Archive for the ‘herbs’ Category

Salsa Verde – A Recipe Very Worth Sharing

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

This salsa made my cells dance with joy. I made it with all home grown Tomatillas, Cilantro, Chiles and Garlic with a bit of (purchased) salt. That’s it. Oh my.
Here is the link, to Rick Bayless’ Recipe for raw green salsa.

I didn’t add any of the suggested water, put in a bit more garlic, and decreased the chiles for this first time. I froze a lot of it which I expect will still taste great, but may be an odd texture. The cilantro I have growing in my yard as well, and I used a large amount of the later frondy leaves with flowers.
You obviously have to like cilantro to like this recipe. I do I do I do.

The recipe was suggested to me at lunch this afternoon, by a member of our group A2B3. It is an eclectic group who has lunch every Thursday. A great source of information, inspiration, ideas, and sometimes great recipes! While most of the members are tech oriented and computer geeks the group varies a lot and is always interesting. And we laugh a lot. It is a great way to meet people who I wouldn’t normally find, and engage in (or overhear) conversations on nearly any subject.
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I forgot to add a photo before I ate it all. But here is a photo of some tomatillas I still have left, the lovely cilantro, and one of the bags of frozen salsa.

Today I hit the jackpot with a truly outstanding recipe!
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Talking to Plants

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

About 30 people came to the class tonight titled: “How to Talk to Plants and Avoid Giving the Impression of Lunacy”. Here are the highlights, and one important point I forgot to include.

First, that talking to plants implies lunacy and you might as well give it up.
The communication process takes many forms including visual cues (wilting, leaf discoloration), chemical signals to other plants, taste, smell, visual, how other plants respond, vibrancy, etc.
Plants also ask for what they need by virtue of where they grow, triggering water release if possible (olla irrigation again – the plants trigger additional osmotic release by root growth and pulling water into the roots), and also responding to nutrients in the soil.
How you perceive plant communication is a function of knowledge, observation, possibly synesthesia, and Gladwell’s ideas of Thinslicing also come in to play. As does Neuro Linquistic Programming, although I didn’t mention that by name. So while I may describe an interactions in words, I recognize that the plant does not use words.
Being in relationship with plants is part of our DNA.
We also talked about Findhorn and plant Devas, the suggestion that utilizing that understanding is especially meaningful with psychoactive and other more powerful plants, that synthesis and other potentizing may remove some of that connection.
Finally, I spoke of the Gaia Hypothesis and how seeds are truly awesome and bring us to a state of wonder.
I forgot to mention a simple beginning of relating to plants, starting with trees that have patience. Of course. I would have liked to also talk about the difference between annuals, biennials, and perennials and relating to them.
There is a tree in Wurster park that is a few hundred years old, with a great view from a hill to the city below. I find that just hanging out with that tree, maybe with your back against the trunk, is a very special experience of communicating with plants. Certainly natures wonders – and that tree is one – can inspire thoughts and feelings that are unique in what they communicate.
I loved teaching the class, and am glad so many came from so many places in the world!

Marijuana – now we get to ask more questions

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

The decriminalization of marijuana is essential. I’m thrilled it is slowly taking place. I wish it was more rapid. When I taught 9th graders about drugs and addiction it was hard to explain why a seriously addictive substance like tobacco was legal, a potentially devastating drink like alcohol was considered normal, and marijuana could land you in prison.

I’ve always considered education and treatment to be a better way to deal with drug abuse than incarceration.

One of the serious problems we are now facing is that because marijuana was illegal and “bad” for so long, we haven’t done the studies – the research and the investigation of what the positive effects are, what are the true down sides, and especially what are the long term consequences.

Here is what I’ve observed.

Casual occasional use is no problem for most people. It isn’t a gateway drug, it is a pleasant easy high, and not much of a big deal. Daily use seems to be a big problem for some, a moderate concern for others. Getting high every day is possibly diagnostic of other issues – no matter the substance. Someone who needs to smoke daily is likely self medicating or covering up issues that would be better dealt with. But there is nothing special about marijuana in making that statement. It is generally true.

I’ve had a number of clients – male – who smoked a lot and actually started developing enlarged breast tissue and had other brain changes that seemed to be clearly related to lots of marijuana use. Depression, isolation, lack of motivation, failed or incomplete projects. When they stopped or drastically cut down on their marijuana use they were changed physically as well as a lot more started going well in their lives. About a dozen guys in total took it to that degree, but it is worth noting.

I’ve seen a number of female clients who were long term chronic users, and mostly they were just having trouble with motivation, being known for being chronically late, and they talked about not living their dreams and being frustrated and even depressed. A much smaller sample of about 5 or 6. Again, cutting way back or stopping was very helpful in a sudden ability to do some powerful and effective work.

Now I’m seeing some very long term users – male and female – who I would say have some alarming similarities. After 40 plus years of using, personalty changes that include anger, bullying, lacking skills for conflict resolution, distortion of facts and reality, holding grudges from many years ago, even paranoia. These are not traits I would normally link to marijuana at all, yet the common thread of very long term use is there. Is there something else that happens with long regular term use?

I’ve talked to other people who are equally curious to know if there is a link. They have seen similar behavioral changes in long term users and wonder if marijuana might be contributing to the negative personality changes we’re observing. It is also possible that this type of personality is attracted to marijuana for self soothing and self medicating. But It would be very good to know what are the effects of very long term (more than 3-4 decades) use of marijuana.

