Welcome Wild Foodies I am here to help you ride Nature’s Wave and learn about the free groceries in The Creator’s wild pantry. I love teaching about the free provision, how to ride Nature’s Wave, the important ‘TIONS; of Foraging, and introducing others to the edible wild plants that are ‘on sale’ at any 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”
Sit Spot Stillness
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)
Suggested personal foraging assignments for April 25
- Find a Sit Spot to commune with nature, spend 15 minutes a day there just observing with your 5 senses (journal if you wish
- Discover the plants we talked about on Tuesday (Poke, Ramps, *Helibores, *Mayapples, Spruce nibs, Chickweed, *Groundsel)
- Eat something wild everyday (keep a journal)
- 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)
Teaching Tuesdays April 25
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.
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.