On Backyard Foraging & Thanks To Mother Nature

We have a small backyard, and there's not much going on back there but dirt, mulch, 2 wild wisteria vines, and 4 small planters populated by 3 chili plants, 3 blueberry bushes, and assorted weeds naturally occurring plant life.

The plan is to add to our edible garden little by little, adding more fruit and veg as the mood strikes me, but right now, that's where it's at.


And while I weed the weeds that endanger the plants I'm actually trying to grow, I will often let the rest develop into something I can identify, and then further determine if I can eat. And if I learn on good information that it is indeed safely edible, you can bet I'm going to eat it at least once.

Why?

Well firstly, I'm an ethnobotanist by nature, if a totally lazy and accidental one. I've been curious about plant uses since childhood - specially the edible ones. It's just a thing of mine.

Secondly, I am a lifelong lover and a student of food - of the ways to enjoy it, and of course, the ways to prepare it. And if gardening or small scale farming brings us that much closer to the true source of our food, I think foraging brings us one step closer.

The understanding that the best of what we eat to nourish, sustain, and satisfy us, was, is, and always will be, a gift from Nature.

The understanding that we may replicate, duplicate, and manipulate it to our taste and convenience, but that even if we didn't, it is and has been there to provide.

And the belief that it will continue to provide if we seek, even in the smallest ways, to understand, connect with, conserve, and consume with a sense of gratitude, stewardship, and moderation.

This collection of mallow, quelite and dandelion, which is chock full of great dietary fiber and nutrients, by the way, is going to be prepared as Korean namul banchan. And that, along with some of the dweji bulgogi I made last week, steamed rice, a fried egg, and seasoned gochujang, is going to make a deliciously earthy and healthful bowl of bibim bap early next week.

I'll be sure to say grace to Mother Nature before I partake. :)

shinae

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