Monday, June 22, 2015

The Joy of Summer Berries and Other Edible Wild Plants

We were given a lovely gift from one of the former owners of our house when we bought it over two years ago.  Well, it wasn't exactly an intentional gift- it came with our yard.  We bought our house during the winter when the yard was covered with snow and all of its plants were taking their winter nap.  We didn't even know it would live with alongside us.  Once the spring came, we realized what this plant was: a mulberry bush, and once June rolled around, I tasted mulberries for the first time.

I grew up as a city girl, and so I really never had much exposure to edible plants that lived around me.  Even if we did have mulberry bushes in our neighborhood, I would never have known it.

It's only as I've gotten older that I have learned so much about the value of the world of plants, including herbs and edible wild plants.  Sometimes, due to my Western World conditioning, I still question whether some of these things are safe, even if I've learned that they absolutely are.

I believe that this questioning comes down to how disconnected we are from the natural world around us, and how we are conditioned to believe that only things that have come from a store or a lab really have value or are safe.  We are led to believe that we'd better not do anything with nature or it might kill us.  We have been taught to fear the beautiful and good things that God has created for us.

I'm not saying that we should just throw caution to the wind and eat absolutely every plant out there, but I do think that we need to get back to the roots of our ancestors and learn about the value of wild plants for both medicine and food.

So back to my mulberry bush...  After tasting them and doing a little bit of research, I found out that not only do mulberries taste delicious, they also have many health benefits.  I would love to put that benefits of helping to retain one's natural hair color to the test!

I have harvested about two and a half quarts full of berries so far, and I'm not done yet.  They have all gone into the freezer so that I can use them after the berry harvest has ended.

I have decided to share the berries with the birds and primarily harvest what I can reach from the ground.  The birds need food too!

Now to find some mulberry recipes!

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