Spring has sprung, and the weeds are bountiful! They are our first harvest!
Weeds were my first herbal friends at the age of three, for they were in abundance and I would see them year after year in the same place. I would squeeze, squish, smell, and taste many plants on my path, in that order.
Sometimes from just the smell I would stop there. My tasting was just with the tip of my tongue. There were many strong tastes that were not worth further exploration. I was practicing organoleptics early on. Kids do this. They explore the nature of things. This is in our DNA, and how we have learned what to cultivate for food and medicine and what to leave alone.
Of course, I had parental guidance, and I offer this to my children and their friends and do not encourage them to eat just anything. I show them what they can eat. This actually opens up a whole conversation as we hike, about what is edible and what is not. And they have a sensory memory of a plant: a spicy mustard, a bitter yarrow leaf, an aromatic sage. They see it and they remember.
From left from top to bottom: Common mallow, winter cress, chives, dandelion, yarrow, sheep’s sorrel, violet leaves, lemon balm (below violet), and dock (below yarrow). Each of these greens has their own healing properties that you can explore further as you discover what grows near you!
Vital wild greens sprouting from the earth invigorate our bodies out of our winter slumber with their fresh bitter flavor. These greens provide immune support, rich minerals, stimulate and cleanse blood, and activate peristalsis. These are the true adaptogenics, for they have adapted to thriving in disturbed fallow soils without tender care.
Here is a simple recipe:
Sauteed Wild Greens
Few cups of assorted available wild harvested green.
Wash well for they are usually covered with a lot of dirt, especially after the rains.
Chop or not.
Crush 3-5 garlic cloves. I like them rough chopped to get lovely surprises of flavor.
Heat on low-medium flame a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet; more is fine.
Add garlic and let lightly brown.
Add greens, stir.
Add dry or fresh grated turmeric.
Stir. Saute until soft.
Add sea salt to taste, and more olive oil if you like.
Enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Children will love them, even more, when they are part of the gathering and learning!