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Wild Blessings Learning Resources 2021

Teaching Tuesdays has moved online on Wild Blessings w/ Holly Drake private Facebook group

Teaching Tuesday’s

When: Every Tuesday from 11-12pm EST live

Where: Facebook live on Wild Blessings w/ Holly Drake (a private group, by invitation only)

What: Ever wonder what is on Nature’s shelves right now?  Join me in this virtual teaching where I will showcase edible and medicinal plants as they come in season.  I’m so excited to be starting this in the Winter so we can ride Nature’s Wave together.  Sometimes we’ll be Befriending one plant for the hour and then writing a poem about it, other times I will teach on important topics to empower you as a forager and fellow wild one to appreciate creation and the Creator.  I will demonstrate various herbal preparations and cooking techniques with wild foods right there in my kitchen.  For years this class was held on the porch of the Todd Mercantile but with Covid I decided to keep the learning going in the safety of our own homes.  This is only available for members of Wild Blessings w/ Holly Drake private FB group.  Friend me on Holly Drake FaceBook if you want to be added to our private Wild Blessings group.

The videos are viewable on Replay on my Private facebook group – Wild Blessings with Holly Drake

Topics we will explore over the coming months are: Seizing the Seasons, The Wild Garden, The Restorative Power of Nature, Appreciating Nature with all 5 Senses, Edible Trees, Edible Flowers, Invasive Plants, Plant Medicine, Cooking and Preserving the Harvest, Roots, Seeds, Sit Spots, Herbing Around, Creating with Nature, The Honorable Harvest, Moon Cycles, Fermenting Wild Plants, Preserving the Wild Harvest, Art and Plants, The Re’s of Nature: Revive, Refresh, Recharge, Refocus, Realign, Reaffirm, Reflect, Rediscover, Reconnect, Poisonous Flowers, Your Plant Ally, Weeding Contemplations, Botany, Soil, Sunrise and Sunset, Deadly Look-a-Likes and of course Befriending Plants (one plant in great detail)

February 2 – Befriending Pine

February 9 – Seizing the Seasons

February 16 – Seeing Trees in Winter

Cost: FREE

Wild Blessings w/ Holly Drake Private FB Group

Would you like to be a member of our private Wild Blessings Facebook group?  It is a great way to stay connected and ride Nature’s Wave virtually together.  If you wish to join you have to ‘friend me’ on Facebook and then I can send you an invite.  There are some seasoned foragers in our group and we all learn more together.  This is where Teaching Tuesday classes will be aired live each week and kept for replay. Members post on the topic of the week, sharing their plant poems, projects and experiences in nature. Please count the cost before asking to join because I really only want people who are committed to making this cyber community meaningful with their continued interaction and feedback.  

Here is a link to my private FB group Wild Blessings w/ Holly Drake

 

Upcoming Webinars

Food Security

When: February 23  8:30pm EST

What: Grow, Forage, Store   Food Security Webinar with Master Gardener, Brendan Riordan and Wild Edible plant forager, Holly Drake

“The wise man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them but the fool goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”  Proverbs 22:3

Where:  Join ZOOM meeting Zoom.  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84945325158?pwd=UlNmVTRKLys1L08raUptV0NSdzVzZz09#success

Meeting ID:849 4532 5158

Passcode: 615530

Space is limited to the first 100 people to sign up.

Why Eat Wild Food

“Why Eat Wild Food”  has been my most popular public speaking topic. I have taught it at many churches, camps and at our local library.

What: Nature was the original supermarket.  Ever wonder what the pioneers ate while traversing the Oregon Trail?  There were supermarkets waiting at their destination but they weren’t the kind we have now.  Seasonal and ever evolving wild edible plants have always been the Creator’s gift to us.  What you can learn today used to be common knowledge.  Relearning nature’s secrets and prolific offerings is a way of connecting with our ancestors in a life giving, empowering way and preparing us for a more self sufficient future.  My talk will cover these benefits for learning the art of foraging and gathering from nature EconomicHealth, Gardening, and Well Being considerations.

When: March 2 11-12pm EST on ZOOM

Where:  This Slideshow Presentation will be held online via Zoom.  The Zoom link will be advertised. Space is limited to the first 100 people to sign up.

