Wild Edibles!

Chickweed, Cleavers, Miner’s Lettuce, Dandelion… These wild edibles are all around us now with incredible nutrients to support our body’s desire for Spring Cleaning. You and your children can just go out to your front yard, walk down the side walk or take a jaunt in the parks and fields. There you can all discover some or all of these wonderful plants.

Sad to say that many call them “weeds” but in fact, they are gifts from Spring Time.

Children LOVE picking plants straight from the Earth and eating them up or taking them home to prepare a wonderful salad with. Most children will actually eat the salad with DELIGHT, when they have been the ones to harvest these plants.


Chickweed

chickweed

Use Chickweed instead of Basil for a great pesto!


Miner’s lettuce

miner's lettucee

Add Miner’s lettuce to your wonderful Spring salads. Can you taste them? What is their texture like?


Cleavers

cleavers

Cleavers make a fine cold brew tea. This is good if anyone has swollen lymph glands. And, if everyone one is well, just see how they stick to your clothes. They would love to go on a walk with you so they can let their seed babies journey to another place to begin to grow.


Dandelion

dandelion

What better liver herb and spring cleaner than the Dandelion!!! Put it into your salads to add some bitter herbs in your diet. We never get enough bitters these days.


Important tip: When foraging, avoid places that may have been sprayed with herbicide or are likely to be polluted. Avoid busy roads and areas surrounding old painted buildings because they are likely to be contaminated with lead and other heavy metals.

Have fun!

Tender Tracks Thurs. Day 54

April 12, 2018
Waning Crescent Moon
Lake Lagunitas

Owen absent

A sweet and explorative day.  When we arrived the children went to put their packs in our sunny spot but alas, another group was there. Avaline, the “scout”, came running back to Ruby and me to let us know and wondering what to do. After setting our stuff temporarily in one other sunny spot, the first group moved on and we moved back to our regular circle time area.

There we had a little circle in which Trilly Truly and Trippy Troppy shared with me a short tale to share about tracking and how to find stories.  We were guided to go look in the woods for 4 cards that had pictures on them of animals we see at the Lakes.  But, there were 5 children!  Four did indeed find the picture cards camouflaged in the woods and the 5th child, Vita, was to become our guide/leader on the adventure of the day to find what the real animals from the pictures.  These were: a Woodpecker, a Turtle, a Turkey Vulture and a Ca. Newt.

“Vita, what direction should we go to find these friends that live here and find some stories?” I asked.  She pointed N, N/W and off we went.  We tracked scat and water and learned about what a stride is via very large footprints.  FYI a stride is the distance in step from one foot the other. Example: you would measure a stride from the heel of one foot, say Left, to the heel of the Right foot.  Puma and Austen really had to stretch to fit into this stride track that we found. Austen stretched so far he fell and then said, “See, this is MY stride.”  I laughed, and he got up.  Vita, without hesitation, said, it’s a man’s track. And, it certainly looked that way.

Each time we got to a crossroads in the path she would look about, look up and then decide which direction.  She took us to a place we went a few weeks or more ago. It is like the dump of the area.  Weeks before there was a huge pile of wood, bikes, and leftover this and that. When we got there it was GONE and all that was left were ashes. Much quiery about how that happened.
They just ran all over the place finding what was and was not there from our last experience.

We looked about for any of the birds and if they were there and then, I heard it, the Woodpeckers! Right where we found them last time, hanging out in a large snag/dead standing tree.   I went over and laid down leaning up against my backpack to look up at them. Ruby came over and did the same.  And then, Vita, Avaline and Devin. They only stayed for a bit. Austen came over with a find, burnt up bicycle parts. Puma came over with some other treasure too.  We looked at these things, we quietly watched the Woodpeckers and imitated their body movements.

Then, off to the wild adventures behind us. They were climbing on this fallen down very large tree and finding grand treasures there too!  We were in a magical land of the Lost and Found, I am pretty sure and then, it was time to go somewhere else.  As we were leaving the Turkey Vultures were above us soaring and then soaring towards Lake Lagunitas. What was THEIR story????? Where were they going?

