Wild Edible & Medicinal Plants Classes

the purple blossoms of self-heal are poignantly beautiful to this flower's gifts

Self Heal (Prunella vulgaris) is one of the many flowers with gifts to share with us that we found along various trails.

This summer we have enjoyed not one but two really amazing wild edible and medicinal plants classes. The first one with our instructors Tom Brown III and McNeill Mann was an information packed day complete with stir-fried wild plants enjoyed to the melodious backdrop of thunder and bird song.

McNeill shares the word about how delicious and how to prepare the delicate Tiger Lily.

McNeill shares the word about how delicious the delicate Tiger Lily is and how best to eat it.

Students in the class gathered clovers and pine needles that we brewed over the campfire into a tea. From the landscape they also gathered lambs quarters, wild garlic and burdock root. For everyone’s tasting delights, McNeill had prepared two separate quick pickles: one with the wild garlic heads and one with tiger lily buds. They were delicious! She also pulled out a dandelion meade at the end which was lovely.

Several students from this first class returned for the two-day wild plant class with our guest instructor, Abby Artemisia. Abby is happy and charming woman with a contagious passion for plants. Her knowledge is vast and the joy she takes in sharing what she knows makes it truly delightful to be in class with her.

Abby Artemisia talks about jewel weed while a participant smiles at the camera.

Abby Artemisia talks about the many benefits of the humble Jewel Weed (Impatiens Species) that likes to grow by water.

I didn’t think it was possible that there were so many more plants on the property that hadn’t been covered in the first class but the instructors collaborated well and Abby only reiterated a couple of the plants from the first class. All the rest were new and all of them had beautiful and inspiring ways she said we could ‘work with them’. Abby stressed gratitude as well as awareness for the beings we share the planet with, especially for the plants we harvest and take parts and pieces from. “They are living beings”, she says, “they are giving pieces of themselves as medicine for us and sometimes they even give their lives, it is worthy to honor that if not with a physical gift then at least with our gratitude and awareness.” This is such a beautiful way to interact with our surroundings. When we get to the bottom of it, our food IS medicine and when prepared at this level of nature and nurture, our medicine is food.

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