Cost: FREE

How to Forage

What:  Wild Edible Plants may be free for the knowing and the picking but there are guidelines that you need to know and I am happy to be your guide.  In this lecture you will discover some keys to successful shopping in the wild.  Foragers refer to them as the TIONS of foraging: preparaTION, locaTION, identificaTION, multiplicaTION, you’ll  learn a bit about the art of ‘riding nature’s wave and how to forage for edible plants in every season…Lots of wild shopping tips as well.  This is such a fun class.  I hope you can join me.

When: March 23rd 11-12 EST  On Wild Blessings with Holly Drake Facebook group

Where: This Slideshow Presentation will be held online via Zoom.  The Zoom link will be advertised. Space is limited to the first 100 people to sign up.

Cost: FREE

Loving Well Workshop

What: A wildly wonderful 1/2 day retreat where we focus on strengthening our marriages, a time of reflection and exhortation to love well! Even if your marriage is strong and thriving this will be a blessing to make it more so.

Beyond all these things put on and wrap yourselves in unselfish love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” Colossians 3:14

I learned a little late in the game that if you really want to love your kids, LOVE THEIR DAD best! I’m making up for lost time! Marriages are under attack and we have to be intentional to keep ours strong and thriving.

Alison Dees and I are teaching another Loving Well workshop in March. We are keeping it small to only 5 women per workshop.  We’ll be covering Spirit, Mind, and Body, using oils to make a little magic, eating well, spending time in nature and learning from God’s Word and each other on how to Love well. Alison Dees is an aromatherapy clinician and massage therapist and will be sharing awesome tips and techniques that are game changers.

I am richly blessed to have her partner with me in this venture.

When:  March 14, 2021  2-8pm

Where: 279 Deer Crossing, Todd, NC 28684

Cost: $100 for the afternoon and evening, including dinner, healthy snacks and lots of gifts of Joy in each gift bag

The Healing Oils in the Life of Jesus Christ 

What:  Jesus’ life fulfilled many prophecies of ancient Scripture and He was called “The Christ,” even by those who knew Him best. What does this title mean and why was it important to verifying who He was? Come and explore the life of Jesus in a way you have never heard before through a presentation called, “Healing Oils in the Life of Christ.” Holly Drake will share this unique part of the life of Jesus while you experience for yourself the aromas and impact of these ancient oils. She will answer these questions and others like:

• Why was Jesus given essential oils at his birth?

• Why were essential oils used by Jesus and His disciples with prayer for healing?

• How does the Bible explain God’s design for using essential oils in your health?

When: April 2, 2021 7:30-9pm

Where: on Zoom

Cost: FREE

Wild Blessing Activities

 

After teaching, foraging (shopping), garbling, cooking, decorating we then eat our wild food feast together. So much fun!

Filling our empty baskets with God’s bounty

Sorting, cleaning, drying and chopping our groceries to cook or preserve for future use.

I always make wild beverages in advance so they are cold and ready for our wild food feasts.

A wild edible leaves & flowers salad, wild pizza rolls w/ Burdock stems as artichokes & Burdock root as pepperooti, wild pasta with a plethora of wild veggies melded in a Chickweed pesto, for dessert a Queen Anne’s Lace root (carrot) gluten free cake decorated with edible flowers for dessert….these were just a few of the dishes in a Wild Blessings Italian Wild Food Feast.

Forage to Feasts

What:– Learn from Holly as you forage together for wild edible plants together with the goal of cooking a meal with our wild groceries.

 

Wild foodies are in for a fabulous, tasty learning experience where we shop for our wild groceries together learning about the wild edible plants as we gather them. After we garbling our catch (my term for sorting our weeds), each forager will cook an entree for our International cuisine meal. Finally, we’ll feast on nature’s bounty and enjoy each other’s company as we sip Dandelion root coffee, Elderberry wine and enjoy a wild dessert. Expand your horizons and learn by doing! Rediscover the green gifts that God has so generously provided for our food and medicine. Reconnect to your roots and reclaim knowledge that will feed your body and your spirit.  Class space is limited.

Foraging Friday’s starting at the Todd Mercantile

Learn by being with the plants and hearing Holly teach about their history, botany and their edible and medicinal gifts. Harvest what is in it’s height of energy to bring back to Holly’s house where she will teach you how to ‘garble’ and ‘herb around’! You will learn culinary wisdom in cooking with wild edible plants. Over the course of the Summer you will learn how to make wild teas, vinegars, oils, stir friesMeet at the Todd Mercantile for a half hour of instruction. At 9:30 we will caravan to one of my favorite local ‘wild grocery stores’. Then returning back to my house in Todd, 279 Deer Crossing, Todd to work together in my kitchen with the plants. Bring a water bottle, pen and paper, layered clothing, long pants, closed toe shoes and hat. RSVP at 828-406-8241. Cost is $100 a person, discounts available for families. Scholarships available

When: There will only be 4 Wild Blessings Forage to Feasts in 2021, Sign up early to assure your spot.  Space is limited to 7 participants, due to Covid and the need for social distancing.

