Monday, October 13, 2008

Foraging with Friends

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.


The Scavenger said...

Sounds like a great time with friends. If we only knew all the wild things that we could eat we would need very little more. I belive that everything that we need to live a healthy happy life is growing all around us. We unknowingly step on plants that are good for us everyday. Then we load up and go to town to by a bunch of who knows what from the grocery store. We are crazy folk. Hopefully through the information you provide, those of us lucky enough to read your blog, we can learn to harvest the goodness that is all around us. Thanks and keep up the good work.


riverwalker said...

Put some chili on them and I'm sure Michael will like them then. HAHA!


Patricia said...

That's the trick, Chris. Learning which plants are edible and how to eat them or use them for medicine. Get some good books and just start. Be careful, learn to ID well, and start eating. It's a great thing to learn, and learning with a friend is really fun.

Patricia said...

Hey RW--I wish I'd thought of the chili! Next time...:)