Food: Yes, You can Feast on This Beauty


I wait for them.  Yearn for them, all through winter’s grey.  And then one day, they appear.  A few paces in time behind the ever-brave forsythia, they infuse the still-leafless forest with extraordinary splashes of magenta.

A feast for the eye and the heart. And also, I’ve learned, an edible treat!

Cercis Canadensis, the Eastern Red Bud.

Light and tangy.  Buds and flowers.  Perfect for sprinkling a bit of extra magic on a lush Spring salad shared with friends.

I know folks whose Ozark wildcrafting wisdom expands far beyond Red Buds.  Their resourcefulness, sometimes cultivated across generations, stretches from poke to greens to mushrooms and more.   For them even everyday chickweed and dandelions easily translate into nutritious treasures.  How I admire this knowledgeable, respectful linking with the land and its bounty; this way of being in touch, in harmony, in place, and in the moment with the Earth’s vitality.

Foraging, of course, isn’t a realistic option or necessity for many of us.  But for most of us choosing foods and related rituals (preparation, eating, celebration) that boost and integrate our spiritual, psychological, relational and physical vitality is viable . . . . at least from time to time.

I would love to hear about your wildcrafting adventures and/or the personal foodways which vitalize your everyday life and being.



10 thoughts on “Food: Yes, You can Feast on This Beauty

  1. Mary Tang

    It’s exciting to bring home that edible something found at the side of the road. We have Schinus molle as street trees that produces pink peppercorns.

    1. Jan Schaper Post author

      Mary, you so often stretch my boundaries of knowledge (love that) — I had to look up Echinus molle. Have you tried the berries . . . are they actually peppery? Thanks so much for reading!

  2. Jane

    How wonderful that this beautiful looking plant can also be eaten. A feast for the eyes and the belly indeed! Here in Australia there are many plants used for medicinal, spiritual and food sources by the traditional custodians of the land. The humble grass tree which I featured in one of my blog posts (My Grass Tree Romance) has many uses – tools, weaving, food, even alcohol. Thanks for sharing this interesting knowledge, Jan. 🙂

    1. Jan Schaper Post author

      Thanks for reading, Jane. Your comment offers such an important reminder of the natural wisdom of those who live close to the earth and the gaps in knowledge that have appeared between human beings and our biological home.

    1. Jan Schaper Post author

      Nice earth-touching tradition, Sheryl. I never thought of serving dandelion greens with a hot dressing but that sounds tempting . . . of course being vegan I would go without the bacon, but the idea of a hot dressing wilting the leaves sounds splendid . . . .especially on a day with a little spring chill.


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