“Vita, where do we go to find the turtles and newts???” I asked.  “And, everyone is getting hungry.  Will you find a place for us?”  And so, she guided us to a spot she said, “We haven’t been here in a long time.”  She and Avaline went ahead of us. They went right through the big marshy area of open space, I went around because my boots could not keep my feet warm and dry if I went through there.  They, however, were VERY happy to muck right through!! 🙂
They then led us up to our Sunny Spot Magick trough Hill.  The others were quite behind us gathering and exploring. They did find us though as we let out a bird call. Ruby too went around and the others followed the girl’s footsteps. and then, there we were, at one of our favorite spots and they went right to exploring, again.  🙂

They were hungry though and it was getting on in time so, out came the lunches, in went the food and then, “Where are the turtles and newts???” I made them a map and guided them to find the turtles a different way than we had ever gone before with this intention. Vita was ON IT!  She remembered the directions of the map AND, held the map the whole time referring to it often. She guided everyone to the place of THE TURTLES. But wait a minute, where were they???? Ruby came up, peeked around the corner and THERE THEY WERE! well at least three of them.  We all took out our binoculars ( our own two hands) and either used them as binoculars or telescopes.  Have us show you how to do this, and sure enough, there were three turtles.  We then ran down the long path way and looked down to where we had circle and, there was something new there!  A “picnic blanket” with no one on it.  We kept going until we got back to the steps and made our way to where they KNEW! where the newts were.  Devin needed a change of clothes so he and Ruby went to the bus for that and the rest of us explored the Newts and their world.

When back in the bus I told a short story of our adventure because that is what Trilly Truly and TRippy Troopy were hoping that we would find. So, we found stories and unexpected adventures as we allowed ourselves to follow the natural movement and rhythm of the day. I told them a small tale of their day, we gave our thank you’s and off we went home, singing and playing games all the way back.

Tender Tracks Wed. Day 27

April 11, 2018
Waning Moon
Richardsons Bay

All but three children were on holiday this day; Ellie, Ellie and Luna.
So, since it was such a unique day we decided to do something different, we went to the Richardsons Bay Wildlife Sanctuary in Tiburon.  Since we were going farther than usual we needed to feed Juniper Rose so she would be able to take us to and from our new adventure place, so we did.  The girls were so content and easy and, mostly, they were quite happy, particularly Luna, that it was an “All Girls day!”

Each one of them beamed a good portion of the day and that was just delightful.  When we got there we went to the Ceanothus tree and gathered some of the purple flowers.  As we went down a beautiful trail to the beach part we found another low lying ceanothus and gathered more flowers for a particular use later on.

Down the big steps we went and to the beach, we came.  Ellie Turtle was a bit frighted of the waves coming in and out so I stuck a stick right at the watermark and the rest of the day we watched to see if the waters were coming in or going out. When we left it seemed that the waters receded by about 5 + feet.  Once I put the stick in Ellie became braver to go nearer the water.

We then sat for snack. I took out our flowers and showed them how to make soap from these beautiful things. I put some in my hand, poured a little water on them and then scrubbed, scrubbed and then, SUDDSEY water came and I washed my hands. I then went to the water’s edge and rinsed my hands. Then it was their turn.  They got some and did the same.  When they got to the water Ruby wound up picking them up , turning them slightly upside down and let them rinse their hands in the water. How they loved this!!  We then came back and had some yummy pre-made, by me, popcorn, for snack.  While they were still eating I started to quietly make things on the beach. It did not take long, after snack, for them to find different ways to play on the beach.  Ruby was doing the same.

We were making pictures and building things. Luna wound up making a whole stick world, Ellie Acorn played with Ruby and I building with us, and Ellie Turtle wound up building too. At times all three of the girls were building and often Ellie Turtle and Luna were playing house games initiated by Ellie Turtle.  When playing house comes you know that four is just around the corner.

Later on I strolled down the beach with the intention of seeing who would follow and explore another area.  Ellie Turtle came and then Ruby and Ellie Acorn. Luna was still quite involved in her village that she was building.

We all found great rocks to paint with and give as gifts, Ellie Acorn discovered this fun game, and decorated our creations with the plant matter washed up on the shore.

One of my favorite things that happened today was while we were driving there.  I do not remember the whole conversation but Ruby said something about …you were born… And Luna said ” I wasn’t born.” and Ruby said, “How did you get here?” and Luna said, ” My Daddy drove me.”

There was much talk, play, creating, and Being with, the incredible weather, adventure and fun of just the five of us. It was truly a special day. On the way back, Ellie Acorn fell asleep for a bit and the rest of them were quite worn from the day, in a very good way. And oh yes, they all ate almost or all of their lunch, I mean all!