Wild Shopping Tips

Shopping Tips

Foraging Friday’s started today on the porch of the Todd Mercantile where I taught some of my wild shopping tips and covered our shopping list for the morning.  Then we headed out to some of my favorite ‘stores’ and brought back a wealth of nutrition and abundance to ‘garble’ and cook back at my house.

“Oh Lord, how many and varied are Your works, in wisdom You have made them all.  The whole earth is full of Your riches.” Psalms 104:24

In contemplating these riches it occurred to me that they fall into various categories that includes something…edible…something medicinal…something useful…beautiful…transplantable…reproducible and we usually keep an eye open for something magical that is on sale.

Here was the list for today in non wild terms:

Edible: mushrooms, onions, garlic, peas, celery, lettuce, spinach, coffee, soda, flour

Useful / Practical / : wrapping paper, straws

Beautiful: centerpiece for lunch

Medicinal: Vitamin C, Liver tonic, Lymph mover, Lymes anecdote

Transplantable / Reproducible: plants for gardening, seeds for sowing

Magical: Magic just happens as you are out in the Creator’s playground, ask for eyes to see and ears to hear the Love that is so freely offered and the privilege of watching mysteries unfold before your eyes.  I taught my students to change a verse in the Scriptures by adding a single letter L

Questionable: Always keep an eye out for mystery plants.  PreFriends that you need to ID and befriend.  A weed is a plant that you don’t know the use for yet!

“Open my eyes that I might behold WONDERFUL things in your WorLd.”  Psalms 119:18

Pray for eyes to see the blessings hidden in plain view!

Our Wild Shopping List:

Morels, Wild Onion, Ramps, Poke leaves, Dandelion (roots, leaves, buds, crowns, blossoms, stems, seeds), Chickweed, Red Clover leaves, Redbud blossoms


Items on sale

Though our shopping list was pretty long it’s always wise to keep an eye out for what else is on The Creator’s shelves ripe for the picking.  We saw Purple Nettle, Garlic Mustard, Wild Mustard, Cleavers, Yellowdock ready for harvesting as well.

Previews of upcoming sales

Spring is an amazing time to locate fruit trees.  Their glorious flower adorned crowns are like neon lights saying REMEMBER ME in the Fall when you are looking for apples, or in July when you are looking for Elderberries.  Once the flowers have dropped to the ground these treasures are hard to find unless you know where to look.  So be observant.

Look too at last Fall’s seed skeletons to locate babies of the parent plant that will inevitably be popping up in a close vicinity to it’s origin.

Educate yourself on Nature’s Wave for each plant that you wish to study and befriend so you can know it’s hidden gifts at each stage of it’s evolution and growth.

Poke Sallet! with scrambled eggs, bacon and dandelion crowns, ramps and dandelion buds

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching Tuesday: April 18

I foraged for Dandelion after class and got this haul in less than a half hour of digging. Dandelion crown pickles, Dandelion wine with the blossoms, Dandelion Bud stir fry, Dandelion root coffee, Dandelion leaf salads and stir fries…. The nutrition on my table is off the charts!

Yesterday the porch at the Todd Mercantile was full of wild foodies eager to ride Nature’s Wave and learn about the free groceries in The Creator’s wild pantry.  We discussed the Creator’s provision, Nature’s Wave, the TIONS of Foraging, and I introduced 5 edible wild plants that are ‘on sale’ this time of year along with their poisonous look-a-likes.

It always amazes me that the barrenness of Winter evolves into the bounty of Spring.  Nature’s Wave is a circular pattern of life and death that follows the energy of the plants from roots to shoots, early leaves, flower buds, flowers, seed pods, seeds, fruits, nuts and then after the first good frost of Fall the energy retreats back into the roots to store up nutrition for the cycle to begin again in the Spring.  Even in the Winter the Creator has hidden many marvels and miracles for our wellbeing but now as pregnant leaf casings are burgeoning with leaves ready to unfurl, roots are shooting up stalks and tender leaves, the old is being replaced with the new at an awesome rate of transformation.

“We look to You to give us our food, in due season, You give to us, we gather it up, You open Your hand we are satisfied, You send forth Your Spirit and we are created, and You renew the face of the ground”  Psalms 104

My current Sit Spot with my faithful terrier, Max.

Foraging is finding a rhythm with nature that brings the gatherer into a dance with the One who offers these gifts.  To really appreciate the nuances of the beauty, marvels and mysteries of the plant kingdom I assigned as homework finding a Sit Spot to commune with nature by using the 5 senses to observe without distraction.  15 minutes a day in the same place next to the same tree or plants can open a world of wonder.  Choosing the same place for a season is a powerful way to see Nature’s Wave gather speed and change the scenery. In our fast paced world so much disfunction can be reversed if we just took time to smell the roses!   I have many sit spots on my mountain but the one I am currently committed to is on a mountainside next to a Hawthorn tree overlooking our valley.  So many marvels on my hike to my ‘spot’ have captivated my attention and each day the changes I see in the landscape as the green creeps up the mountainsides and the vibrant life replaces the dried seed stalks of last Fall…I am in awe.

