By Jane Hielman
Spring is here and the greens both medicinal and edible are everywhere. Jessica led 15 folks on a foraging walk which concluded with a “picnic” at the County Park in Clallam Bay. Big smiles were seen as the baked and pre-prepared goods provided by Jessica were enjoyed in summer sun!
In Jessica’s words, “Thank you for attending the field trip on Saturday. It was such a pleasure to spend time with all of you. I love to talk with people about wild edibles and share my experiences and knowledge on all topics related to foraging/cooking/preserving/nutrition, etc.
Our picnic foods included: spruce tip iced tea, two warm teas: horsetail and salmonberry/thimbleberry leaf, the wild greens salad (cleavers, spring beauty, wood sorrel, fireweed, fiddleheads, cow parsnip, cress, dock, plantain, dandelion, clover, & rose petals for garnish) with nettle pesto dressing, pickled fiddleheads, deviled eggs with nettle pesto, spruce tip kombucha, sourdough bread stuffed with wild mushrooms (oysters), leeks and nettle pesto, halibut with chopped spruce tips baked in skunk cabbage leaves, a quinoa/hemp/honey dessert bar made with powdered nettles and nettle seeds.
I just tried out a new recipe tonight using the sea lettuce seaweed — and I’m super excited to share it with others — but because I’m focusing on Nori next month I guess it will have to wait a while.
By way of explanation: Why eat wild plants?
Wild plants are more nutritionally dense than garden vegetables because of the quality of the dirt they are growing in (more minerals and nutrients which the plants assimilate) and because the “stress” they are exposed to promotes production of phytonutrients.
Some wild plants contain prebiotic fiber which is beneficial for your microbiome (the bacteria in your gut) – soil bacteria that reside on the plants may also benefit your microbiome.
Many of the edibles also have medicinal properties – making them good for your body beyond their nutritional value.
Fresh picked greens are far superior in nutrition compared to those that are picked at the farm, then transported, shelved at the grocery store, and often stored in your refrigerator for days before you prepare and eat them.
Eating wild foods promotes self-sufficiency and food security with less reliance on food being transported from distant farms. Learning about wild edibles is also a valuable emergency preparedness survival skill.
The time spent outside foraging foods that nourish your body while experiencing the beauty and mystery of nature is also nourishing and healing on spiritual, emotional, and physical levels.
Save the dates: June 10
We will be learning about Nori Seaweed. The class will take place at the Co-op on Sunday, June 10 at noon.
In July, I will have a table set up during Clallam Bay Sekiu Fun Days with information on seaweeds, including foods to sample, and on Sunday there will be a field trip to a nearby beach at low tide (meet up time is 8:30 a.m.).”