Wilding (aka wildcrafting) is the new word for what our hunter/gatherer ancestors did naturally – eating what nature provides in the wild.
The online urban dictionary defines wilding as doing something crazy in public. But our rural dictionary begs to differ. The new wilding is about harvesting food you won’t find in the supermarket.
At this time of the year, we head out to reliable patches of spicy watercress and pungent ramps. Ramps are either wild onions or wild leeks, depending on who you ask. Substitute them for onions in your cooking or slice leaves for your salad.
Watercress is in the brassica family that includes kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and arugula. Its peppery bite reminds us of nasturtium, but the bug-repelling nasturtium belongs to a different family. Watercress is commonly used as garnish and is one of the main ingredients in the delicious sandwiches usually served with high tea by the Brits. Domesticated watercress, which can sometimes be found in markets, pales in comparison to the real thing.
Next time you are hiking or just in the woods, keep an eye out for these treats. Also look for delicious and refreshing dark green wintergreen leaves, spicebush twigs, chaga mushrooms on birch trees, and the bark of black birch to name a few treats commonly found in the woods around here – all thoughtfully available year-round.
If hunting/gathering doesn’t excite your inner cave-dweller, we plan to include some wild-grown goodies in CSA pickups which begin on June 6. If you haven’t signed up yet for our 2019 CSA, we’re thinking a little wildness might be just the ticket that helps you decide. Click here, please, to connect with our CSA membership application. Thanks very much for your support.
Jennie and Richard