We may have many more very long term users, now that it is more acceptable to use marijuana. It would be valuable to have honest and serious research so we can understand the value in marijuana’s use, especially its medical use. I have had a number of clients and friends who have benefited greatly from its use, especially for appetite stimulation during chemotherapy and while using other drugs that created nausea or lack of interest in eating. What about hemp oil and cancer? Knowledge on the many characteristics of this herb would be invaluable. Can we finally get to the point where we can collect and disseminate some honest information?

I do expect the good news to outweigh the bad. I also expect that just like so many drugs, this potent herb is just not a good choice for a fair number of people. If we know what and why that will help people make the choice that is best for them.

I enjoyed smoking marijuana when I was a teenager. There was a period of time when I got high five nights a week to watch “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman”. It was a great show to watch stoned. With sobriety with alcohol, the marijuana fell away as well. I’m not a fan of smoking at all, and ingestion was always too intense. So it isn’t something I’ve done or even wanted to do for many years. So I’m watching all of this as a non-user.

I look forward to the learning ahead of us, and hope it will be helpful and without the influence of money and the lies that used to be told to scare people away from drugs in general and marijuana especially.

Make Your Raised Beds Tall

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

I’ve been doing raised bed gardening for over 40 years. I started in Jr. High when I planed a “French Intensive” 4 x 4 foot garden in my parent’s side yard. My enthusiasm waned over the summer, but it did produce a reasonable amount of food and I loved the “Intensive” idea.

When I bought my house 30 years ago, I took out the front yard – which was small – and brought in lots of straw and landscaping timbers that were about 4 inches in diameter. I removed the sod and double dug the whole yard. That was a months work. I was able to borrow a sod tool – it cuts the sod then scoops it up. that helped. I double dug by removing the first foot of soil and piling it elsewhere, flipping the next foot to the top level, and gradually flipping and loosening two feet of dirt all the way around.

I the result was beds about 8 inches higher than before, and place for vegetables. The area on the near side of my walkway I planted flowers and herbs so that the vegetable part would be more hidden from anyone coming down the street or to my house. More on that later.

As the years went by, I tried a few different styles to enclose the raised beds. But I stayed with the basic principles, no wider than four feet, and never ever allow anyone or any animal to step foot in the beds.

About 15 years ago, I started buying pallets of retaining wall blocks, about 1 foot wide and eight inches wide. I bought all “seconds” at half price. They were available each spring, as they started up production of the blocks and the colors weren’t exactly right. So they were about $1 each. Over the years I ended up with close to $1,000 of these concrete pieces, that can be stacked to make a wall, and that are designed to curve as well. I created beds in teh front yard that were a bit abstract, but that curved around the yard with narrow (too narrow it turns out) paths in between. I also built planters at the end of the driveway, which I have recently taken down and used to build my beds higher.

The joke is that the older you get the taller your garden should be. Well, if I had it to do over I’d have them tall decades ago as well. They now range from 3-5 rows high, so about 2 feet or a bit more. The blocks are wide enough you can sit on them or even stand, and since the distance is never more than 2 feet to the center everything is easy to reach.

At the lake I have another garden, with 20 raised beds so far, and all but four of them (which are planted with blueberry bushes) are also two foot high, but put together with inch thick boards as the sides, and 2×2 or 2×3 posts in each corner that the boards are screwed into. That gives some protection if you are dragging hoses or electric cords around the gardens, the taller corner posts stop you from pulling that into the garden and onto delicate plants.

This time I knew the importance of wide paths, and had the space to do it. The beds are all three feet apart at the lake. Wide enough for a lawn mower, as well as stray pumpkin vines that might make a run for it.

In both cases, it is pretty easy to then get great dirt or even pure compost and just fill up the beds. At the lake garden, the soil is awful. It was dredged up from the lake bottom, and then a sheet of black plastic was put down, followed by sod. My parents “improved” the garden soil for years, but it never really flourished. Filling the raised beds with pure compost trucked in form The Ann Arbor Composting Facility has been great. It isn’t organic, being city compost, but it is organic since it’s compost. Either way, it grows great plants. Just to give you an idea of the scope of things, we have trucked almost 20 yards of compost into Chelsea, Ann Arbor, and Warren for the three gardens we maintain.

For my Ann Arbor garden I also bought 9 yards of dirt long ago from a local nursery. That has done well. And in the beginning, that was what also introduced some great weeds into my garden. Weeds that I can eat or harvest for medicinal or therapeutic purposes.

Each year, I “tilth” the garden by using a pitchfork to fluff up the soil and remove the grass and weeds I don’t want. I say each year but will also admit there are some years parts of the garden have gone unplanted. Life goes on. One year the garden was very neglected, and I ended up with a beautiful crop of goldenrod. I was able to make tissanes, tinctures, and dry some of the flowers for later use. It looked and smelled wonderful.

I did all of this on my own, and when Tom came along he wasted no time giving advice and pointing out where I could make improvements. And of course we started using the Olla irrigation system he designed.

