In this video I do a quick review of the book Rewild or Die by Urban Scout (aka my friend Peter Michael Bauer). This is a great book, which makes some important points that many rewilding authors gloss over or don’t mention at all.
Hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) is a peppery member of the mustard family that adds some great flavor to cold weather dishes.
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Took a short walk with my boys today, and I took a few pics.
These are ground cherry (Physalis spp.) husks. This time of year most of the fuits have either been eaten or have gone bad, but we did find one good one for my 3 yr old in this small patch. (Learn more about ground cherries in my DVD. See side bar to order.)
This is stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). It is a a nutritious edible, but should be cooked to remove the sting. (This is another plant covered in my DVD).
The holes in this tree (pretty sure it is an apple tree) are made by a yellow-bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius). They tap the trees for sap. Many other species of birds drink from the holes, including humming birds. Insects also like to drink the sap, but often get stuck in it. This provides the sapsucker with 2 snacks when they return to the tree later.
Today was the final class of my 2016 Foraging and Rewilding Course. I certainly did not expect to be teaching my November class in shorts and a t-shirt, but it was that kind of day today. We had a laid back class. I demonstrated a couple “primitive” traps, William Padilla-Brown showed us some wild mushrooms, and Kenny Point taught friction fire.
Last evening’s supper was grass fed beef with common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), honewort (Cryptotaenia canadensis), red clover (Trifolium pratense), white clover (Trifolium repens), cleavers (Gallium aparine), catnip (Nepeta cataria), bee balm (Monarda didyma), violet (Viola spp.), mile-a-minute (Persicaria perfoliata), ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea), and common chickweed (Stellaria media) cooked over the fire.
Before anyone freaks out that I harvested milkweed, and did not leave it for the butterflies, I should say that I harvested it from an area of my neighbors field that gets mowed regularly. There is a nice stand of it that they don’t mow right next to it.
Everything was cooked over the fire, but I did boil the milkweed in advance.
I am not exactly a very good cook, but you can’t go wrong with foraged greens over the fire.
Checked in on my feral garden today and found a couple of invasive and weedy plants. No problem, with all the rain here recently, it was easy to pull them as young plants, and put them to use.
1st a found a few baby mile-a-minute (Persicaria perfoliata) plants. Many people hate this plant, and I can see why, it does climb over everything and has recurved thorns. That being said, I have been a lot bigger fan of the plant ever since a friend mentioned that it is edible.
Of course later in the year, when it is tough and covered in thorns, you only want to eat the young leaves, but when they 1st emerge you can eat the whole above ground part of the plant. They have a nice lemony taste. I pulled them, discarding the roots and eating the tops.
The other species that I found was Asiatic dayflower (Commelina communis). It is considered invasive by some people, but to me it seems more weedy, just growing in disturbed areas. Anyway, I let a lot of it grow in my garden, because it is beautiful in flower, and because it is a great edible. The ones I found sprouting today were in an area where I am trying to grow turnip rooted parsley from seed, so I don’t want the competition from the Asiatic dayflower. I pulled the ones I found, and transplanted them to another area, where they can still provide food, but not be in the way of my parsley.
Here is a sample profile of Asiatic dayflower from my dvd.
I’m not much of a cook, but this time of year it is easy to make great dishes that use weeds. Today’s lunch was gluten free pasta and grass fed beef, with stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), common chickweed (Stellaria media), dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), broadleaf plantain (Plantago major), violet (Viola spp.), cleavers (Gallium aparine), bee balm (Monarda didyma), red clover (Trifolium pratense), field garlic (Allium vineale), and broadleaf dock (Rumex obtusifolius).
All the greens where harvested within a 2 minute walk of our house. Most of them were growing within 30 feet of the door. I may never get to the place where I can eat only wild food, but who cares when it is so easy to a a little diversity to our diet.