Sarah Murray led two very wonderful wild food workshops at StellaLou this past weekend.
We spent the days enjoying the outdoors, observing the wonders of nature, engaging in hands-on learning, and nourishing our bodies with delicious food. If you want to be inspired and develop skills so that you can forage and prepare your own wild food, Sarah’s class schedule is posted here. The following photos were taken on Sunday. Sunday’s workshop focused on continued instruction in the identification and utilization of culinary and medicinal plants as well as harvesting those plants and creating a feast from our harvest. I have to admit my surprise with regard to the meal preparation that occurred on Sunday. I was, fully, expecting a “Yes, this tastes like it would be good for you” kind of dining experience. No way! This was a legitimate gourmet meal and truly inspirational event.
Here we are starting the day!
Describing the plan for the day
We learned about wild plants: how to identify them, about their medicinal, nutritional, and culinary properties; and about harvesting techniques.
Investigating stinging nettle
Nibbling through the field
Which is chicory, which is dandelion?
Can you tell white from red clover leaves?
Which is the ground ivy?
We worked together to harvest plants for our meal from the fields, gardens, orchards, and edges.
Stinging nettle…with care
Stalking the wild vegetable!
Flocking to the wineberries
Sarah helped us to navigate the kitchen as well as the field. What a wonderful way to explore the wild abundance all around us!
Bringing our harvest to the table
Observing the class from inside
Washing the harvest
We finished the day with the gratitude and satisfaction that comes from a fabulous home spun meal and spending time with wonderful people!
Nettle soup (including: nettle, violet leaves,mallow)
Salad (including: dandelion, galinsoga, borage flowers, chicory, buckwheat sprouts, smartweed, wild garlic seed, red clover flowers)
Pesto (including: nasturtium, garlic mustard)
Borage wraps (including: borage leaves, garden and wood sorrels, pesto)
Dessert! (including: wild black raspberries, wineberries)
Good resource page for “Wild Foodies:” http://www.wildfoodies.org
I had the opportunity to spend a wonderful morning strolling through StellaLou’s pastures, garden areas, woodlot, and orchard; tasting the odd leaf and flower bud, and picking wild berries all whilst getting to know Sarah Murray. Sarah, from Pure Healing Insight, is an ethno-botanist and healer. Among other services, she teaches people how to identify and utilize wild plants for food and medicine. She was interested to see if StellaLou may be one possible site for her workshops. I was interested in hosting an educational event that was consistent with StellaLou’s vision and School of Living’s mission.
Sisymbrium officinale, (Brassicaceae family) – a medicinal which is used for hoarseness. The French name, “Herbe aux Chantres” means “Singer’s herb.” (notes from Sarah)
After walking a bit, I asked Sarah if she could, actually, create a meal from what she found here. She looked at me and then out at the lush field. “Are you kidding?! There is SO much food here!” My eyes were opened wide to the abundance at StellaLou. I look forward to understanding, more deeply, what is right here in front of my eyes and my feet.
Galinsoga parviflora (Asteraceae family) – very tasty leaves!
So, Sarah and I seem to have found a match! Sarah has scheduled workshops at StellaLou on July 6th and 7th, 2013. The Saturday workshop will include a walk on the land with an introduction to wild plants. Instruction will include identification and utilization of the plants. Harvesting and preparing a meal from the wild plants is scheduled for Sunday. If these workshops interest you, go to this link for further information as well as for Sarah’s contact information. I encourage you to look through her website to learn more about Sarah’s background, her services, and her workshop schedule.
Tags: sarah murray