He also looked at the garden where I was growing flowers and herbs and asked why I was giving up the spot with the best light to non-edible plants. I had to stop and consider. Why indeed? I hadn’t thought about that in almost 30 years. Since the time I was trying to hide my vegetable garden and not offend anyone with front yard gardening. Well, there was my answer, and of course the reasoning behind it is now obsolete. There are plenty of front yard gardens in Ann Arbor, and times have changed radically. I don’t have to hide anymore. I moved the plants that were there, and ended up producing an amazing patch of kale that overwintered and fed be for more than a year.

I believe raised beds are the best. Since they are never walked on, they remain fluffy and easy for roots to grow deep. They are easy to plant, and maintenance of the soil is also decreased. They work well with Ollas. They are physically more comfortable to work than being on the ground, they can be planted more intensively, they are easy to amend with compost or good soil, and they are also lovely to see. If you add a couple raised beds each year it is a manageable project.

In about 40 years I’ve gone from a single raised bed of 16 Square feet to over 500 square feet of gardening space. I can grow most of the greens and veggies I will eat all winter, as well as fresh food all summer. I love the gardening shortcuts – the primary two are the Olla watering system and the tall raised beds.

Pickled Radishes

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

We have an abundance of radishes, and I was looking for ways to preserve them.
These pickles are a start:
In a small saucepan combine 1/2 cup each white vinegar, sweet white wine, water with garlic leaves scapes or minced gloves, pepper, thyme, bee balm or whatever herbs you prefer. Add about 2 teaspoons salt, and 2 teaspoons sugar. Cook that to a simmer for about 5 minutes. Let cool.
Meanwhile, slice chop or chunk enough radish to almost fill a pint jar loosely – about a dozen radishes.
Pour cooled brine over radishes, refrigerate, taste until ready (about 3 days) and I’m told this will keep for about a month.

The sweet taste of the radish combined with the brine is a lovely start, and then you get the hot radish taste to follow. These are full of changing flavors and the brine turns a lovely pink as well.

And now I’m caught up on back tweets…

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Follow my tips and ideas on foraging and medicinal foods twitter.com/wildcrafting
And with this post, I’m caught up – next post will be the current tweets.

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Harvested about 30 pounds of Jerusalem Artichokes. They are kind of wild – they grow where I don’t want them and come back every year. 5:15 PM Nov 5th, 2009
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If you have greens that are tasty but bedraggled make them into herbal vinegars. http://www.holisticwisdom.org/hwpages/herbalvinegars.htm 12:33 AM Nov 4th, 2009 *****
Found what I believe is garlic mustard. Right place, right shape, more mustard than garlic taste, didn’t know it would grow 3 times in 1 yr. 5:00 PM Nov 3rd, 2009
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On my walk I found bee balm just beginning to regrow. It was very fragrant so easy to ID. Picked some to season dinner. Similar to oregano. 4:59 PM Nov 3rd, 2009
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Hickory nuts. Plenty of trees in and around Ann Arbor. Gather, crack with a hammer of shoe, pick out the meat, enjoy. They also freeze well. 9:03 PM Nov 2nd, 2009
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Also made it through my first frozen gallon of maple tree SAP. That worked really well. Took freezer space but otherwise very easy. 8:08 PM Nov 1st, 2009
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I label things with date, name, and place so I can remember picking. Today black rasp. July 7, from The Big Playground. So long ago now… 7:41 PM Nov 1st, 2009
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Already enjoying frozen black raspberries in oatmeal each morning. I add them right at the end of the cooking. Add raisins almonds earlier. 7:38 PM Nov 1st, 2009
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Comfrey leaves help heal cuts, general wounds, AKA “knitbone”. Applied externally or as a homeopathic remedy. Midwives often use for tears. 8:52 AM Oct 31st, 2009
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I’ll want comfrey in a few weeks after surgery. Pick leaves now before frost, infuse for a day, discard leaves, freeze infusion. Healing. 8:32 AM Oct 31st, 2009
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One option for misc. wild roots, leaves, and other is kim chi. Burdock and dandelion root with carrots, greens, wild onion is my best yet. 8:30 AM Oct 31st, 2009
