Tangents and Rabbit Holes

2018-02-26 09.38.00

Diving deep into Wild Food culture can land you in some really interesting places.  What started off for me as a cool way to get free food (foraging beats the pants off of Ultra-Couponing) has led me into some other very satisfying and creative endeavors. Here are some of my favorite tangents that foraging has led me to……

Botany: Well, you can hardly study Wild Foods without acknowledging some Botany, right? Knowing characteristics of Plant Families helps to narrow down the possibilities so we can more easily get to a positive ID.  A walk in the woods with my field guide has me looking up any interesting-looking plant these days.

Fermenting, Wine making, Cheese making: Successful foraging means you’ve got a bounty of wild foods, maybe even more than you can eat up.  You *could* share it with friends, but they *might* not appreciate it as much as you do…..so in comes Wine Making and Fermentation.  I could freeze those berries to make smoothies, but I prefer a nice bottle of blackberry wine, lol!  I can freeze or can fiddleheads and wild leeks, but lacto-fermenting them makes them SO delicious and even more healthy than they already are.  Cheese-making isn’t exactly a Wild Food thing, but once you start making wine and fermenting vegetables, it’s just going to happen…

Conservation: More and more I am finding myself talking and teaching about protecting plant and animal habitats.  We can’t very well forage or hunt if we destroy these things in the process, or allow others to destroy them with harmful practices.

Primitive Skills: Cordage and Willow Weaving are two new skills I’ve learned recently.  Eventually I want to try my hand at birch bark basket making, primitive fire starting, and gosh just all kinds of stuff……..

Outdoor fitness: Kinda comes with the territory, right? There’s a lot of hiking involved when we go looking for mushrooms, ramps, fiddleheads and berries!  Kayaking and canoeing are the methods we use to get Lotus Heads and Wild Rice.  And while we are spending all that time outside on trails and such, let’s try a little Geocaching, just for funsies……

Personal health: “Food is medicine”.  “You are what you eat”.  The more I learn about the foods I eat – not just the Wild Food – the more I feel empowered to keep myself healthy.

Chicory….it’s just so darn pretty.




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