"In wildness is the preservation of the world." -H.D. Thoreau

Why eat from the wild? The answer is obvious to anyone who has felt the emotional uplift from the weight of a basket brimming with morel mushrooms, the earthy-sweet scent of digging Sassafras roots, or the heavy pulsing of a fish testing the limits of your fly rod.
There are a million reasons to eat wild, to get dirty, to taste fresh food. It is here where we connect to the Earth, our Ancestral past, immediate present and hope for a healthy future...

"Nothing else can build such awareness as surely and powerfully as practicing the ancient ecological art of humankind - foraging. It is not observation of, but rather participation in the phenomena of Nature that brings us to our greatest understanding of our place in the mosaic of life."
-Samuel Thayer The Forager's Harvest

Foraging in the Tip of the Mitten!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Full Moon Feasts: The Egg Moon

March 22nd - April 20th, 2012

Canada Goose eggs along the Jordan River, day of the New Egg Moon.

With the warming weather the birds are on the move to their nesting grounds and we have entered a new Moon that in many cultures was known as the Egg Moon. Moving into our area for egg laying are our Woodcock, Thrushes, and many others. Moving even more northwards are our winter residents who use the boreal forests and tundra for their nesting and rearing. These include birds such as the Rough-Legged Hawk, the Snowy Owl, and several diving ducks like the Goldeneye. In the Finnish mythological epic, the Kalevala, it was a Goldeneye's egg from which the earth, sun and moon were born. It is said that this duck nested on the exposed knee of the great goddess Ilmatar as she drifted underwater. She shook her knee and the eggs spilled and broke forming our world. The bottom of the shell became earth, and the top the sky. The yolk became the sun and the white the moon.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Sap Moon Recipe: Maple Sap Switchel

Fresh Maple Sap under the waxing Sap Moon

The Sap Moon is waning and syrup is being made in the sugarshack as I write. This winter was the mildest I've seen and its worrying syrup makers throughout the region. Its feared that the trees never had a chance to go dormant and the sap will be weak. Nevertheless we tapped 600 or so trees and are pushing thru despite our concerns. After all, sugaring is also about camaraderie!

For the Sap Moon I've decided to do a simple recipe with the sap itself. Everyone knows how to use syrup, but few people consume sap directly, which is a shame to me because it is so smooth, sweet and alive with nutrients. The sap itself can be used in place of water in any recipe and I've decided to make "switchel." Switchel is a traditional beverage that was quaffed by field workers on break. It is a non-alcoholic vinegar based tonic that is restorative, refreshing, and just plain delicious. It is mentioned in a Laura Ingalls Wilder book, so that makes it taste even better to me.