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When the sap runs, maple trees will drip sap. So it is never too late to find a tree to tap. Just have to wait until Feb. or March! 9:44 PM Oct 30th, 2009
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ID those maple trees now – the leaves will soon be gone. I have a hard time figuring out trees in winter. 9:36 PM Oct 30th, 2009
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Ground Cherries seem to be ripening in the window, even in this dark wet weather. 9:33 PM Oct 30th, 2009
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I’m attending Ignite Ann Arbor 2 — http://bit.ly/iquTY and presenting about why I tweet. 15 speakers 5 min each 8:47 AM Oct 29th, 2009
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Tasted some rosehips and they were very bland, Needs more frost. 2:50 AM Oct 29th, 2009
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No dew berries this year so far. They are a pale blue raspberry like fruit that ripens in October. Found them along a creek last year. 2:48 AM Oct 29th, 2009
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Lunch of fried sweet potato, wild garlic greens, found onions, dandelion greens, with tahini and balsamic vinegar on pasta. Lovely. Yummy. 2:46 AM Oct 29th, 2009
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Picked ground cherries, not all of them are ripe. They are considered poisonous until they ripen, so I’ll try a windowsill and hope. 2:45 AM Oct 29th, 2009
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Yellow dock roots can be harvested now, made into oil, used for bruises, scrapes, bone bruises, and more. Oil takes 6 wks to make. 10:07 PM Oct 24th, 2009
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Yellow dock is still hanging in there, so you can make pesto from the leaves. It is OK that there are rusty looking spots. That’s normal. 10:05 PM Oct 24th, 2009
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I have been gifted with quinces. I don’t know yet what I will do to them other than cook and sweeten. Quince paste looks interesting. 10:32 PM Oct 23rd, 2009
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Made chamomile and calendula salves with my med school class. They had fun, enjoyed the hands-on part. Open minded positive group. 3:52 PM Oct 23rd, 2009
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The new issue of the people’s food co-op newsletter has my article on herbs used with cancer and heart disease 2:18 PM Oct 22nd, 2009
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Valerian grows very easily, spreads like crazy, root is used in the tincture for insomnia, muscle spasms, relaxation. It affects me strongly 10:23 PM Oct 21st, 2009
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Having back spasms, will take a little valerian tincture in water and sleep. We made it this week, too soon, so I’ll use last years. 10:22 PM Oct 21st, 2009
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Still time to sign up for Free class on Menopause – Thursday 7 pm Crazy Wisdom thanks to People’s Food Co-op 10:20 PM Oct 21st, 2009
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The last free event I’ll be doing this year is Nov 6 Ignite Ann Arbor on twittering about wild foods. http://igniteannarbor.eventbrite.com/ 1:01 AM Oct 21st, 2009
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Another free class Saturday at the Reskilling Festival, I’ll be helping people brainstorm about building a root cellar. 12:59 AM Oct 21st, 2009
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Free class Thursday on Menopause and Herbal Allies – the good news. Crazy Wisdom Bookstore, 7-8:30, sponsored by The People’s Food Co-op 12:58 AM Oct 21st, 2009
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Dug up Echinacea and Valerian roots, my med school class turned that into tincture, 103 proof vodka. In 6 weeks it will be ready for use. 12:56 AM Oct 21st, 2009
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2nd year wild carrot has turned into Queen Ann’s Lace, tall flower, the root is woody, and beginning to deteriorate. No use at that stage. 11:09 AM Oct 20th, 2009
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It is a great time to harvest wild carrot roots. The first year plants will have a nice solid, pure white root. Smells like carrot. 11:08 AM Oct 20th, 2009
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Was invited to pick buckwheat. A little late, many seeds had fallen, but it was different. Now, to remove the hulls and have flour. 10:16 PM Oct 19th, 2009
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Found a few goldenrod flowers still, picked a few and missed the yellow jacket also enjoying them. She stung me, oww. Apis and baking soda. 10:15 PM Oct 19th, 2009

