The Lost Superfoods of Spring: Wild Green Cuisine!

Photo by Yam Magazine: Gather’s Wild Spring Salad. Today I drove up to the University of Victoria Community Garden to check out what was growing. I’m giving a walk there in March focusing on the wild edibles of spring. And by wild I mean the weeds that grow at the fringes of the garden, between […]

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Nettle & Wild Onion Rice Balls: Savouring Spring!

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a foraging favourite, so it doesn’t need much of an introduction. I probably don’t need to tell you that it has been a beloved spring tonic since time immemorial, or that many consider it the most nutritious of all wild plants, jam packed with vitamins, minerals, even protein. But aside from […]

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Purify & Protect: Angelica, Sage, Rosemary & Bay Laurel Cordial

So I’ve concocted a magical cordial in honour of the purifying and amatory goddesses of February. Yes, a cordial is basically just a sweet syrup but this cordial is a “Februa” and as such will cleanse your energy field not to mention protect your body and spirit. What is a Februa you ask? Well let’s […]

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Dutch Puff Pancake with Lemon Curd & Primrose Cream

My favourite childhood food was (and still is) the pancake, so I’m pretty happy that from Imbolc (Feb. 1st) to Candlemas (Feb.2nd) to Shrove Tuesday (Feb 13th) – there are going to be plenty of opportunities for ceremonial indulgence!  I’ve started off celebrating the season of pancakes with this scrumptious Dutch Puff laden with Lemon […]

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Crafting “Magic-Ceutical” Syrups: A Gather Diary Sneak Peek

During January I spent a lot of time creating herbal curative syrups for friends & neighbors laid low by colds and flu. Dark, rich, fragrant, floral and berrylicious, each was brimming with herbs, blossoms and berries that help chase off nasty viruses, fight back bacteria, restore depleted energies, and positively rejuvenate our cells! I love every […]

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Introducing my GATHERING DIARY

I’m out foraging, cooking, taking pictures and eating with wild edibles nearly everyday, but there just isn’t enough time to write full recipes for everything I experiment with in the kitchen. So for the next month (or until I reach my Patreon funding goal) I’m going to be sharing free previews to my Gathering Diary (A […]

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Rosemary Oat Bannock For Imbolc

The grace of a gray bannock is in the baking of it… Scottish Proverb Oatcakes or Bannocks were traditionally eaten on old world feast days to mark the changing seasons. And roundabout Feb 1st or 2nd, they were known as “Bannoch of Bride” in honour of St. Bridget or Brìghde. This goddess (and later saint) […]

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Gather’s Guide For Celebrating The Midwinter Festival Of Lights

Rediscover the ancient food magic of the Midwinter Feast of Lights. Known to the Celts as Imbolc or Brigid’s Feast Day, it celebrated the arrival of the sun goddess Brigid (and the first stirrings of spring) with oodles of candles and plenty of magical foods – all of which ensured Brigid’s blessings in the coming […]

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Finding A Way Towards Ethical & Sustainable Wildcrafting: Community Supported Foraging

One of the greatest concerns about the growth of the wild food movement is that hordes of foragers will descend on the wilds, trampling delicate ecosystems while over harvesting native plants etc. etc. And while I hate to say it, I completely agree. So for this first blog post of the new year, I want […]

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Help Gather Serve You Better!

I want to start by saying THANK-YOU for every single message of support and enthusiasm you leave on Gather’s blog and social media pages. Five years ago Gather began with a sole (soul) mission – to celebrate the old ways of honouring and living in harmony with the earth. And today I’m filled with such joy, gratitude and hope […]

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Pour some sugar on me: A candied flower tutorial

I’m racking my brain, but I actually cannot think of any confection more fanciful than candied flowers. Blossoms covered in sparkly sugar make everything better. For example: Place an expertly frosted cake on the table and you’ll hear, “What a perfectly lovely cake”.  Sprinkle a few candied violets on top and you’ll get, “This cake is so […]

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On the Good Chip Urtica Dioica: A Nettle Crisp Recipe

Yup, just like the title says. Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica), the darling of wild spring greens, make really great, really healthy and really free (minus labour. yours, lots of it) crisp/chips! The nettles came early to Vancouver Island this year, and we’ve been enjoying the bounty and spring sting that comes with it. A stimulated circulation is […]

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Plum Blossom Chocolate Truffles: A Taste of Heaven

What combines the delicate, yet heady scent of the first spring blossoms with creamy, rich chocolate? Why Plum Blossom Truffles of course! And they are so super easy to make, you won’t regret gifting your palate with this floral-infused chocolate sensation for one instant, I promise! One of Victoria’s most beloved harbingers of spring, the […]