April 18 Fabulous Free Five:

Ramps and their poisonous look-a-likes Helibores

Mayapples (only the fruit is edible)

Spruce nibs (tender new growth on the ends of branches)

Chickweed

Poke leaves

Homework assignment for April 25 

  1. Find a Sit Spot to commune with nature, spend 15 minutes a day there just observing with your 5 senses (journal if you wish
  2. Discover the plants we talked about on Tuesday (Poke, Ramps, *Helibores, *Mayapples, Spruce nibs, Chickweed, *Groundsel)
  3. Eat something wild everyday (keep a journal)
  4. Start a Nature Bucket List (such as, finding a MOREL patch this Spring or watching a Buckeye leaf casing extend it’s five fingers into freedom, making bread from Cattail root, or starting an edible weed garden at your house…. use your handout on Holly’s foraging favorites to help you create your list)

Holly home from shopping after Teaching Tuesday on April 18

Dandelion blossoms are actually a composite of up to 150 individual flowers..each producing a tiny seed with parachutes to send them adrift to a new location to begin life again 🙂

Foraging Friday plans April 21 (c0st $25 per person)

Shopping List: Poke, Dandelion, Chickweed, Cleavers, Ramps, Redbud flowers

Preparations: Dandelion Water Kefir, Dandelion Bud Stir Fry, Wild Salad, Steamed Poke with Bernaise sauce, Chickweed Hummus, Cleavers infused vinegar

Cost for Foraging Friday’s is $25 a person.  RSVP requested.  (Bring a sack lunch as the wild food we will make together is for sampling only and may not be enough)

We meet at the porch at the Todd Mercantile at 9am.  Wear appropriate clothing and shoes.  Label your stuff for ease of identification.

COME AND BE BLESSED!


Teaching Tuesdays April 25

Teaching

Homework

Sit Spots checked in with my wild peeps to see how many have chosen a Sit Spot and were checking out of the fast lane to just Sit & Be for 20 minutes at a stretch (for starters)  Lynn Maxwell has camped herself beside a Sugar Maple tree and is watching it’s tender leaves burst forth from the constraints of their leaf casings as her place of solitude.  Susan Beck sits on a bench besides a fast flowing stream lined with hardwood trees and closely observes the sights and sounds of Spring burgeoning before her eyes.  Lynn and Susan will be the richer for this discipline.  And for all that is good and sacred LEAVE turn your cell phone off if you must have it with you for this time. 🙂

Nature Bucket List  there is an intentionality about having a bucket list, it opens up possibilities and awareness that oft times is easily ignored and goes unnoticed.  One of my bucket list items is to find a woods FULL of Morels…. and another is to beat the squirrels to Mayapples so I can make jelly this year…my bucket list is rather long and grows the more I take time to just be quite and be.

ITEMIZE

Green Deane, is a a favorite fellow forager and wild edible educator, his webite “Eat The Weeds” is exhaustive and fascinating.  His way of ITEMIZING each plant begins with the acronym I.T.E.M.  I taught my wild students how to identify a plant and analysis it’s characteristics in a botanical manner.

I stands for Identification (a key aspect of foraging!)  always look at and study these character traits for each plant.

Plant shape: is it a clump, a stalk, a vine, basal rosette

Mosiac: are the leaves alternate or opposite or whorled

Leaf Shape: it is fascinating to observe all the varieties of leaf shapes: heart shaped (so many of plants have heart shaped leaves), compound, simple,

Leaf Margin: this is the edge of the leaf and is very telling in identifying species, there are many correct botanical terms for these edges (margins) but I’m good with simple terms like (entire or smooth, jagged or serrated, scalloped, wavy, toothed or dentate…)

Leaf Venation: this is how the veins within the leaf are displayed, most common are: parallel, pinnate, palmate (think of the creases in your palm or your fingers extending from your palm)…again there is much more detail for true botanical geeks to master

T stands for Time of Year (to harvest) each part of the plants wild edible offerings

E stands for Environment you’ll most likely find said plant

M stands for Method of Preparation (tea, saute, steam, bake, dry, infuse in oil or vinegar)  this method of preparation applies to how to prepare for food and also how to prepare as medicine to benefit from the plants healing constituents.

 

April 25 Fabulous Free Five:

Review last week’s plants (Ramps, Spruce, Mayapples, Chickweed and Poke)

Garlic Mustard

Wild Mustard

Shepherd’s Purse

Violet

After class we found a patch of Cleavers and decorated Logan in some greenery with it’s sticky leaves.

 

Foraging Friday plans April 28 (c0st $25 per person)

Shopping List: Garlic Mustard, Dandelion (whole plant), Chickweed, Violet (leaves), Violet (flowers), Redbud flowers, Burdock leaves, Ramps, Wild Ginger, Cleavers  ALWAYS keep an eye open for what else there is to ‘buy for free’ and an eye for preview of what is going to be on sale SOON.

Preparations: Dandelion Water Kefir, Asian wild salad, Fried Wild Wantons with Wild dipping sauce, Cleavers infused vinegar, Violet Chocolate Terrine (for dessert), Dandelion Root coffee, Spruce Nib tea, Violet Leaf infusion

Cost for Foraging Friday’s is $25 a person.  RSVP requested.  (Bring a sack lunch as the wild food we will make together is for sampling only and may not be enough)

We meet at the porch at the Todd Mercantile at 9am.  Wear appropriate clothing and shoes.  Label your stuff for ease of identification.

COME AND BE BLESSED!