colorful blooms

Wild Foods

This last Saturday I took a class over the river at Wild Craft Studio School. I should say I took another class in the studio, as I could honestly be there every Saturday for the wonderfully curated class schedule. This particular class was taught by Herbalist and wild foods educator Elise Krohn. I took a Tree Medicine class from her in the fall that blew my mind. If you ever have a chance to learn from her take a class. She approaches each subject in a unique way. The Spring Wild Foods class began with a trail walk near a stream bed. I took this with the understanding that I wasn't going to learn about new plants, just new ways to use them. Well that idea was dispelled in the first 5 minutes with the flowers of the Big Leaf Maple.IMG_2687 I've really never paid much attention to them other than the golden beauty of the trees in the spring against the evergreen background. It didn't occur to me that they were fragrant or that they were edible. Just like Elder or Hawthorn you can pick the flowers, batter them and fry them as fritters. And later that day we did. We had an afternoon tea of nettle liquor with our flower fritters and dandelion flower biscuits topped with nettle pesto. IMG_2690 Look how bright green that is! Mine tends to be much darker color. The group that worked on this added other wild greens we gathered on our walk. I was so happy that I was going to learn new information I was like the eager young school child always with her hand in the air. After a while I felt like I should probably have kept quiet, but I was just too excited all day.

I love learning! I love adding new knowledge to a subject (like nettles). The walk was beautiful--even on a rainy day. I saw old plant friends and met several new ones. Found that a fiddle head I'd eaten in the past should probably be passed up in the future. Back in the studio we made the pesto, pickled dandelion buds (to which I've added chive buds at home) and a nettle, sesame salt. Mainly I just plain had a blissed out day with like minded people that enjoy getting dirty outside with the plants.

I was very inspired by our discoveries and of course see a different kind of future class on this little spot of Mt Hood. I love the idea of mixing cultivated and wild foods. Of investigating the healing properties of food. Of bringing out the best flavors with minimal additional ingredients. And of course have this all be as pleasing to the eyes as well as to our taste buds. My little spot is not ready for prime time yet. But it will be eventually. I have a list of classes that will be back yard based. For me taking classes inspires me more and more. Some for teaching, some for my own writings (definitely not for prime time yet), all for learning  and keeping the brain juices flowing.

Here's to 3 happy things

The sun is here, the sun has arrived!! We went from dreary, rainy cold spring to 85 degrees literally overnight. My plants are still trying their darnedest to recover. For my part my embracing the change as if I've traveled to this new place without my luggage. Quite a freeing feeling:) There is a lot to do outdoors and I have plenty of other projects to report on as well. But today I give you three photos of happiness in my life.

IMG_0844Miss Cleopatra doesn't mind all that much when I throw her into an herb bed for a photo op. She has been hunting Tweetie birds and I have been playing with those herbs she is about to nibble. That one in front is Salad Burnet. A perennial whose leaves taste a bit like cucumber. It is terrific in salads and interesting in eggs as well. She is also leaning a bit into the Catmint. A regal beauty when in bloom in the garden. Plus it's great for a relaxing tea. Weeding is my key activity this week. The fun part of weeding is finding what goodies are popping up and just when you think you've lost something there it is! Hiding behind a clump of inappropriate grass.

And speaking of finding goodies look at this beauty. IMG_0841 My peonies are not that fragrant this year as all the flowers seem a bit watered down. I know whatever comes up next will begin to have that warm summer fragrance, but nothing can beat the impact of the first colorful blooms you see in your garden. Right now the peonies are in company with purple Iris, the first colorful Roses and a multitude of blooming herbs.

And then there is this colorful roving that is making me very happy when I need to escape the heat. IMG_0839 I'm spinning up a storm right now. Getting ready for the first of several online spinning classes that will be available soon, soon, soon. More on that in the near future;) But I can say that this BFL/Silk from Blue Moon Fiber Arts is spinning like a dream. Spinning to me is like writing. If I do either activity for a minimum of 20 minutes I just don't want to stop. I used to think 10 minutes was the key, but for me I crossover the happy line and keep on chugging past 20min.

Tomorrow I have a group project to tell you about! And some posts in other areas of my life will be popping up this weekend too.