13 March 2014
Wild Salad Time
Wild salad time already? Yes, with Spring Equinox right around the corner, the chickweed is already starting to sprout up! When I see her lush, green leaves I feel excited. It’s like seeing a beloved friend return, offering abundance and nourishment, in so many ways.
Wild salads are what inspired my interest in herbal medicine and nutrition in the first place. I wanted to be able to look around my yard and know what to eat. It reinforced my connection to the land on which I dwell and, over the years, wild edibles have added to my relationship to the divine as well. I find that the sacred and our bodies are one and the same; the experience of harvesting and eating these gifts of the Earth is deeply nourishing—physically, and spiritually.
Chickweed is the foundation of my wild salads in early spring. Her tender leaves are mildly flavored and full of nutrients, containing an abundance of vitamin C and chlorophyll. I add dandelion to the mix, breaking up a few young leaves so their strong flavor can be evenly distributed. As dandelion comes in to bloom, I throw in some of the sweet flower heads, which can be eaten whole. When violet leaves and flowers are up, I include them in this simple, charming spring wild salad.
Making these salads is easy. When I gather the leaves, I collect only the vibrant leaves near the top of the plant. This way they are free of dirt, washed by the rain, and can be added directly to my salad bowl without the need to be sorted or cleaned.
Wild salads—full of shades of green leaves, and colorful flowers—indeed nourish me physically, but they also nourish me with their earthy beauty. I’m joyful when I see them on my table and the tables in my community, knowing that both body and spirit are being fed.
May we all be well nourished this Spring.