April

June

August

October

Where: We will meet at the Todd Mercantile porch for a short time of instruction and then drive to a few wild shopping centers to gather and then return back to my home to cook up our Wild Food Feast.

Cost $80 – $100   This is a valuable learning experience as well as a delicious nutritious meal.  You will be wildly blessed I promise!

 

Plant Walks

Knowing Your Own Land

Private Tours: Learn Your Land Tours & Guide Services

Private land tours to teach you about the wild food and medicine growing on your own property. OR book a guided, personalized Nature experience

Meet the edible and medicinal plants and trees growing around you.

A Private Land Tour is a personal introduction to your land and the useful plants growing on your property. Together we will walk your property and discover the food and medicine right in your own backyard!

On a Private Land Tour you will receive:

  • A personal, one-on-one 3 hour walk on your property!
  • Skills and techniques for connecting and communicating with your land ensuring a strong relationship for years to come.

COST: $120 ($30 non refundable booking fee. Full payment due 24 hrs before tour)

There is no better time than now to open up this way of living, remembering and healing!

Please send an email to Stormie@hedgeandhollow.com or call 828-260-5281 to schedule a time that works for us both and arrange payment. (Non-refundable $30 booking fee due at scheduling)

Support /Payment

Patreon

 

PayPal

Forage to Feast with Marc Williams

Marc and sign

One of my favorite WILD peeps

My dear mentor, Marc Williams, came to my house to do his thing! Which is to lead us on a Forage to Feast wild foodie event!   In 2009 I attended a wild feast Marc hosted with his mentor, Frank Cook, and that began a wild fire that has been blazing ever since!  Marc is a renowned ethnobotanist, wild plant authority, author and teacher extraordinaire, world traveler, gourmet chef…to name a few of his virtues. 25 of us enjoyed his fascinating plant walk and then we all cooked up a storm with the wild edibles that I had been ‘buying’ from nature’s supermarket in preparation for this event in my wild kitchen.

First, Marc led us on a plant walk around our land. Each person was given a recipe to be responsible for and to forage for.  Marc’s talk added a new edible possibility to my bucket list: making nut milk from my Shagbark Hickory nuts!  After we  garbled our catch (my term for sorting our weeds), we cooked our entree for the big meal. Finally, we feasted on nature’s bounty and enjoyed each other’s company as we sipped Dandelion root coffee, wild meads and enjoyed a Queen Anne’s Lace carrot cake for dessert.

Pretty sure that everyone’s horizons were expanded as we rediscovered the green gifts that God has so generously provided for our food and medicine… reconnected to our roots and reclaimed some knowledge that will feed our bodies and spirits.

Marc teaching

Getting to know each other’s stories and hearing Marc launch us into the world of wild edible weeds. So fascinating!

Plant walk with Marc

Marc teaching us about the plants as we walked around my house. Interesting to note, that Lambsquarter is the weed responsible for turning him into a wild foodie! He spent an entire Winter making cold frames to grow spinach, tending the seeds and spacing them, cultivating and in the Spring the baby Lambsquarter was far more vibrant and abundant, 7 times higher in nutrition than Spinach and it was FREE. Sold!

 

The Process

Preparing for a Forage to Feast is a bit like giving birth to a unicorn.  It is a LOT of work.  Fortunately, I love this kind of work and I have an artist husband who is always willing to go ‘shopping’ with me to an organic farm of grocery store for the photo ops it affords him.  And Max (our Jack Russel terrorist) likes the adventure as well! 

Shopping

I dug up Burdock roots at an organic farm in Valle Crucis,  plucked Milkweed buds and pods from several Milkweed patches, snipped Plantain seed stalks from a lush patch along the New River, collected green Cattail cobs from the swamp with my new wild friend Louise Klein, dug up Wild Carrot first year roots at Molly’s Branch farm, gathered a bushel of Amaranth and Lambsquarter leaves at another nearby farm, clipped green Elderberry umbels, snipped a LOT of Purslane…and that is just the shopping part…

Burdock root FIG

Shopping for Burdock root is WORK…but so worth it!