More Tweets – Just Two more to catch up

Monday, January 18th, 2010

This and another 40 or so will put me up to date on my missing tweets. Follow me on twitter.com/wildcrafting for daily updates.

Harvesting gets more and more scant – but roots are still a great feast. Burdock (look for leaves with no flower stalks), dandelion are 2 9:27 PM Nov 27th, 2009
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When you harvest for bark, take vertical strips. If you gird the tree (go around) it dies. Except cork trees. But that is not a local tree! 6:39 AM Nov 25th, 2009
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we have slippery elms around here, but I’ve never harvested from them. Bark is powdered and used to stop colds, sooth colon, nutritious. 6:38 AM Nov 25th, 2009
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Just sniffed oil drops on surgical gauze. A bit formal – but some concessions can be made for the setting. Totally completely effective. 8:36 PM Nov 22nd, 2009
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Used peppermint oil to control post-surgery nausea. Read studies that said it worked, 1st and only chance to try. Amazing. Would wild mint? 8:31 PM Nov 22nd, 2009
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Using st. john’s wort oil topically to keep shingles at bay. Made from flowering tops gathered in June, farmer’s field. In Olive oil. Works. 8:29 PM Nov 22nd, 2009
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witch hazel grows in clumps of small trees. This must be ornamental var. as friend says he saw only one tree. And it fruits b4 it flowers. 11:40 PM Nov 21st, 2009
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friend walking my dog came back with witch hazel flower. blooms in Nov. fringy thin yellow petals. not edible but tinctured for astringent. 11:36 PM Nov 21st, 2009
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home from hosp day early – oatmeal made with maple sap – not syrup frozen from last season. And black rasp. No hosp. food at all. 12:50 PM Nov 21st, 2009
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No more tweets until Sunday at the earliest. Combining the best of conventional and alternative therapies, to be nourished and heal fast. 9:44 PM Nov 18th, 2009
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Woods today filled with young garlic mustard. Bad. And young strawberry plants – promise of good things in the spring. Good. 9:42 PM Nov 18th, 2009
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catnip is making a go of growing in this warm weather. Herbal tea, dry for cats, add to cooking greens for flavor change. Soothes stomach. 1:24 PM Nov 18th, 2009
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It took about 2 weeks for my root cellar to stop smelling like dead mice. The down side to food storage. Those mice are amazing. Destroyers. 9:50 AM Nov 18th, 2009
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I think I will miss the woods more than anything. Good motivation to get well soon. I just can’t be inside too long.. lots grows in the cold 9:46 PM Nov 17th, 2009
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Hope to be back next week, posting ideas, recipes, philosophy, info on medicinal herbs, and herbs I’m using to nourish and heal. 9:44 PM Nov 17th, 2009
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I will be indoors for a week or two recovering from major abdominal surgery. It may be hard to twitter about wild things for a bit. 9:42 PM Nov 17th, 2009
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Lots of dandelions. Craving tahini. Combines well – recipe http://moonfieldpress.com/pages/samplerecipes.html from my cookbook. 9:41 PM Nov 17th, 2009
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Burdock root infused overnight, strained and used in baths for soothing skin care, for itching and luxurious sensations. Freeze 4 later use 11:30 PM Nov 15th, 2009
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tomorrow – final comfrey leaf harvest. For herbal vinegar 4 minerals, and decoction to preserve by freezing. Wound healing used externally. 11:27 PM Nov 15th, 2009
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Soup made from Jerusalem artichokes, chestnuts, garlic and brussel sprouts. Pureed artichokes, 40 cloves garlic for 3 gallons. Tasty. 11:06 PM Nov 15th, 2009
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Long walk but not much to eat. Comfrey still growing strong. My bees are a bit troubled, warm weather but no flowers. That’s hard for them. 5:00 PM Nov 14th, 2009
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Still avail. roots of dandelion, burdock, chicory, wild carrot; yellow dock leaves (think pesto); apples, crabapples; acorns, black walnuts 9:05 PM Nov 13th, 2009
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Did more talking about wildcrafting than doing it today. Encouraging urban maple syruping, listing wild plants still harvestable. 9:02 PM Nov 13th, 2009
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Tincture of St. John’s Wort oil is ruby red, just beautiful. Used for shingles, nerve pain, anti-viral, and Seasonal Affective Disorder more 9:32 PM Nov 12th, 2009
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Productive day dealing with previous preparations. Decanted St. John’s Wort oil and tincture, vinegars of pine and comfrey, echinacea tinct. 9:30 PM Nov 12th, 2009
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Evidence for Echinacea in small doses all anecdotal. My published article http://www.holisticwisdom.org/hwpages/echinacea.html 8:33 AM Nov 11th, 2009
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Taking home made Echinacea purpurea tincture daily – 10 drops in water – as prevention against misc. viruses. Made from roots, 3 YO plants 8:31 AM Nov 11th, 2009
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Drinking nettle leaf infusion – eating dandelion leaves – enjoying yellow dock leaf pesto – wild pears – ground cherries not ripening 8:29 AM Nov 11th, 2009
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And, sometimes conventional medicine is necessary and profoundly helpful. Best solution? Combine the two. Alt. and Conv. 8:28 AM Nov 11th, 2009
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Health Insurance nightmares interfere with life & happiness, including posting on wild food. Sorry! Do it yourself medicine is more peaceful 8:26 AM Nov 11th, 2009
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Use dried rosehips with other herbs for tea, infuse with lid 20 minutes or a couple hours. Nice color, taste, and vit. C. 9:00 AM Nov 8th, 2009
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Found some rosehips? You can dry them. Dry the flesh, not the seeds, on a tray in any airy warm place. Store in jars with lid. 8:59 AM Nov 8th, 2009
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The Nov. Herbal Wisdom class has been postponed. It will be January 28th, on using herbs for cancer and heart disease. 8:57 AM Nov 8th, 2009
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Rosehips – nibble on the red flesh, avoid the barbed seeds inside. Great source of Vit. C 3:24 PM Nov 7th, 2009
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Canoeing – found a few rosehips to nibble. Not much else, so just enjoyed the warm sunny weather and being on the water. 3:23 PM Nov 7th, 2009
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If they’ve been frosted, it will be too late. Not the right flavor to spend time preserving. 11:42 PM Nov 6th, 2009
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I will be looking for unfrozen garlic greens and chives tomorrow. Forget to dry some for the winter. 200 degree oven, into well sealed jar. 11:41 PM Nov 6th, 2009
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Ignite2 went well, love to talk about wildcrafting with people who never considered it, or who remember their g-mother doing it. 11:40 PM Nov 6th, 2009
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As of this moment, just 32 free tickets left for ignite2 http://igniteannarbor.eventbrite.com/ So about 500 people will be there. Cool. 12:08 AM Nov 6th, 2009
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I am explaining my motivation and passion for this twitter experiment at Ingite2, Friday night, 7 pm. 5 minutes, 20 slides, auto advance 12:06 AM Nov 6th, 2009
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Eat ‘chokes raw like water chestnuts, baked and mashed with potatoes, boiled in soups, stir fried is awesome, very versatile. Nutritious 2 5:18 PM Nov 5th, 2009
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I’ll put some in sand in the root cellar. Last year the mice got to them, this year taking measures against mice so there is hope. 5:17 PM Nov 5th, 2009
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To store Jer. Art. don’t remove the dirt, put in plastic bags in the produce drawer of your refrig, I’ve had some last almost a year. 5:16 PM Nov 5th, 2009 *****
Harvested about 30 pounds of Jerusalem Artichokes. They are kind of wild – they grow where I don’t want them and come back every year. 5:15 PM Nov 5th, 2009

More Tweets Repeated Here

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Follow me on twitter.com/wildcrafting or read here every few days. I’m still catching up form not posting since mid-October.

