Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Greenest Green Drink For Spring

Today, over a month after it officially began, it finally felt like spring. The sun was out, the weather was warm, the birds were singing. When I ventured into my yard I found the edible weeds were thriving.

I gathered a bowl full of comfrey, chickweed, cleavers, nettles, deadnettles, and mint (all growing in a one foot square in my yard!) and blended them up with an apple, some water, and ice to make the greenest green drink ever, which wasn't too sweet (no banana) but tasted just perfect - like spring. 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Medicinal Herb Walks At Frick Park Earth Day

I had a fantastic time leading THREE medicinal herb walks at this year's Frick Park Earth Day celebration on Saturday. Even though spring is taking its time getting here this year we still had plenty to see and talk about! We discussed:

  • Tansy: noting the smell of the leaves and discussing its traditional herbal uses 
  • Cornelian Cherries, or Cornus Mas, actually a type of dogwood with an edible fruit. Also known as the Chinese herb shan zhu yu.
  • We discussed the differences between Chinese medicine and Western botanical medicine
  • The make up of Chinese herbal formulas, and the functions of the chief herb, deputy herbs, assistant herbs, and envoy.
  • The five tastes: sweet, sour, spicy, bitter, and salty, and what physical effects they have on our body's energy
  • We discussed how to make:
    • decoctions
    • infusions
    • tinctures
    • vinegars
    • oils
    • salves
  • Sustainable harvesting, identification, and Eastern and Western uses of
    • violet
    • dandelion
    • burdock
    • cleavers
    • broad leaf dock
    • coltsfoot
    • creeping charle
    • plantain
    • red and white clover
    • mugwort
    • tansy
  • The importance of learning botanical names of plants
  • And so much more!

No shortage of plants and ideas to discuss, and three amazing groups of people who joined me for each walk. Thank you for making this event one of my favorites of the year.

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Hope to see you soon!

~ Melissa

Throwback to Earth Day 2010 at Frick Park:

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

First Spring Walks of 2018 Scheduled!

Spring is in the air! No, the violets are not out yet (photo above is a picture from another year), BUT...

Frick Park's Earth Day Celebration is coming up, and this year we'll be offering SIX walks!!! Yes, this year Dave is taking over the wild edibles walks, and I am going to be leading Medicinal Plants Walks, and we'll be offering three walks each: at 12 noon, 1:30 pm, and 3 pm.

Earth Day Nature Walks and Hikes at Frick Park!!

When: Saturday, April 21, 2018. 11:30 am - 4 pm.
Where: Frick Park Environmental Center, 2005 Beechwood  Blvd, Pittsburgh, PA 15217
Cost: FREE!

This is a free family friendly event! A whole day of nature walks. The schedule isn't up yet, but in addition to our wild edibles and medicinal plant walks, there are usually mushroom walks, birding walks, snake and spider walks, and many many more!

Arrive 1/2 hour early to sign up for your hike, there are limited spaces and they tend to fill.

More information on the Frick Park Website.

See you there!

~ Melissa