Saguaro Cactus Fruits

If you live in the good ‘ol US of A then you know the saguaro cactus (Carnegia gigantea). You might not know its name, but virtually every postcard, TV image, or other mass media image of the desert includes this stately being. They are a backbone plant of the Sonoran desert ecosystem, and are having a great fruit-producing year. If you live in southeastern California, southern Arizona, northern Sonora or Baja I would encourage you to get out there and harvest these amazing fruits…you won’t regret it. This video highlights how to harvest the fruits and how to dry them for long-term storage. As an aside, my favorite way to eat them is when they have already fallen to the ground and are dried out. In the video we also visit the Saguaro Country Nursery for some easy pickin’, views from Lorrie Joanne Scott on the state of saguaro’s in AZ, and a brief view of some other foods available in the 111° Sonoran desert heat right...

Wild Blackberry Leaf Tea

Happy Summer Solstice! The plants are absorbing an amazing amount of solar energy right now, and it’s a great time to take advantage of their ability to turn that energy into food. I encourage you to grab a bag and head out to pick the always abundant wild blackberry leaves. This is not an herbal infusion to drink on a regular basis. Medicinally it is touted as relieving diarrhea, so enjoy it only occasionally for its good flavor. This video highlights identification, harvesting and preparation of a blackberry leaf herbal infusion. It’s tea time, and what goes better with your herbal tea than a cookie. Here’s the recipe for the cookies in the video. My oven runs hot, so play around with the temperature of your own oven and enjoy. Rosemary Agave Nectar Cookies 3/4 c butter, softened 3/4 c sugar 1 egg 1/4 c agave nectar 1 T lemon juice 1 t lemon zest 2 c flour 1 t baking soda 1/2 t salt 1/2 t cinnamon 1/2 t wild spicebush berries ground, or nutmeg 1 T fresh rosemary, finely chopped Cream the butter and sugar with mixer until smooth. Beat in egg, agave nectar, lemon juice, lemon zest and mix well. Slowly mix in dry ingredients…don’t overmix. Turn oven to 300 and drop cookies onto greased baking sheet. Bake about 12 minutes. Yields 2 dozen...

Making Friction Fire

You’ve gone out and harvested all this great wild food…now how are you going to cook it up? In this video, firemaster Delmar Lathers shows us how to gather all the natural materials you need to make fire. He has used over 20 different woods in this area of southern California to make friction fire, including wild tobacco (Nicotiana glauca) as a hearth and mulefat (Baccharis salicifolia) as a drill. In this video he highlights using an alder hearth, horseweed drill, and mugwort fire extender. Delmar has been teaching at Primitive Skills gatherings around the country for many years. If you are interested in learning more about primitive skills check out the Rabbitstick Rendezvous links...

Wild Food Workshop in Topanga Canyon

Here’s a little video taken at last Saturday’s Wild Food Workshop here in Topanga Canyon, CA. It was a really fun class and we managed to gather quite a few wild foods to incorporate into our feast. Some wild foods and useful plants that we found on our hike: wild mustard flowering tops, malva greens and cheeses, ice plants, blackberry new growth tops, sticky monkey flower, elderflowers, sow thistle greens, wild lettuce, ceanothus berries for soap and...

Wild Food School

Imagine it, the first formal Wild Food School, at least that I know about, in picturesque Lostwithiel, Cornwall ENGLAND. They are offering a variety of courses including 2-day, 1-day, 1/2-day, distance learning, and even an instructor training course through the seasons. Run by Marcus Harrison, author of the Johnny Jumbalaya Wild Food Cookbook Series, the school will be a hub for folks in the northern temperate regions of Europe. In combination with all the great chefs who are bringing wild foods to the greater consciousness of Britons, and Ray Mears’ TV work highlighting wild foods and bushcraft survival…I’d say Great Britain is moving in a positive direction sharing its wild food knowledge with the...