Nutritional Plants – Your ecosystem wants to feed you.
Eat your Yard.
When you read about all of the free nutrients available in your ecosystem, straight from the source, with no human interaction between you and the nutrients, you start to understand the full-cycle generosity of Nature. The more you eat your ecosystem, the more your ecosystem starts to invite you into it’s abundance.
When we start foraging for local plants, native and even invasive species alike, we find a wealth of nutrients not available in our best grocery stores. Let’s zone in on the Autumn Equinox and the wild berry season in the Tetons, as an example. People around here focus on huckleberries. Granted, they are probably the sweetest edible that grows wild in our woods.
I interpret preference for sweet taste as a first sign of disease. Most people when given a wild food with a mix of sweet, sour, bitter and astringent as “yucky”. How far we’ve come from being able to distinguish nutrients from taste. Service berries(Amelanchier alnifolia) are more complex in taste than huckleberries. Complexity in taste generally gives rise to a more complex nutrient portfolio as well as more of the 6 tastes that balance the production and refinement of your dhatus (bodily tissue).
Hop on your bike and head to your favorite berry picking patch. Pick the fullest, juiciest looking berries. Leave some for the birds and bears. Try not to eat all you have collected before returning home. Savor the berries the next morning on buckwheat granola, on millet oatmeal waffles, or in a backyard smoothie!
Serviceberry Elixir Recipe
(After the Yogahealer Wild Foods Solstice Fest, my botanist friend from Hailey, Idaho, Tess O’Sullivan, started eating her ecosystem. Here are her recipes for Serviceberries.)
1/4 cup serviceberries
(more if you have an abundance)
1 can coconut water
1 bottle perrier
juice from 1 lime
- Blend coconut water and serviceberries on high. Mix and pour into your prettiest glasses.
- Substitute other wild edible berries if available (elderberry, currant).
- For less sweet berries, add pinch stevia, raw honey, or agave to sweeten.
Backyard Dandelion Smoothie Recipe
1/4 cup serviceberries
dandelion greens (handful or s0)
fireweed or nettle – remove stems (since fireweed is a weed, it comes back!)
handful orach – like spinach (the easiest thing I have ever tried to grow in my not super successful high altitude shady garden)
1 Tbs. raw local honey
- Cover with water. blend. Drink a quart by noon.
Service berries are super high in dietary fiber, and they gel smoothies right up. If you use a lot of service berries, add more water. Nutritionally, service berries are high in B2 (riboflavin) and biotin,and the essential minerals, iron and manganese. They are super high in polyphenol antioxidants. And you know antioxidants make everything cellular more pranically available.
Autumn Berries and Your Agni
I’m also finding wild currants in abundance. These are even more tart than service berries, but once you start eating/harvesting, you can’t stop. Both black and red currants are found throughout the Rockies. The astringent and sour properties of these Autumnal fruits tones our agni. During seasonal transitions (summer to fall) our agni decreases by 1/3. That is significant. When you eat wild plants, with their sour, bitter, and astringent tastes, your agni is refined, and the tissue of our body is created in alignment with natures’s rhythms. You’ll notice your local apples have more astringent taste than the mass propagated ones from the store.
If you keep eating sweet (wheat, meat, sugar, dairy, sweet fruits) and salty tastes in excess, you’re sure to get a little out -of-whack around the Equinox.
Plant Fruit Trees & Berry Bushes
Indy and I are off to the local nursery. I”m buying choke cherries, service berries, currants and other local fruit trees. I want my kid to eat local fruit that can grow in her yard, naturally. You’ll gain the plants immune system as your own and be resilient to allergens and seasonal flus. Create a new Autumn Equinox tradition of planting a local, wild fruit tree in your yard!
TessPosted at 01:47h, 20 September
Thanks Cate. My two year old and I love picking berries in our neighborhood, it is a new favorite activity. I keep wishing more people had maintained or planted native plants in their yards, rather than spending so much to landscape an inedible yard. I was inspired by the autumn call and just went to the library to get some books on wild edibles.
KimPosted at 04:20h, 21 September
I am starting to harvest rose hips on wild walks and from the yard .A good time to harvest is after a hard frost. . I eat them fresh, dry for a few days and clean out seeds and store to add to smoothies.. dishes.. and Rose Hip tea.They are loaded with vitamin ‘C’
I’ll also make oil that should last through the winter. The oil is great for wrinkles and scars. And of coarse I am always sure to leave some for the animals and the birds to carry on….
CynthiaPosted at 14:20h, 26 September
Don’t forget our native raspberries. And, a note about currants: If you can keep them from the birds–they take a very long time to ripen, so I let them sit on my bushes for as long as a monthI start picking. Enjoy!