Field Notes from Jess ~ Rewilding in 2022 | Week 17/52 | SpringApr 24, 2022
Field Notes from Jess:
Rewilding 2022 Week 17/52
Nettles | Our spring plant ally
Ten friends sat around a large picnic table each holding a homemade oatmeal cookie loaded with dried nettle. We had started our morning with a deep dive into the many gifts of stinging nettle that includes a trifecta of offerings: Edible, medicinal as well as utilitarian. What better way to truly appreciate this incredible plant than to consume it in a rich buttery cookie?
With a rare April sun break and a beautiful trail to explore, we headed out to observe the spring forest and harvest nettle. There were many plants to identify and the crew was fun and lively. We snacked on miners lettuce, nibbled the Oregon grape flower, stretched the sheath of usnea and gazed upon the bright pink salmonberry flower, which adds an incredible splash of color to the Pacific Northwest Forest this time of year. (Makes a beautiful presentation to salads as it is also edible).
At the end of our walk we split up to each find a private spot to sit and explore the sensory experience of feeling the environment. The group was encouraged to listen to the Birdsong, to use their fingertips to feel the forest floor, to observe detail through the eyes, smell the richness of the moss and taste the freshness of the air. After about 20 minutes we gathered again as a group to share our individual experiences and observations.
This level of group connection elevated me and I could tell we all walked back to the trailhead with a simple feeling of joy. Our minds, bodies and hearts had a reprieve from the many stressors of life....and bonus that there was a round two of nettle cookies waiting for our return.
Rewilding is the new self-care...