The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Essential Plants for Human Survival by Katrina Blair.
“The beauty in nature’s progression of change is the path of least effort. It is nature unfolding in the miraculous evolution of life. As a human society, if we can allow and find value in the path of least resistance, we save energy and thereby gain wealth. When we try to stop it, control it, or dam it, we expend large amounts of money, resources, and time with often very little success. Witnessing the essence of nature reminds us that it is a force beyond our control. If we work with this powerful force, we can tap into a resource that is unlimited.” ~ Katrina Blair
A great resource for anyone interested in common wild plants that are edible and medicinal! Author Katrina Blair, whose background blends biology with holistic health, focuses on thirteen wild plants that can be found all over the world. It’s a great starting point for beginner foragers since the targeted focus keeps it from becoming overwhelming, and it’s also an amazing book for those more experienced in harvesting wild edibles with the wealth of knowledge, recipes and stories shared. I’m still currently reading this book (since I have it for an extended loan period due to our library being closed!) and pick up new ideas and insights from it every time I read a section. Her insights on empowering ourselves and increasing resiliency by learning to identify what is available around us, and also questioning our need to label and control nature (what we consider invasive species and the actions we take to eradicate them) are thought provoking. And I think this is an important time to bring these ideas into our awareness and consideration. As coronavirus alters our ways of life, patterns of recovery in nature are showing up across the globe, and we are faced with the impact we have had on our environment. We can have a positive impact on our planet, and connecting with our local surroundings as a valuable resource fosters that sense of respect and encourages stewardship. In return, connecting with our environment is good for us and provides the medicine of Nature, nourishment for our souls. The book also explores permaculture principles, which is the idea of ‘permanent agriculture’ or self-sufficient and sustainable eco-systems. Katrina considers herself “a farmer of the wild garden,” and this book provides fantastic information and easy to use ideas for anyone who is interested in learning about wild food and medicine. For each of the thirteen plants featured, she provides descriptions, current uses, history, edible use and medicinal use as well as recipes. From dandelion ice cream to wheatgrass mouthwash to thistle root liqueur, there are new ideas for anyone who wants to incorporate the Wild into their lives.