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white pine needles harvested all year. In winter, white pine infusion good source of Vit. C. Tastes like turpentine though. And diuretic! 9:36 PM Dec 21st, 2009
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reminder – white pine needles in jar, apple cider vinegar to top, non metal lid, wait 6 weeks = white pine flavored vinegar with + minerals. 9:35 PM Dec 21st, 2009
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Comparing balsamic vinegar and homemade white pine needle vinegar. B. is more “oaky” WP the apple cider taste comes thru. WP is surprising. 9:21 PM Dec 21st, 2009
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OK things are covered with snow. U can still ID wild carrot, chicory, burdock, mullein, and so many others, ready for early spring finds. 6:40 PM Dec 19th, 2009
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Foraging is walk outside when something wonderful could happen any moment. Even this time of year. Like High Bush Cranberries! 3:34 PM Dec 19th, 2009
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From “Why Animals Make us Human” by Temple Grandon. Anticipation = pleasure. Being outside and expecting “treats” is reinforcing. And basic. 3:32 PM Dec 19th, 2009
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Temple Grandon writes of primitive “seeking behavior” creating pleasure. My point exactly, why foraging is deeply rooted and makes us happy. 3:31 PM Dec 19th, 2009
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I think the only place that sells SJW oil locally is The People’s Food Co-op. Many people are unfamiliar with the oil, just know tincture. 8:05 AM Dec 17th, 2009
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Made from local flowering tops of Hypericum Perforatum. Look for it in mid June. Cautions with internal use of tincture or pills. Not ext. 8:03 AM Dec 17th, 2009
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Huge difference in pain relief and nerve sensitivity. I love this oil. Fantastic for shingles outbreaks as well. Topical use only… 8:01 AM Dec 17th, 2009
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2 days w/out topical St. John’s Wort oil on incision and discomfort increases. Last 12 hours with, clear improvement. A small experiment. 7:59 AM Dec 17th, 2009
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Still processing tasks to complete from summer and fall. Frozen cattail pollen to sift, acorns to process, buckwheat to hull. Winter work. 11:38 PM Dec 16th, 2009
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Because it is in our nature to gather wild foods. We evolved that way too. When you give in to that deep need, foraging is deeply satisfying 7:27 PM Dec 15th, 2009
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How you feel when you add wild foods to your diet may be a first indicator. My body says YES! A deep primitive response is also satisfied. 7:26 PM Dec 15th, 2009
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If we evolved with certain foods, do we deal with them differently than recently adapted and “improved” foods? May take a while to know. 7:21 PM Dec 15th, 2009
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One theory is that wild foods are more digestible and with better nutrient uptake. Because cells respond slowly to change and hybrid foods. 7:20 PM Dec 15th, 2009
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My foraging friend ground the wild “pepper” with wild mustard seeds, homemade vinegar, made an interesting condiment. Flavorful! 4:17 PM Dec 14th, 2009
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Saw some “Poor Man’s Pepper” seed pods dried by a path. Still has that peppery great flavor, but bit wet tasting as well. A treat on a walk 4:15 PM Dec 14th, 2009
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On hand now I have jams of black raspberry, quince, red raspberry, strawberry, blueberry. Also pear butter, apple butter. All gifts. Yum. 6:34 PM Dec 13th, 2009
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Jam is also an unusual treat stirred into hot tea, herbal or most others. Use it in lots of places you might use honey , sugar, etc. 6:32 PM Dec 13th, 2009
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With all the jam I’ve been gifted with it is time to make thumb print cookies. Buttery nut cookie, make hole with thumb, fill w/ jam, bake 6:30 PM Dec 13th, 2009
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Friends have had freezer failures and are making more jam from berries that thawed. Next year consider drying as another option. Low tech. 6:27 PM Dec 13th, 2009
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Found a confused pussy willow on my walk. Soft fuzzy buds . Even pussy willow has salicin, used for headaches and pain. Extracted from bark 2:40 PM Dec 12th, 2009
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If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his or her wages? … The rare leafy green joke… I collect them no matter how bad. 9:20 AM Dec 12th, 2009
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Interested in hands on learning? Location in Ann Arbor and Chelsea MI, no$$, work exchange only. DM with your e-mail. 2 apprentices needed 9:06 AM Dec 12th, 2009
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Thinking of spring: two gardens to plant, and the wild harvest starts with maple sugaring Feb or March. Seeking 2 people 4 apprenticeship. 9:03 AM Dec 12th, 2009
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Started the day with buckwheat pancakes with black raspberries, picked June 28, and my own maple syrup from last Feb. Memories & great food 9:01 AM Dec 12th, 2009
