local nutritionist, who uses real food as her chief healing tool in helping her clients heal from a variety of ailments.  I was pleased at the interest many showed in my Wild Blessings table, where I had some wild foods for people to taste and lots of wild goodness show and tell.

The guy manning the Parks and Rec table wants to hike the Appalachian Trail and was jazzed to meet someone who can teach him how to forage for food on the trail and thus carry less food in his pack. He sounds really committed to learn and plans on buying Linda Runyon’s fabulous foraging books.  It really isn’t enough to know that a plant is edible.  One must learn a few key details, like: what part of the plant it edible…when is it best to eat….or not to eat….how to eat it or cook it to make it the most nutritious and tasty….  Often people throw up their hands in exasperation when I say things like this because it seems so overwhelming.  I ask them, “Do you know all the fruits and veggies in the produce section of your grocery store?  Do you know how to cook with them?  It was a process of identification and rather common sense instruction but now it’s second nature.  It is like that with wild plants.  I challenge people to learn just one plant at a time and incorporate it into their diet as an addition, then a substitution for a similar vegetable that you had to purchase or grow.  Nothing like free food!

January 20th My foraging basket wild groceries!

The day before the Health Fair I set out to shop with an empty foraging basket and two happy collies.  My goal was to see what God has for free in His Winter grocery stores. Victorious we came back with a basket stuffed with Chickweed, Wild Onion, and Mullein roots for a friends achey back! I used the Chickweed and Wild Onion to make an extremely tasty Hummus and the Mullein root I gifted to my friend.  I even found an empty garden pot with Chickweed joyously growing to bring as a show and tell of the abundance that God provides for us even in the dead of Winter.

I admit it I am food centric! Brie smothered with Highbush Cranberries, organic oranges, and local honey! Oh my!

High Bush Cranberries are a magical berry tree.  They are not related to Cranberries but they taste JUST like them.  A friend said about this photo  “Looks like a good cheese wearing a cape of highbush cranberry jelly”.   My moving photo frame showed pics of foraging, cooking and generally ‘herbing around’.

Below I offered tiny samples of my Beauty Berry fruit leather pounded into shapes with a mallet.  Beauty Berries are a purple berry that make a nice trail nibble but they are quite an invasive plant…which is fine with me! The taste of the jelly is unlike anything else, absolutely delicious.  When making a fruit leather I always mix the wild berry with crabapple sauce, because Crabapples are so high in pectin and together they make the right consistency for fruit leather.

Beauty Berry fruit leather cut into fun shapes to sample

I made a few Wild teas for display, not for sampling. I brought them back home to enjoy for ourselves and they froze and exploded in my refrigerator. Oh well.

Wild Teas: Goldenrod Sparkle, Spearmint and Lemonbalm teas

Lots of interested and interesting people sampled wild foods for the first time.  I enjoy bragging on God’s genious in each and every green gift.  Each plant has a plethora of edible gifts depending on the season it is harvested.

It amazes me of the riches that surround us that are there for the knowing and the harvesting.  Wild edible treasures are everywhere.  Just be careful where you harvest them be certain it is in good uncontaminated soil and always be 100% certain of each plants identity before consuming.  The best way to learn is with a wild foodie who can teach you on a plant walk and in the kitchen.

There are lots of wild food enthusiasts in the High Country to learn from.  You can find their links on my Resource page http://wildblessings.com/resources/links and see what they are offering and you can join me in the many classes I offer at Wild Blessings.  Contact me if you wish to be added to my eVite list at holly@wildblessings.com.

February 9th I’ll be teaching a class that I’ve entitled, Build Your Immune System the Wild Way. I will be showing how to cook wild edible plants into nutritious dishes, which we will then sample!  Contact me if you are interested.  Space is limited so an RSVP is required.

Just a quick heads up.  Tapping Maple trees is something I do every year to offset the cost of Maple syrup by making my own.  With the nights freezing and the days warming up this is a good time to tap those Sugar Maples!

Wild Blessings Abound!

Holly

“They look to You and You give them their food in due season.  You give to them and they gather it up.  You open Your hand and they are satisfied with GOOD!”  Psalms 104

Comments

  1. What a beautiful table you have! I love the fact you wrote your labels out as well! Keeps things natural!

    Don’t forget to tap the birch trees too this spring!

    Cheers!

    Karen

  2. What a beautiful display of wild edibles! You continue to be an inspiration. Blessings to you & your family! ~ Love, Kim

    • Hi Kim, You and Tom were on my photo frame at the display table. LOTS of pics of general wild adventures but a few of our yummy eggroll wild lunch as well! Good times! H

  3. I Like this.

    Thanks

    Hakan

  4. Hi Holly,
    Just discovered your blog, it’s so inspiring. I have been using wayside plants for healing for a while, but have never really eaten many. This afternoon, I picked a few Dandelion and Plantain leaves which will be added to my stew this evening.

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