July 8, 2017
Instructors: Megan Spencer and Steven Martyn
At the Sacred Gardener Farm, in Golden Lake, Ontario
This is the second of Megan and Steven’s series of one-day Forage and Feast events. This is a dream day, for foodies, wild food enthusiasts and people into practicing traditional skills. We will meet in the morning, after the night’s dew has been offered to the sun. Then we’ll walk from the farm to wild land, learn about the plants we see this time of year and forage till noon. We’ll come back to have a served, local, wild infused, organic lunch. In the afternoon, we’ll focus on processing, preparing and cooking the food we collected. We’ll finish the day with an early farm-style dinner.
At this time of year, early summer, the Earth offers us a bounty of flowers and early fruit. While it might not be the best time for harvesting wild food it is the best time of year for learning to identify edible wild plants because they’re full grown and many are in flower. In the morning we’ll harvest an abundance of edible flowers, greens and if we’re lucky, the pin cherries we be ripe and ready. There are a few good tricks for harvesting and processing these sweet little wild cherries. Foods like rich greens and small fruit help our body have lots of energy for the long summer days. And the flavanoids and other complex chemicals, micro nutrients and minerals in the foods this time of year also begin to rebuild our body’s reserves.
The Earth gives us what we need, when we need it.
Many people have heard this adage, but few deeply understand it and are steeped enough in traditional Earth wisdom to know how to receive the gifts of the season. Some folks might know what fiddleheads to eat or how to identify wild leeks, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. The deeper knowledge is in what these plants do for the Earth and for our bodies. In a course a couple years ago, we were told by someone documenting the teachings, that we’d looked at how to eat well over over one hundred different plants. All of which require not only clear identification (often at times when plants are difficult to identify—early or late in the season) but the knowledge as to when and how (physically and ethically) to harvest them. To safely consume and use these powerful plants, we must also have the knowledge of how to prepare, process and store them. In this workshop not only will you taste the nutrition and gain the regional traditional knowledge for harvesting, storing and preparing these food, you will learn how to elevate the plants taste! So a wild artichoke or leek or fiddle head’s flavour sings out an essence of the place where the plant was harvested.