Wednesday, July 28, 2010

July Blog Party at Gaia's Gifts!

Darcey Blue of at Gaia's Gifts hosted a July blog party, "Adventures in Herbalism: What Wouldn't We Do for Our Herbs?".  I couldn't get it together to participate (or blog at all lately, huh?), but go check it out!  There are many wonderful posts on herbal adventures...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Upcoming Event! Conscious Wildcrafting and Medicine Making 101

Just click on the flyer to see full size.  If you are interested, please contact me.  I am requesting pre-registration for this event.  Thanks!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Top 40...I mean, 50

So, first thing this morning I received a really great email.  The Family Herbal was included in someone's 
Check it out, there are 49 other outstanding blogs :)  Many are familiars, and some new to me.  What fun!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Berry Land

"One berry, two berry, pick me a blueberry..."

Have you ever read Jamberry by Bruce Degen?  It is one of our favorite summertime books, and if you pick berries, a must have!  If you don't own a copy, the library should have it.  I think I enjoy reading the rhymes as much as the kiddos do.  It covers raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and mulberries, all of which we have picked recently.

Being a grainless family, we have been looking for different ways to eat our berries.  Of course we eat 'em right out of the basket (and before they even get in the basket!), as well as smoothies, in homemade coconut milk ice cream, on top of it, in coconut flour confections (I use that term loosely, lol!), and in JAM!  I would LOVE to hear some suggestions and recipes! 

Since we do not eat bread products, the occasion to use jam isn't often, but I sure do love the process of making it.  So far I have made blackberry jam only, as they were plentiful in the wild.  I occasionally make coconut flour pancakes to take on picnics and such.  We use them as bread, slathering them with the jam.  Mostly egg, they are pretty delicious.

From Bruce Fife's Cooking With Coconut Flour:
2 eggs
2T coconut oil or butter, melted (um, ghee anyone?)
2T coconut milk or raw milk (ok, raw being my own addition)
1t sugar (we use honey of course)
1/8t salt
2T coconut flour
1/8t baking powder

Cook as you would any other pancake.  I find that if I let the batter sit a while, it performs better.  Of course, for a family of five, we at least triple this recipe!

For the jam, I use the basic recipe in the Pomona's box.   It's great when using honey, which we do, exclusively.  I also love this great old book for preserving with honey.

The girls were not the only ones busy this weekend.  Stone, more commonly referred to as "Boo", has shown great interest in the poddy.  When I go, there is an almost inevitable "me too!".  Well, he has been getting on the big potty, but definitely needed a potty of his own.  We are not the kind to go out and buy brand new stuff that we'll only use a few months, and I'm not keen on plastic anything in the house.  So YogiDad and Boo made a simple potty, and mom donated a mixing bowl to the cause.  Sweet and cute, it is. 

He loves it, and can pee on cue!  It's amazing.  He's a little potty prodigy.  If this kid is potty trained by his 2nd birthday (August 1st), I get a promotion!

I hope you experience the joy of  picking your own berries this summer...nothing is more satisfying to me than gathering fruit.  Find 'em wild or at a pick your own farm.
Sending some fun summertime lovin' your way! 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Wild Garden

Nearly everyday, when I am out harvesting one thing or the other, I think about a blog post.  The thing is, by the time I get to the computer, my body and brain are exhausted and writing doesn't happen.  I would like to think I can make more time for the blog right now, but there is too much going on outside!

Back in the spring, I was a bit envious of friends' gardens.  We had just moved, spread a bit thin time-wise and couldn't quite tame the overgrowth enough to plant.  Though I had no cultivated gardens, I was harvesting everyday.  Thankfully, I saw the sunlight and my perspective shifted.  I had a wild garden.  I didn't weed, I didn't water, I harvested and gave thanks.  That's all.  

Though we now have a small garden beginning to offer us fruits for our labors of double-digging, tilling, weeding, mulching, watering, the list of labors goes on and on, I still harvest from the wild garden everyday.  And it gives me more joy to do so.  The wonders of nature are forever around us and I am forever amazed by the bountiful wild world.  I can live off of the land itself, truly.

I spent the morning picking wild blackberries with a friend.  Joyous work, sweating in the sun, breeze blowing, good conversation and the shared excitement over finding a cane of particularly juicy berries.  The best ones just never make it home, why is that?

Later I harvested the daylilies.  I do this daily, some to eat, some to freeze, and some for an upcoming batch of wine.  I think they are on their way out.  There are some late blooming elders here and there, destined for the same purposes, and the red clover is giving her final efforts.  I will miss them.

I recently harvested dock seeds, mainly yellow dock but there are a variety of rumex species right outside of my door.  Right now they are sitting in paper bags awaiting processing.  I'll store them in glass jars until I want flour, then I will give them a turn in the herb and spice dedicated coffee grinder.  There are still plenty of young dock leaves to be harvested as well, for greens and pakora like fritters on the table.  

We were in the park recently and happened upon a large mulberry tree.  We harvested off of the ground and the tree probably a gallon of berries, not counting the nearly equal amount the five of us stuffed in our mouths as we harvested.  Food is everywhere!

Soon there will be elderberries, wild grapes, persimmons, walnuts, keeps going year round.  You don't have to go far or look too hard.  The Mother provides.  The wild garden grows where ever you may be.  

For the locals:  I will be leading a plant walk in Renaissance Park next week.  Wednesday, July 7th, 7pm.  The park is quite wild, with its undisturbed woodland paths, and the native plantings in between the mounds and the marsh.  It is quite the exhibit of wild plants for food and medicine right in downtown Chattanooga!  We will take a brief look at all we find, spending more time on what to harvest NOW and what is forthcoming.  Cost is $10-$20 sliding scale.