Monday, 17 June 2013

Autumn and Winter Wildfoods Workshop

 Here is a peek into the Wild Foods workshop which was hosted on the 9th of June 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.




The basket is filled with:
- Honey - Ginger - Elderberries - Hawthorn Berries - Jute string - Jars Jars Jars! - Brandy - Labels



 A couple of meals were prepared for the participants, which included a soup made with wild Mallow, tomato, celery and fennel and a completely seasonal salad made with violet, chickweed, dandelion, pomegranate, violet flowers, borage flowers and pecans. I also made sourdough using acorn flour for everyone, which was just the right amount of rich and nutty.

I also made a small zine for the students to take home, which included some of the following information:



Finding friends
Herbal Allies

The greatest thing I can urge you to do is use your intuition, become empowered and take from the wild world as sustainably as possible.
These plants which grow by our feet have evolved with us for thousands of years and they do it with a purpose. They are our friends, our nurturers, our healers.
We can learn from them if we only take the time to listen.
It comes from curiosity and interest, watch what is growing, observe, pay attention and just have fun with all the wild green lushness that is at your fingertips!
One of the things I love to do most is get to know a plant or herb over Time. I am not a fan of cramming things into the brain to be forgotten

So, Touch the plant, Taste it, Smell it, Speak with it, Listen to what it has to say- establish a relationship, tuck it under your pillow at night, bathe with it, make it into tea and food and medicine, get to know how it grows, where it grows and why it grows there.
Then you will never forget, as it has become your friend, companion and green alley for the rest of your days. 


Caution

The only thing that determines a poison from a medicine is Dose Hypocrates

We are not all chemists, so we must use our common sense and intuition!
If you are unsure whether a plant is edible: Don’t Eat It! Usually the flavor of something will tell you it isn’t used internally, so trust your own senses and if you are unsure do not proceed.
Do not gather herbs and Wild plants from busy roadsides or areas which may have contamination (industrial sites etc.). Plants absorb and accumulate minerals which surround them, so make sure the surrounds are lush.
Make sure the plants Look Healthy! A healthy plant will contribute to a healthy You!
Oxalic Acids: these acids occur naturally in many common foods, but some wild plants have higher levels which if taken too much can limit absorption of Calcium in the body or even cause sickness in high doses. Amaranth, Dock, lambs Quarters, Oxalis and Purslane all contain higher levels of oxalic acid. Blanch for 5 mins and dispose of water, don’t eat too much and combine with high calcium foods. Poisonous Plants: Ricinus communis, Conium species, Parietaria judaica



Herbal Remedy
Meanings

Compress: a wet or dry, hot or cold pad of material with or without medication applied with pressure to the affected area.
Decoction: the extraction of water soluble constituents of a medicinal plant by boiling; a medicinal preparation obtained in this way.
Infusion: the extraction of water-soluble constituents of a medicinal plant by steeping in water that has been brought to the boil; a medicinal preparation that has been obtained in this way.
Lotion: a medicinal solution for external application to the body. (Cream: a meOintment: )
Plaster: a paste-like medicinal mixture which can be applied to the affected part of the body and its adhesive at body temperature.
Poultice: a pad of hot moist material applied to the affected part of the body.
Tincture: a medicinal extract in a solution of alcohol or alcohol and water.
Syrup: a medicinal extract in a solution of honey or sugar to act as a preservative. 




Spiral of the
Seasons

First I acknowledge the Original Custodians of this Land, whose seasons are different to the ones we are associated with today. 
The seasons for me are a representation of what our bodies need. As plants draw their energies in so do we, we require nourishment from the antioxidant rich berries which ripen in Autumn, from the deep tap roots that sustain us through their starch and minerals, and from the time the season itself gives us to connect and support our journey through the deep.

All I know are the seasons keep cycling,
everything else is just decay and ripening

-The Perma Pixie




Chemical Compounds
 Meanings
Alkaloid: one of a diverse group of nitrogen-containing basic substances found in plants, usually with a strong medical action
Essential oil: A volatile oil present in aromatic plants, usually containing terpenoid substances
Fatty (fixed) oil: a natural vegetable oil or animal oil that is not volatile; a mixture of esters of fatty acids, usually triglycerides.
Flavonoid: any of a group of organic pigments found in plants derived from flavones and related substances, often associated with glycosides.
Glycoside: one of a group of substances in plants containing a carbohydrate molecule (sugar), convertible by hydrolysis into sugar and a nonsugar component.
Mucilage: a complex gelatinous carbohydrate secreted by certain plants.
Saponin: any of a group of plant glycosides that produce a soapy foam in water.
Tannin: one of a group of complex compounds found in many plants containing acids, phenols and glycosides.
Volatile oil: an essential oil.



There was also some information about the particular plants we made friends with...
Hawthorn, Dandelion, Dock, Violet and Elderberry.
We started the day with a weed walk and a general discussion about RECLAIMING OUR MEDICINE, followed by some chalk and talk about these wonderful wild edibles, lunch and then the fun Hands On part!
We made a Rosehip and Hawthorn tincture in Brandy with cloves and cinnamon... Mmmm
And Elderberry and Ginger Syrup to combat coughs and flus.




This is what people took home with them, including the booklet.
It was a very sweet and informal gathering of herbal warriors wanting to learn from the plants and each other.
I love teaching the earths food and medicine!
I teach in quite a wise woman way, and I do not really measure anything... I try and write down recipes and measurements for those that find intuitive medicine a little hard to get their heads around!




I have always been like this, I don't bake cakes with measurements, I don't make medicine with measurements. I know its importance and it does interest me, but I like to let food and medicine speak to me.

Here is some praise I received from the workshop:

"You are inspiralizing, empowering me also to delve into and refine my knowledge and share"
"Great workshop, I loved the interactive and informal style, everyone was lovely and I also enjoyed the fact that it was hands on- fun fun fun!"
"Good balance of theory and practical. Great lunch! Nice little book to take home. Maybe include a little recipe list in the booklet next time"
"Great workshop. Lots of information. Fabulous lunch. Think other seasonal workshops would be a great idea"
"Amazing workshop, super impressive salad, thanks for making foraging a tangible reality for me!"

The next workshop will be the Spring Wild Food and Medicine class in October: