Spring Beauty

Spring Beauty 1It’s May and the green belt behind our house is just that. Green! A chlorophyll wonderland of shimmering leaves, budding tree branches and ferns studded with tiny little purple flowers that I can’t identify but look so freakin cute! Viewed from my kitchen window the scene overwhelms the senses. So much is growing and moving. So much is green! My eyes focus and unfocus wildly, trying hopelessly to impose some order on all this chaos, this emerald leviathan, this explosion of life.

And the edibles! Dandelions, fiddleheads, salmonberry shoots, nettles and everything else I’ve been gushing about for the last three or four posts. It’s a forager’s paradise! And now, I can add Miner’s Lettuce (aka: Indian Lettuce, Winter Purslane and Spring Beauty) to my growing list of spring pickings. (more…)

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Best Westcoast Foraging Guides

Best Foraging GuidesMy co-worker and fellow creative lunatic Carol recently asked me what I considered to be the best, most easily accessible books on Wescoast foraging. She’d been poking around the backyard, getting excited about harvesting some local spring plants to eat and wanted a guide that could: a) Give her a fundamental understanding of foraging – ie. when and where to pick what. b) Clearly identify what plants are edible and what to avoid. c) Inspire her to roam farther afield for new experiences. (more…)

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Walking On The Beaches, Part 1 – Watercress

Watercress1 smallEverything is grey.

There is water out there somewhere, but no reflection from the sun. No visible horizon, just a solid, foggy expanse. Like some sort of Homeric underworld. A granite curtain, empty and undefined.

It’s bloody cold.

We are at the beach in late November, on yet another hunt for local foragables. It’s chilly enough to warrant the traditional full coat and toque combo that all Canadians (even those of us smart enough to have migrated West) have kicking about in the back of the closet. I can see my breath hissing in the ashen stillness. But, I don’t feel any chill, in fact I’m excited! Down the beach I can see it, vibrant against the grey stones… It’s green, like the Emerald city.

We’re off to see the wizard! (more…)

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Stinging Nettles

Nettle1The word “Grace” is defined in a lot of different ways:

  • A characteristic or quality pleasing for its charm or refinement.
  • Divine love bestowed freely on people by a higher power.
  • A disposition to be generous or helpful; goodwill.
  • A favor rendered by one who need not do so; indulgence.
  • A prayer before eating to give thanks.

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about grace lately, ever since my Uncle Wayne passed away. It kind of bubbles away on my mind’s back burner while I type, but don’t get bummed, this isn’t a story about that. Even though other events may frame it, this is about rambling in the forest with friends (old and new) picking weeds and accidentally getting a nasty rash. (more…)

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