Discovering wild crafting
I am discovering all the wonderful medicinal plants and herbs that are growing near our Off Grid property.
I have always been interested in growing and using my own herbs and picking whatever we can that grows out in the bush and our surrounding area to eat.
In our yard alone we have wild spinach and wild onion as well as other greens like dandelion that we add to our salads.
The wild spinach is also known as: Strawberry Stick, Strawberry Blight, Strawberry Spinach, Beetberry and Indian Ink. This plant has a spade shaped leaf and grows small berry like fruit that looks like tiny strawberries. The tender leaves are wonderful in salads and taste very much like spinach. This plant is in our salad most of the summer as they grow from June right thru the summer sometimes right thru September.
Here is a picture of greens picked for our salad tonight.
Wild Spinach (strawberry spinach)
The Nasturtiums are not blooming yet or some of them would be added for some extra color.
There is nothing like picking and eating veggies grown in the wild.
The Wild Onions – there are other plants that look similar to wild onion but are not, so if you are out foraging for them be careful. Rule of thumb if it looks like an onion and smells like an onion it’s an onion. These tasty wild onions are some of the first to come up around our place in the spring.
Dandelion greens – like the wild onion these greens are one of the first spring salad additives. They too like the spinach will be around all summer, although I think the new young leaves in the spring are the best.
Plantain – it grows everywhere, in our garden, in the lawn and even in the driveway. Plantain can be eaten raw or cooked, it tastes very much like Swiss Chard. As the plant grows the leaves do become tough so cooking them may help. The seeds can be dried and ground into meal or flour. I haven’t tried that yet…..maybe next year.
Herbs that I grow
I have been growing herbs for many years, some just for the wonderful smell and the beautiful flowers they produce in the garden. My flower garden in mixed with herbs, and some of them are great at keeping pests away.
I grow Sage, Thyme, Oregano, Mint, Catnip, Echinacia, Savory, Rosemary, Lavender, and a few more….
I dry my own herbs for use in the winter, but love to go out to the garden and pick fresh herbs for our salads and meals.
This summer I’ll be adding more information to this site on what herbs I’m growing and what we are using them for so please be sure to check back.
Wild crafting Off Grid
The last few weeks we have been busy picking, drying and making tinctures from some wild growing plants around the property.
We have discovered a nice patch of
wild blueberries, Oregon grape, raspberries, strawberries, Saskatoon, rose hip and gooseberry. So as these start to ripen we will be feasting on them as well as making jams, jellies or wines. Maybe even dry or put a few in the freezer.
The Oregon Grape is known to make excellent jelly, although I’m not sure I will have enough to make a batch. May have to add them to another berry.
The Strawberries are plentiful, they are just starting to ripen now…tiny little berries. It will take a day of picking to get enough to make some jam, but the wonderful rich flavor is worth it. The only problem we have is most time we eat more than we keep while picking.
I have found a couple decent size raspberry bushes so I’m keeping an eye on them hoping I can get to them before any of the animals.
The Saskatoons grow everywhere and these should be ready by the end of July. We are looking forward to a fresh saskatoon pie.
The rose hips will be the last thing we pick. They are best after a frost so we usually pick them late Sept or October.
It seems that we have something ready each month. I love the way mother earth produces for us.
Plants and Herbs
So far this year we have picked and dried Yarrow, Indian Paint Brush and Red Clover. These will be used for teas.
We have Yarrow growing all over down the side of the road heading into the property, in the driveway, along the garden. No shortage of this wonderful herb. Just a little note: in history yarrow was used to help stop bleeding. The leaves were often put on a wound to help stop the bleeding. Maybe try it next time you cut yourself shaving…….
Indian Paint Brush – in a tea this herb is said to help with stomach problems. The flowers are the part of the plant used for teas.
Red Clover tea is said to help women that are going through menopause as it helps reduce hot flashes. There are many benefits associated with Red Clover tea. It is said to be a balancing tea., said to help reduce cholesterol, purify the blood and rid the body of excess water.
I have also made tinctures with Oregano, Basil, and Yarrow – these will be used for medicine.
As I continue to wild craft and preserve I will be posting my progress and recipes – so please check back often.