Going Native

On Saturday, TracyL and I went to the Burke Museum for a presentation on native plants, and traditional uses in food and medicine. I knew many of the common berries and greens, but I did learn a few things – such as the catkins from big leaf maples are edible, and that the leaves of thimble berries are also known as nature’s TP.  Some of what I thought I knew, or had been told, was wrong – for example, oregon grape is indeed edible.  I also tasted bull kelp for the first time, as well as leaves of wood sorrel and Indian plum.  I’ve had nettle tea before (big time boasting rights from summer camp!), but didn’t know that nettles provide more iron than spinach.  I’m eyeing our big back yard in a new way now, and David and Rachel are scrutinzing their salads much more intently…

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