Cattail swamp

I love this place! I love Cattail!

Milkweed patch

Milkweed at the potato stage. I can never have enough! Stocking up for pickles and other goodies for the Winter.

Garbling

Once I am home with the free food the real work begins….  Garbling each wild edible, getting rid of buggy parts, a few bugs, yellowed leaves, anything that doesn’t pass my inspection.  Then the roots need to be scrubbed, although this time I scrubbed the Burdock roots in the cool mountain stream which made it EASY!

Burdock and Max

Max helped me cleaned the roots in the creek. I found that by shoving them point first into the sand it did a fine job of scrubbing! I will remember this!

Ready to Boil and Eat

Green Cattail Cobs ready to strip their meat off and marinate

Preparing

Everything is gathered, inspected, sorted, cleaned, bagged and then comes the preparation.  I made Elderberry capers with their green berries a week in advance of the Piccata recipe so they’d be pickled just right.  Marinated the meat of the green cattail flowers. Destrung the stringiness of the Burdock stems, Parboiled the Milkweed flower buds and pods so they’d be ready to cook with, made Beebalm, Peppermint, and Goldenrod tea from last year’s tea stash, Elderberry, Beauty Berry and Kudzu Flower Spritzers with water kefir grains.  Cheryl came over the day before and helped me make the Wild Carrot cake and the Wild Seed Crackers.  Thank you Cheryl!

MW flower buds

Milkweed flower buds ready to use in cooking. Boil for 3 minutes in salted rolling boil. These were used in our Spaghetti sauce.

Organization

A cuisine theme of Mediterranean was chosen…so now to choose the recipes to feature the wild delectables in….all non wild ingredients need to be purchased…recipes need to be printed out for the cooks to refer to…stations need to be set up in my kitchen and porches to put all ingredients and utensils for each cook to have easy access to…. steeping teas need to be refrigerated…mason jars labeled with each name…the house prepared for guests…flower picked and arranged for centerpieces…table set…the welcome sign on the road…water boiled for the air pot… last minute phone calls of people canceling or asking it there is still room for a wild foodie to attend….

Centerpiece

One of my wild apprentices, Hannah Hengst, arranged our centerpieces for the long table.  She has that knack!

Are you tired yet?  And to think I used to do these Forage to Feast events once a month!  Phewww!

Set table

One of my MOs for cooking and eating well, is to have the table set in advance of the meal. Makes everyone think dinner is going to be awesome, even if I haven’t decided what to cook yet!

Marc feast table

Just a few of our wild dishes: edible flower salad, purslane quinoa salad, burdock stem pizza rolls and wild carrot cake….the milkweed lasagna, chicken and portobello piccata and cattail polenta were on the stove and the drinks at the drink bar.

Portabella Milkweed pod piccata

Portobello Milkweed Piccata with Elderberry capers!

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WIld dinner on a burdock leaf

Burdock leaves make lovely plates

 

Wild Mediterranean Menu

 click on the links for the recipes and some of Holly’s wild cooking tips

Beverages
Wild teas: Beebalm, Peppermint, Goldenrod Punch
Wild Sodas: Kudzu Flower Grape Soda, Beauty Berry Soda, Elderberry Spritzer
Hot drinks: Dandelion Root Coffee
Wild Meads

Appetizers
Violet Leaf Hummus & Carrot Sticks
Wild Seed Crackers & Brie

Salads
Wild Leaves & Edible Flowers 
Purslane Quinoa Salad

Main dish
Chicken or Portobello Cap Piccata w/ Elderberry Capers, Milkweed Pods & Burdock Root Mushrooms

Cattail Cob, Amaranth Polenta
Pizza Rolls w/ Burdock Stems
Milkweed Bud Lasagna

Dessert
Wild Carrot Cake w/ QAL Cream Cheese Icing &  Edible Flowers
Plantain & Lambsquarter Seed Fudge

wild-carrot-cake-rev

Wild Carrot Cake, decorated by Brook Brown with edible flowers. Brook also made the Queen Anne’s Lace jelly that I mixed with cream cheese and butter for the icing. Beautiful!

Thank you everyone for the lovely evening!  We were a team!!  Thank you Marc for your wild wisdom and caring heart!  Thank you God for the variety of green gifts that you have hidden for us in plain view!

Wild Blessings abound!

Holly

“We all wait for You to give them 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 104:27-30