Yesterday was really fun. Ra, Sharek and their daughter Morgan came to the valley for a visit. Ra is into foraging, Sharek teaches primitive living skills, and Morgan is fully involved in 4H and FAA. Great people! Ra and I have been emailing about various plants so when we got together to visit, naturally enough we womenfolk headed out to the woods and fields to do some gathering. Ra and Morgan introduced me to lots of new plants--or rather, I'd seen those plants around but hadn't figured out what they were yet. I loved it! It is a great way to learn new plants and what they're good for. We found lots of yellow dock--lots of new young yellow dock, apparently seeded from older plants from the springtime. We found burdock, lady's thumb, woods sorrel, nettles, dandelions, some baby pumpkins in the garden, mint, rose hips and probably lots I'm forgetting here.
If you ever get a chance to go foraging with a friend, do it. You will learn to ID new plants, and get ideas for how to eat the plants and what else you can do with them. Ra and I and Morgan are relatively new to this--but even so, we gathered bags and bags of wild plants for food and medicine.
BTW, the young dock leaves can be eaten as greens this time of year, as well as early spring--cook them lightly by adding a little water and steaming them for five to seven minutes. They're a tad sour, tart and lemony. They'd probably be terrific fermented, something I'm going to try with the batch we found yesterday. My man doesn't like them--finds them too bitter. But I like 'em--I love it that they are free, wild, and nutritious. He can eat spinach, I'll chomp down the wild greens anyday.