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Continuing to use St. John’s Wort oil on my incision , numb areas beginning to itch and have more feeling. Facilitates nerve regeneration. 7:04 PM Dec 11th, 2009
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Chenopodium, Lamb’s Quarters, is one plant to save seed to cook as grain or grind for flour. But huge work in preparation. Small return. 3:49 PM Dec 9th, 2009
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Wind is helpful to separate the wheat from the chaff – or any other seed with husks you saved foraging. But 50 MPH today – too much. 3:47 PM Dec 9th, 2009
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This will be my rare plug. Buy directly from me – http://bit.ly/852ANW and I can personally autograph. I’ll twitter recipes this winter. 9:17 AM Dec 8th, 2009
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My cookbook “Spinach and Beyond: Loving Life and Dark Green Leafy Vegetables” includes wild greens and how to use them. http://bit.ly/8x3tvT 9:14 AM Dec 8th, 2009
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My foraging friend stashed his for wine making, mine will mostly go on top of oatmeal. Added at end of cooking. Or cornbread, or pancakes. 7:36 PM Dec 7th, 2009
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Unearthed the large stash of black raspberries from the back of freezer. The color, taste, and even smell at this time of year is heaven. 7:34 PM Dec 7th, 2009
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The job of controlling and eliminating invasives is overwhelming. Eating them is a reasonable part of a needed larger strategy. cooperate 4:57 PM Dec 6th, 2009
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I would hate to see many of them be totally eliminated. For now, we are all working to stop the spread and that is important. Next – ? 4:55 PM Dec 6th, 2009
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Invasives are often powerful herbal healers and good food. Is there a conflict? Mostly I just find where they are trouble and harvest them. 4:53 PM Dec 6th, 2009
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Just now found my direct tweets- so apologies for not responding b4. Not sure what I wasn’t seeing, my other account they showed up. OK now 4:52 PM Dec 6th, 2009
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The hard frost this am knocked out a lot of greens, but even wilted you can eat for a few days. Cook first. Some taste better after a chill. 9:02 PM Dec 5th, 2009
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http://bit.ly/4tQ6g4 links to article on wildcrafting in Sweden. 9:00 PM Dec 5th, 2009
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Cold frames, hoop houses, greenhouses, are good for weeds and wild food not just intentionally planted plants. Extend the season! 8:47 PM Dec 4th, 2009
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You can place ground cover fabric, AKA reemay, over your more tender weeds and extend the season. Also easier to find greens in the snow. 8:46 PM Dec 4th, 2009
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In Dec. any fresh edible green is a great thing. A little added to a recipe goes a long way. Esp. with a strong wonderful garlic taste! 11:15 PM Dec 3rd, 2009
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Saute in oil, mix with sour cream, add to baked potato. Sliver into butter, use garlic butter on bread and bake. Add chopped to marinade. 11:13 PM Dec 3rd, 2009
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Garlic mustard recipes: tear into small pieces, add to salad greens. Add to stir fry. Add to other greens boiled or steamed. …to be cont.. 11:11 PM Dec 3rd, 2009
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If you can pull up the roots with the garlic mustard &discard them, you’ve done a good deed. They create soil environment that hurts trees. 6:12 PM Dec 2nd, 2009
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I was munching on garlic mustard today. Expect it to be around most of the winter, it is a green you can uncover from snow and ice and eat. 6:11 PM Dec 2nd, 2009
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With the ground not yet frozen, you could still ID Echinacea from the stalks with cone like flowers, dig the root, clean, chop. 8:27 PM Dec 1st, 2009
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My Echinacea root was put into 100 proof vodka. 6 weeks later now ready to decant. 10 drops a day in water to stave off flu, colds, and crud 8:25 PM Dec 1st, 2009
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Picked more comfrey leaves today, topical healing for friend – recent childbirth. Soothing and healing for tears, make liquid extract. 10:18 PM Nov 30th, 2009
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Ever made pesto in December? Find a few sheltered leaves from dandelions yellow dock (especially), plantain, and treat like basil. In Dec.! 10:15 PM Nov 30th, 2009
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So happy to be out walking, even if short. Dandelion greens stay edible nearly all winter – I’ve found and eaten in Feb. Flowers even. 11:20 PM Nov 29th, 2009
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A gallon of maple sap makes about 8-9 bowls of oatmeal. So I had a months worth of oatmeal breakfasts frozen in plastic milk jugs. Sweet. 10:10 PM Nov 28th, 2009
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buckwheat pancakes made with maple syrup from the tree next door last Feb. was great way to start the morning. 10:07 PM Nov 28th, 2009

