Free Food

Dandies‘Lion Seedheads

A great boon to Sustainability is the population of Weeds that love to grow all around us.  Many are edible, and many are medicinal.  Once you get the hang of it, they’re pretty easy to recognize reliably.  The Universe is always In Balance, and when we bend it out of Balance, it compensates quickly – the Weeds are a big part of that.  Stephen Harrod Buhner even says that the out-of-control “invasive” species around you are usually medicine for the latest epidemic.

Sustainability, recall, was one of the four biggest trends in the birth chart for the Century, as Ceres was Rising everywhere around the globe as it turned into the year 2000.  And during the transition to a new Chiron-Neptune Cycle (such as now), attention to Sustainability and Sustenance is always a good idea.

I’m assuming that anyone with at least half a brain, which obviously includes youalls, avoids herbicides and pesticides.  Since so many people are naive to the damage they do to the Planet in the name of Conformity – herbicides and pesticides are the chemicals you buy in plastic bags at the nursery or hardware store that say in fine print, “don’t use on plants you plan to eat next week” – look for it

If you don’t do your own Gardening and lawn care, check into it with those who do.  Ask to see their plastic bags – they could well be naive too.  Good chance they’ll tell you “No way, I don’t use any poisons!  Roundup?  No, no, Monsanto assures me that it’s safe, see, right here on the label, it says ‘Safe when used according to directions’!” 

It’s a good bet that your neighbor sprays their lawn with poisons (if their yard isn’t full of Dandelions, they use poisons!), and the Wind carries their poison spray, so don’t pick any Weeds that are close to their yard.  You’re in far more danger from your neighbor’s routine use of carcinogens than you are from the wild Healing Herbs around you.

For instance, Dandelion is one of our most pernicious Weeds and one of the best Liver Tonics around – flower, leaf, root.  The cure for almost any affliction starts with cleaning the Liver.  The ‘Lion can be a little bitter at times, but when it’s a minority in a salad or smoothie, or in a tincture, you won’t even notice.  I eat several fresh ‘Lion leaves every day in my Kale-Oregano-Garlic-Huckleberry-etc. smoothy. 

One of my favorite sources for reliable information about our Green Cousins is Susun Weed’s Wise Woman Herbal.  She’s taught me a great deal over the decades.  She was even once a subscriber to a predecessor of this blog, till I said something untoward about the Motherhood Archetype.  Here’s a great start to her Wisdom…

There are links to great continuations at the bottom of the page.  Here’s another good one…

It’s always good to be careful when enjoying Free Food.  If you can, spending an hour or two with a local herbalist or wild-food advocate will be invaluable.  If you aren’t used to identifying Plants, they’ll probably “all look alike,” so spend some time talking to the Green People.  See if you can learn the difference between a Dandelion leaf, a Plaintain (Ribwort) leaf, and a Yellow Dock leaf.  See if there’s a wildflower or edible-plant identification book for your local area. 

Always eat a small sample, wait a day or two, then try a larger sample, when trying a new wild Food – actually not a bad practice when eating a new Food from the supermarket as well!  Plants which are edible and choice in one region can be toxic in other places.  Herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides are toxic in all places.

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