The Importance of Wild Food & Medicine
Tips and lessons for how to connect with the wild foods and plant medicines that grow in your local environment
Plants have been and continue to be immensely important to people. They provide food, medicine, materials for shelter, fuel for heating dwellings and cooking food, fibers for cordage and clothing, wood for tools and hunting weapons, etc.
Aboriginal people knew which plants could be used for various purposes, where to find them, and how to process them. They possessed an intimate relationship with plants that began with learning how to identify them and deepened as they learned their smell, their taste, the quality of their fibers, the timing of their flowers, and so on.
We can re-awaken this intimate connection with plants that our ancestors once had!
Check out these free resources below to begin learning more about edible and medicinal wild plants!
Have You Eaten the Feather-shoe
Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is a wonderful wild plant that continues to produce new plant foods throughout much of the growing season. Learn one way to enjoy this plant later in the summer when it has gone to fruit (and the origin of the word "feather-shoe") by reading this article.
The Super Food That Grows in Our Backyard
Wild food and medicine grows all around us, and often times, there are wild edible and/or medicinal plants right in our backyard. Read this article to learn about a common super food that might be growing right in your backyard, too!
Venison By Any Name is a Real Food
As a food with a long history of traditional use and modern scientific analysis to support it as a beneficial food, high in B-Complex vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients, Venison is quite the special wild meat to consume. Click here to learn more about not only special, but sacred, wild food.
Walking the (Medicine) Talk
Healing yourself using plants and fungi gathered from the fields and forest near your home is a romantic image that many interested in self-reliance day dream about. Gaining a deep enough understanding of the landscape to have the knowledge to gather and prepare remedies is a goal people endeavor for, and something I do myself in my lifestyle. Read more about a specific experience where I had to put my skills with using plants as medicine to use.
The Incredible, Edible... Acorn
Autumn is another season of the year when wild food is bountiful (and free for gathering). Acorns, the fruit of the oak tree, are one of the important foods because they can be preserved (through drying), therefore providing a plant-based staple through the winter. Learn more about this unique wild food and how you can incorporate it into your diet!