Foraging

Hail Brave Hearts

Finally the warmth rolls in, the clouds part way and the sun can shine. The wintry blasts are receding and the rain pours down in buckets, but the earth yields up her garden and it’s bountiful as always. A bit later than it usually is, but still in aromatic abundance, the wildflowers show off their colorful delights. Dandelion, the master of spring, with more to eat than to discard, pops up in it’s usual multitudes for us to indulge our natural cravings in. So plentiful, it’s sunshine, so full of goodness, it’s dietary delicious, so easy to find and to consume, the harvest is in, and it’s golden.

Lilac is purple, or white or pinkish, full of fragrance and honey. The birds and the bees indulge in it’s goodness and the tiny nests of songbirds hide in the abundant foliage. It’s sweet and full of goodness, another springtime treasure. Fill up the larder with sweet smelling cooking. It’s unusual, but that is what the garden is, fragrant and sweet and delicious.

The roses are in full bloom, as eye catching as always. I reach out to shake their showy, fragrant blooms. The yield from the rose is small but mighty as I stock my fragrance bar. This tasty large lilac flower, this small delicate rose, add to my concoctions of sweet treats which fill the larder with unusual delicacies. I love the spring! It’s so wild and tasteful, a banquet of floral bouquet. Stalk the elusive wild spring flowers to fill the pantry and to delight your taste buds with this unusual gourmet.

My backyard garden is in full bloom. Nothing is discarded if its edible. That new weed, might just be the next experiment in decadent floral cooking. The flowers are picked in full bloom, with many seasonal recipes to try. Lilac and dandelion,rose and fireweed, bring treats of liqueurs, sorbets, honey and biscuits, which last long past the flowery show of colorful blossoms.

It’s so self indulgent it becomes perfume with fragrant oils for the bath. Long past spring our bodies are soothed by the richness of the flower garden with it’s plentiful blooms. Violets and pansies spring into sight. A gorgeous salad, a scrumptious palate waiting to be plucked and devoured.

https://www.westcoastseeds.com/blogs/garden-wisdom/list-of-edible-flowers?gclid=CjwKCAjw1f_pBRAEEiwApp0JKPZZdlkiG5MP_ontgnI6niYrFyNQ8ysnPhhNdVoE8fZp90X4C278jxoC39YQAvD_BwE

So its spring and the first harvest is in. Full of vitamins and minerals and something sugary and fragrant and unique. The self indulgent past time of foraging Earth’s delights, makes a simple act of cooking a gourmet’s treat. The Earth’s powers. Fragrant, colorful, beautiful, delicious and nutritious, coming from your garden, in a brand new way..

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

July 28, 2019

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Pemican

Hail Brave hearts.

The season’s change and so do I.  Cast off your winter garment, it is spring.  The receding snows and baking sun, take the blanket of white away, leaving behind the winter’s dead brown world.  A cool, late spring, with slow growth, keeps the winter hanging on.  It’s time for spring, the great wild calls, as the migrating birds arrive and the hibernating animals emerge.  It’s time for spring, call the adventurers as they pull out their bikes for a ride in the woods.  The ski hill closes, the equipment is stored, coats and boots hang in closets.  Birds gather in warm pools, waiting for the ice to melt.  Come on spring, it’s your show now!

Slowly the warming sun, encourages the grass to become green, tiny buds on trees begin to emerge and the promise of a new world becomes real.  Mating pairs can’t wait to start their families and the tiny offspring need to be warm.  Winter has withdrawn reluctantly this year.  An inspection of the garden reveals some winter kill.  Not all of the plants can survive the winter all of the time, but lets wait, it’s still early.  Don’t be discouraged yet.

Rhubarb has popped it’s head up out of the soil.   In a few weeks the harvest will start.  The berry patch is looking good and weeding is on the “to do” list.  Little sparrows look for good nesting sites and the chorus of their song, welcomes spring.  Finally!  The Earth awakens from her slumber and with this, the grey days pass.

“Come out!”  calls the brilliant sunshine. ” Come to play in the warm sunshine!  Come to see the beautiful new world.  Come to investigate the returning wild.  Come out!  Come out!  Don’t stay inside.  You’ll miss this glorious day!”

Spring brings with it a new array of activity.  The garden, with it’s earthly delights, fragrance, bird songs, color, delectable food.  This spells work in the garden, choose your seeds, get ready to plant.  The fruit trees are blooming, food is on its way.

After a long winter of rations, eating last years harvest, the fresh rhubarb looks so good.  A few more weeks and this can be eaten.  Perhaps a new recipe this year.  The dandelions are starting to flower and the fresh new shoots are a perfect salad.  I won’t weed these this year.  Instead, I’ll let the flowers grow and harvest them for my dinner.  Bread and muffins, salad and tea and survival.  This is the gift of the harvest, straight from the great planet.   Eat and enjoy, for this is sustenance and we gather it.

http://www.grouprecipes.com/68395/pemican.html  Pemican

In years gone by, when the country was new, survival was the key to colonialism.  Like hibernating wildlife, overwintering and surviving in the great white north, was the most imperative topic of the day.  How do we survive?  Adaptation and skills, training and education.  As humans, we can’t curl up in a warm, winters den and sleep the cold away.  Preparation and planning,  storage, cut wood.  A humble cabin, an oasis in the wilderness.  Warm, small,dry.  It’s yours!

Written by Dr. Louise Hayes

May 13, 2018

A Rose is a Rose

Hail Bravehearts

Ah, the goodness, the welcome delight, a fresh backyard garden to enjoy and delight.  Flowers with fragrance fill the air, with sweet summer scents, to draw you back there.  A rose is a dainty, admired for it’s beauty, but beneath that colorful coat, lies a secret kept neatly.  It’s worth in it’s petals fill the air, with  a scent so aromatic we gather it with care.  Brilliant on it’s stem, it holds it’s head brightly, filling it’s container with blossoms, so sprightly.  Gathering the petals, so soft to the touch, for a dainty delicacy, there’s not very much.

An added abundance to fill the larder, flowers are growing, but the work is much harder.  Smaller and precious, they fill their space, with fragrance, color, and beauty in their place.  Dainty and delightful, smelling so divine, I pluck the petals that grow on the vine.  The air in the house is sweet perfume, and extracting the essential oils clutters the room.

The recipes prove, there are plenty of us, gathering flowers, for their values is a must.  We eat the good ones, gathered with care, to try a dish of culinary rare.  Some salads, some biscuits, some chocolate too, a craving of harvesting a plant or two.  This sweet tart taste is the treat of the day, we sit and enjoy rose petal sorbet.

http://invitadoinviernoeng.blogspot.ca/2010/06/rose-petal-sorbet.html

The gathering of flowers, even the dead headed ones, is as fragrant and blissful as these moments become.  A headful of perfume, as the passing rose, still lingers its fragrance in my nose.  The smell lingers in the air, aromatherapy is here, I wake each morning to it’s presence so dear.  Lovely to look at, delightful to hold, there’s something special about the rose.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

August 18, 2017