More tweets to catch up with

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

The next batch of un-blogged tweets. I’ll expand them on AnnArbor.com tonight or tomorrow.

Had some bread made by a friend, Lamb’s Quarter’s seeds mixed in. Sort of like poppy seeds, gentle flavor, nice texture, slight earthiness 4:59 PM Jan 4th
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Wild greens are heart healthy – the greener the better. Eat more greens, stay out of the ER. Just my idea for a healthy New Year! 7:35 PM Jan 3rd
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Walk in the woods pre-empted by taking my brother to ER. No wild foods there. Nothing green but scrubs. They didn’t ask about diet or herbs. 7:34 PM Jan 3rd
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Some mushy rotting crab apples on a walk, not much else. Spent more time looking down careful of ice than looking around watching for food. 3:23 PM Jan 2nd
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I’m starting now saving plastic jugs, ID trees, each tap hole is about 10 gallons sap most years = 1 qt syrup. I plan to tap about 6 trees. 6:19 AM Jan 1st
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You can tap any maple, as well as birch and sycamore. Sap can be used as is – or boiled for syrup. More stats http://bit.ly/8z5Llo 6:15 AM Jan 1st
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Mich produces over 90,000 gallons of syrup each year. Multiply by 40 to count sap production. Takes 40 gal sap to make 1 gal syrup. 6:13 AM Jan 1st
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Maple syrup is the first farm crop harvested in MI each year. Hoop houses may change that… but the season usually begins next month! 6:11 AM Jan 1st
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Left over acorn and buckwheat black raspberry pancakes. It has been good year for wild food and learning to tweet! Thanks for following. 7:46 PM Dec 31st, 2009
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1 more reason I like natural unprocessed stuff- I’m more sensitive than many. Blogging bad reaction to cleaning product http://bit.ly/82EmB4 4:30 PM Dec 31st, 2009
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But HBC is a source of vit C mid-winter. This week they were the worst ever. Maybe time and desperation would improve the flavor. 6:50 PM Dec 29th, 2009
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Found and tasted some High Bush Cranberries out in the woods. Oh they tasted really truly awful. They have a flat seed – and red berry. 6:48 PM Dec 29th, 2009
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Back to blogging on annarbor.com. That was some writer’s block, glad it is over. http://bit.ly/5QM0V4 10:19 PM Dec 28th, 2009 from TweetDeck
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Finally heated and strained 5 big jars of honey with lots of comb. Left from rescuing a wild hive this spring. Big mess, sweet reward. 9:31 PM Dec 27th, 2009
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Every bit of maple syrup leaves me counting the days until the sap runs again. Maybe 60 or about. Love these pure simple tastes. All year. 9:23 PM Dec 27th, 2009
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The ultimate in local foraged/gleaned pancakes. Outstanding. Acorns add a very interesting multi level taste. Just not something I’m used to 9:21 PM Dec 27th, 2009
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These will be pancakes with multiple stories. I’ll experiment with my sourdough starter in place of baking soda for next time. 12:42 AM Dec 27th, 2009
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Later today, will combine handpicked buckwheat with acorn flour, homemade butter, last years maple syrup, local eggs, raspberries, for wow! 12:39 AM Dec 27th, 2009
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Gleaned buckwheat in Oct. Winnowed recently, grind in mill with hulls, the hulls are then sifted out easily. Foraged Buckwheat flour! 12:38 AM Dec 27th, 2009
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I have a few spots of garlic mustard I will watch into the winter – how long can it live ? How cold can it get? How durable is this pest? 10:36 AM Dec 26th, 2009
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Under that snow lurks garlic mustard, alive and well and also edible. Add to other pot greens, small bits in a salad, it is tasty still. 10:34 AM Dec 26th, 2009
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Dog Nala found sumac in my pocket and ate it – the Vit. C taste made her wince and lick her lips but she kept nibbling. Wild dog. 8:50 AM Dec 25th, 2009
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Sucked and licked the berries, friend took it to make sumacade – soak fruit in cold water, ideal with sun, but time will have to do. Vit C 8:48 AM Dec 25th, 2009
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Earlier in the week found vibrant staghorn sumac fruit bursting with flavor. Wow! Glad now we picked it as this rain would delete flavor. 8:46 AM Dec 25th, 2009
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Bad weather for dogs. Nala wasn’t interested in freezing rain at all – but nature calls and she had no choice. Back under the blankets now. 8:44 AM Dec 25th, 2009
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The best were less than 1/4 inch, growing by the river. Almost missed them. The yukky hips more profuse, and nearby. Have to taste to know. 8:16 AM Dec 24th, 2009
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Yesterday sampled 3 different rosehips. The smallest was exclaim out loud good. Sweet, lemony, nice texture. Other two bland and bad. 8:14 AM Dec 24th, 2009
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My cookbook “Spinach and Beyond Loving Life and Dark Green leafy vegetables sold over 30 copies this week. Largest sales in over 5 years. 9:23 AM Dec 23rd, 2009
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And the taste difference between old flour and newly milled flour is amazing. Fresh flour still tastes alive, not like dust. 8:31 AM Dec 23rd, 2009
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Seeds store better than flour. The ideal is to have the “berries” of the grain, and grind as needed. Healthy oils and nutty taste are saved. 8:30 AM Dec 23rd, 2009
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Chenopodium (lamb’s quarters) are the green to the left – better as a green than as grain. Greens can be blanched and frozen 4 winter eating 10:24 PM Dec 22nd, 2009
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My foraging friend tried cooking up lamb’s quarter seeds tonight. Result: hard, slightly burned, lots of work not much to be excited about. 10:23 PM Dec 22nd, 2009
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Soup recipe – a new favorite

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

After making up soup recipes for a couple of years now, I’ve found some talent in combining tastes and favorite ingredients. This one seemed obvious, and it was indeed a great soup. Here is the recipe.

So many soups start with sauted onions, I chose to skip that step to cut down on calories and frankly to end up with a variation on that taste. Which is great, but I wanted a softer blended taste. So I used a lot of onions – two big organic ones – chopped, and just put them into the soup pot with the water that was heating. I had filled the pot about half way with water. Next, about 2-3 cups of red lentils, rinsed really well. i had both red and white potatoes, and cubed about 6-8 of each. A quart of canned tomatoes, and a bit of salt. I added enough water to come to the top of my large soup pot. I let that cook about 2 hours. Just before serving I made some fresh garam masala. In my coffee grinder I blended about 1 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds, about 8 cloves, the seeds from 6 cardamon pods, about 1/2 tsp cinnamon, a few pepper corns, a whole dried cayenne pepper without the seeds, about 3/4 tbsp turmeric, 3/4 tbsp coriander. Each bowl of soup had a little of that sprinkled over it. There was planty of left over soup, and I just added the rest of the garam masala to it before freezing.

A little spicy, wonderful blend of flavors, nice texture with the potatoes, and not too acidic with the tomatoes, the lentils gave it a thickness and fullness that was very satisfying. But the key id the very fresh ingredients of the garam masala. That makes this soup a wow!

This amount would serve about 15-20 people. If you’re going to make soup, you might as well be serious about it!