Birch sap collection jar and birch sap with forsythia flowers (a lovely treat!)

I wanted to give you an update on our birch tree tapping we did here at our home this March into early April. We were blessed with almost 50 gallons of delicious birch sap from our beautiful River Birch tree! What a blessing! Going out to our tree several times a day to empty the glass jar of birch sap made me so thankful and so in awe of the miracles that God has provided us with in nature. We drank it liberally instead of water for several weeks and the taste was very refreshing and sparkly...I think it was the most amazing liquid gift I've ever drank in my life...isn't it amazing how a tree can give us water...it's very own perfect filtration system too. We were so thankful to be able to share it's goodness with several family members and friends.

There are so many blessings that we can find in nature, especially now in the spring when the ground has been saturated from the winter's snows and early spring rains. I am constantly mesmerized by all the many blessings we have at our fingertips...green blessings for food and medicine that God has given us to enjoy. Finding so many of these blessings for me has brought so much joy, peace, and contentment during the stressful times that we are all now feeling. I invite you to go out and experience and enjoy these blessings too and to be saturated with sunshine, Vitamin D, and the many blessings that are all around us.

This is one of the many reasons I'm doing so many articles and videos on all of these herbs, wild plants, and blessings of nature lately. I want you to know that there are many blessings of food and medicine in nature and that we do not always have to rely on a grocery store to meet our dietary needs, especially now with current food prices and grocery store shelves being emptied so quickly. The wild foods and greens are also much more nutritious than most of our cultivated greens as well.

Getting back to the times when our grandmothers and great grandmothers lived off the land and knew what to look for out in the wild to bring home and feed their families and to make medicine is something I would love to recreate for my family. With that being said, let's learn a little more about some other lovely and useful plants we have growing right now.

                                                                                    

Have you been seeing these 2 wild herbs growing around you lately...Field Garlic and Wild Mustard? Field Garlic has been growing now for well over a month here in our area but Wild Mustard is just now in full bloom and its bright yellow color can be seen blanketing fields, roadsides, waste places, meadows, and gardens.

  

I love the beautiful yellow flowers of the Wild Mustard! It is one of the many plants that signifies to me that spring is indeed here. One of my favorite places that I love to visit has beautiful meadows and lakes (reminds me of a scene out of the Lord of the Rings) and is covered right now with the sunny yellow flowers of Wild Mustard. I love to stop and pick a few and bring them home in and put them in a vase to enjoy….for food and for my enjoyment.

The small yellow flowers have four petals that grow up from a rosette of leaves at ground level. Later, a reproductive stalk producing mustard seeds will appear. The mature seed pods are brown, each holds 36 to 46 seeds.

These mustard seeds can be made into a simple prepared mustard by taking 1 cup of the seeds (grind seeds in a coffee grinder), 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar, and 1/3 cup Rapadura or Sucanat sugar. Mix the ground seeds and the water and let sit for 15 minutes to activate the flavor and then add in the other ingredients. Store in a glass jar in fridge and use as you would mustard.

Wild Mustard- Latin name: Brassica rapa,  is known as an herbaceous weed that has naturalized from Southern Europe and is now widespread and abundant all over North America. It is in the Brassicaceae family/ cruciferous vegetable, along with other mustards. Wild Mustard is highly nutritious and has the health benefits of the cruciferous family, assisting in liver detoxification and bile production.

It also helps to stimulate blood circulation and weak digestion. The seeds can be ground and made into a mustard poultice application, placed over the chest area to break up lung and bronchial congestion and aid in respiratory distress.

The leaves, growing tips of leafy stems, buds, flowers, seeds, and pre-stalk roots are all edible and can be steamed, sautéed, added to salads, quiches, omelets, and other dishes to enhance flavor. The taste is pungent, aromatic, and peppery, and slightly spicy.

These 2 plants grow in many areas that could be highly sprayed so please remember once again to harvest these 2 plants…Wild Mustard and Field Garlic in areas that you know are pesticide, herbicide free and at least 30 feet away from any type of roadside or exhaust fumes. Read the article “Creating a Dandelion Meal” for more helpful and important instructions while harvesting wild foods.

Field Garlic


 

Field Garlic is everywhere right now and growing in the same areas as Wild Mustard. In fact, when I picked the Wild Mustard today, I also found patches of Field Garlic growing all around.

Field Mustard, Latin name: Allium vineale is a perennial and grows prolifically in the spring and consists of bulblets, which grow underground. It can grow to be 1-3 feet tall and up to 9 inch wide patches.

The leaf, flower, bud, bulblet, and root bulb are all edible and be eaten raw or cooked. It imparts a delicious garlic flavor into your foods. The taste is pungent, spicy, and aromatic. I use it as you would chives, snipping the leaves onto my food or using the bulblets as a garlic replacement in cooking.

Both of these are delicious plants to be incorporating into your salads, eggs, meat dishes, and whatever your heart desires.

Today, I used both of these tasty, nutritious plants into a turkey salad. The results were delicious and I hope you enjoy it as well.

You can use hard boiled eggs instead of the turkey and make a delicious flavorful egg salad too.

 

Wild Herbaceous Turkey Salad

This recipe is simple, delicious, and incorporates some of the wild nutritious green blessings popping up all over right now. I hope you enjoy!

    

2 cups cooked turkey, chicken, or other poultry

1/2-1 cup Wild Mustard (leaves and flowers)-you can also use Garlic Mustard if you do not have Wild Mustard

¼ cup chopped Field Garlic leaves

3-4 Field Garlic Bulblets or 1-2 garlic cloves (depending how much garlic you enjoy)

Juice of 2 lemons (or 4 TBSP)

1-2 stalks celery

1 avocado (pitted and peeled)- this adds creaminess to the salad instead of using mayonnaise

½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp pepper

Salt to taste

Place garlic, Wild Mustard, and celery into a food processor and process until finely chopped. Then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until all ingredients are mixed and roughly chopped.

Garnish with Wild Mustard Flowers and chopped Field Garlic. Use as a dip for veggies, wrap in lettuce leaves as a bread alternative, put on crackers, or make a turkey salad sandwich with bread of your choice!

Place in glass container and store in fridge for 3-4 days.