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Wild Violet Ardor: Whipped Honey Butter

“Don’t let love interfere with your appetite. It never does with mine.” Anthony Trollope For those in the mood for amour, there is a lovely little woodland aphrodisiac blooming right now – the violet. Today we associate this demure little beauty with primness and old lady perfumes – but it has not always been so. In […]

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Imbolc & The Rites of Women: The Midwinter Festival of Lights

Across the world, for thousands of years, our ancestors celebrated the turn of the seasons through sacred feasts and plenty of magic.  Marking the astrological alignments of the sun and moon, theses activities had one central purpose – to harmonize human activity with the great cycles and forces of nature, thereby ensuring fertility, abundance and […]

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Doe, A Deer, A Female Reindeer: The Spirit of Mother Christmas

Oh wondrous headed doe… Amongst its horns it carries the light of the blessed sun…” Hungarian Christmas Folk Song Long before Santa charioted his flying steeds across our mythical skies, it was the female reindeer who drew the sleigh of the sun goddess at winter solstice. It was when we “Christianized” the pagan traditions of winter, […]

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Spicy & Sweet Hawthorn Ketchup: Reviving a Traditional Recipe

Thick and robustly tangy, my all-time favourite condiment is good old fashioned “Haws Ketchup”. Made from the bright crimson berries of the Hawthorn tree (which you can find a stone’s throw away from wherever you stand in Victoria) it compliments roasted meats, scrambled eggs and a big basket of steaming homemade fries equally.   A […]

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Stewards or Profiteers: Selling The Wild

I’ve been foraging for over a decade now, but lately, I’ve noticed a growing number of newly enthused “wildcrafting” entrepreneurs selling their wares. So imagine my surprise when a local wildcrafter recently insinuated that his enlightened approach to wildcrafting and stewardship of the land was opposed to the forager’s clear-cutting ways and take, take, take […]

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Queen of The May: Enchanting Hawthorn Blossom Cordial

“May, queen of blossoms, and fulfilling flowers,  what pretty music Shall we charm the hours? Wilt thou have pipe and reed, Blown in the open mead? Or to the lute give heed, in the green bowers.”— Lord Edward Thurlow Sacred to fairies, witches, and the goddesses of old, no tree is more central to “Going a […]

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The Why of Spring Nettle Pie

I am standing on the edge of a forest, my gumboots wedged in mud, the sun dappling the ground before me. There, standing in a warm mist, is the object of my foraging quest—spring nettles. But I’m not here because nettles currently grace the Instagram pages of every hipster from Portland to Copenhagen. Nor because […]

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Cranberry & Peppermint Honey Cake: Hail To The Mothers!

This dense, rustic fruitcake is inspired by a long-forgotten baking tradition-the offering of honey cakes to the goddesses of old. For hundreds of years across North Western Europe, the night we now know as Christmas Eve, was once called Mothers Night. The Mothers or Matrones were revered female deities and from the 1st to 6th […]

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Citrusy Spruce Glazed Shortbread: Flavour Of The Forest

This recipe was inspired by an incredibly lovely and vigorous Sitka Spruce tree that lives in a woodland area near my neighbourhood. Standing out amongst the other conifers, her bluish-white branches positively sparkle on dreary rainy days. At first, I was sure she was a Blue or White Spruce, but on closer look, I now […]

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Aromatic & Spicy Juniper Berry Sugar Stars

Juniper Berry is simply divine. Aromatic and perfumey, it is just the perfect spice for a buttery cookie. Growing on Vancouver Island, and all over the world, common junipers gorgeous blue-black berries (actually tiny cones) are best known as the taste ingredient of gin. For those who have never encountered the juniper berry, imagine the […]

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Remembering The Deer Mother Of Winter Solstice

It’s the season when we tell children the tales of Santa and his flying reindeer. But this year why not tell the story of the sacred “Deer Mother” of old? Taking flight from the darkest, longest night of the year, it was she who brought the life-giving light of the sun back to the land, […]

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Ecofeminism & Ancestral Skills & The Reclamation of Food Magic

Okay, so let’s start by going back to the very beginning – women and wild food. Because once upon a time all food was wild – and it was the women who gathered it. And from harvest to preparation to consumption, no aspect of food production was left untouched by magical ritual. Many ecofeminists see […]

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Deeply Nourishing Seasonal Medicine: Delectable Dandelion Root Treats!

Tis the season for harvesting that super nutritious and medicinal powerhouse—dandelion root! According to herbalist Susun Weed, dandelion roots are best harvested in late fall when they are sweetest and highest in medicinal potency. And while they’re mostly used in tinctures and teas for their many amazing health benefits, my favourite seasonal way to enjoy […]

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