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 […]

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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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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. For those who have never encountered the juniper berry, imagine the spicy exotic notes of eastern spices like nutmeg and allspice, and the scent of fresh-cut evergreen branches combined. Aromatic and perfumey, it is just the perfect spice for a buttery cookie. But how to best capture their flavour? Baked […]

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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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The Magic of Conifers: A Video

As cold and flu season begins to loom, it’s time to call on the protective and healing powers of conifers. Towering over the forest canopy, their top branches are always nourished by the sun but their roots extend deeply into the earth. And when winter makes demands on our reserves of energy, endurance and warmth, […]

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Foraging & Cooking with Coastal Mugwort: A Salt, A Honey & Vinegar

Every year I fall for a particular plant and start to use it in practically everything. This year I’ve been bewitched by the deep smoky, earthy and sagey flavour of Suksdorf sagewort or coastal mugwort. Of all the mugworts I know, our native suksdorf sagewort has to be one of the most deliciously aromatic -and […]

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Rowan Berry Kitchen Witchery: Two Recipes

From Rowan Berry Syrup, Jelly, Fudge, Ketchup, Chutney, Soup and Rowan Berry Caramels, one of my favourite magical foods are the bright red berries of the Witches Tree. Once revered as the Queen of High Places and Enchantress of The Woods, few of us remember that from the British Isles to the Norse Countries, Rowan […]

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Double Chocolate Curly Dock Seed Cake: A Healthy, Decadent Delight!

I adore chocolate cake and spend a great deal of time drooling over Pinterest recipes. But lately, a lot of moody luscious cakes made with “healthy” buckwheat have been especially catching my eye.  And because those tall reddish-brown spires of curly dock seeds growing in fields, yards and lanes are from the buckwheat family – I put two […]

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Wildcrafted “Boursin”: A Tangy, Garlicky, Yogurt Cheese

I just love this cheese! Brimming with vitalizing nutrients and gut healthy probiotics, this beautiful “Boursin” yogurt cheese is not only a show stopper at parties, it’s absolutely delicious, easy to make, inexpensive, and really, really good for you. You can make creamy spreadable version (like cream cheese) which is what I’ve pictured here or […]

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Wild Green Custard & Chanterelle Tart

It may still be as hot as blazes out there but soon cooler weather and increasing rain will yield a nutrient-rich bounty of returning greens and mushrooms! This creamy & cheesy dish will help you take delicious advantage of both, plus it’s so packed with vitamins, minerals, and critical nutrients, it could be considered a veritable […]

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Lavender & Lovage Oatmeal Digestive Biscuits: A Calming & Relaxing Treat

The great thing about digestive biscuits is their simple, gentle nature doesn’t make overt demands on the palate or the stomach, yet they make a sweet and satisfying snack. And the good news is, giving ourselves a pleasurable treat actually encourages a physiological relaxation response. And what better ingredient to enhance pleasure and digestion but […]

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Pineapple Weed Comfort Cookies: A Wildly Loving Treat

Everyone knows comfort foods are a great coping mechanism for soothing negative feelings – which is why these Pineapple Cookies will be served at my Herbal Yoga Workshop for Anxiety & Depression.  Their sweet gentle aroma and flavour (a cross between zingy pineapple and soothing chamomile) make a perfect treat for when we’re feeling down […]

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Nettle Seed & Dandelion Blossom Bars: Superfood!

My sister-in-law Gloria is an avid rower who races frequently with her Dragon Boat Team. Last year as a special request, she asked for a wildcrafted energy bar. I knew I wanted to make something with nettle seeds (tell you why shortly) but I could never find enough seeds on hand without decimating entire nettle […]

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Calming, Cleansing And Rejuvenating Herbal Treats For Yoga (or just anytime!)

This Lemon Balm & Wild Rose Tea and Chocolate Rose & Dandelion Root Energy Bites are just a couple of the herbal treats I’ll be serving for Cultivate Your Calm.  In this upcoming workshop we’ll be marrying calming and grounding herbs with gentle restorative yoga postures to empower our body to do what it’s been designed to do […]

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Lavender Tea Milk Punch: A Libation to Toast the Returning Light

For my ancient ancestors, February was a time of great anticipation for the coming growing season. To ensure bountiful crops, productive livestock and healthy mothers and babes, they practiced fertility and purification rites—many of them featuring milk. Recreate some of this intention for your own feast day with a creamy, decadent libation fit for dairy-loving fairies, goddesses and the rest of us. Cheers!

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