Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spring salad

I am working on becoming a community herbalist. Ostensibly, that means that I can diagnose and treat people for baseline physical maladies - colds, coughs, respiratory and digestion challenges. My primary motivation for taking the course is to learn more in depth about the particular healing properties of each herb - what it treats, its growth pattern and which tradition it falls into - Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Western and Native American - foremost amongst all others. With that understanding, I can integrate those plants into landscapes that could help support people who have compromised health systems. I am doing that here at home and have designed for that with the community at Black Oaks.  An unexpected benefit has been learning an overview of the human health systems, their function and how much overlap there is between the micro-ecosystems within each person and the larger ecosystems around us in the world. Nested Ecologies - my underlying passion! 

The system we learned recently was the digestion system and ways to detoxify....It's that time of the year - when fresh greens - asparagus, nettles, lambs quarters and dandelions are appearing. All of these are great liver tonics, and help to produce bile to fire up the digestive process and clean and restore the body. Co-evolution at work....After one intensive session - all of us went out and harvested a "wild salad" to supplement our base of conventional lettuce, spinach and tatsoi greens. It's important to remember that the wild greens are best taken in smaller amounts because of their powerful digestive stimulant properties - I know this through my own experience. That said in moderation, there is something primally satisfying about foraging for food - especially something that has not been grown by you or anyone else. How many things do you consume everyday are truly "wild?" Eating wild is one way to truly ingest and digest the landscape around you - a practice that may bring (with moderation) a new perspective on what grows around you and what role the land plays in your life and the lives of your family and community. This time, one of my greatest revelations is how delicious trout lily leaves are. I never would have thought to eat them, but they are spicy like watercress, slimy like purslane and crunchy - besides the flavor - the mottled greens of the leaves are a delight....

I've also included a dressing recipe for making the greens more attractive to eat......thanks to my peers in the class...

Makes 3 Cups
2 Bunches cilantro/parsley
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
3 tsp Miso (white)
5 tsp Honey
6 TBLS Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Cloves Garlic
Pepper & Salt to taste
Zest of 2 lemons
6-7 TBLS Lemon Juice
1 "Bunch" assorted Spring Weeds - Chickweed, raw nettles, garlic greens, dandelion greens, dandelion flowers, catnip and chocolate mint
1 tsp Spirulina (optional)


trout lily

burdock root

No comments:

Post a Comment