This time of year there are so many fun plants coming up! Here are some that are fresh and ready for wildharvesting. Please make sure to harvest plants respectfully: only take what's needed, and not more than 5% of the plants you see. Also only harvest if you're 100% sure of the identification, and if you're sure the location is free from pollutants.
Dandelion is one of our favorite spring plants - so abundant, and so wonderful for many things!
Dandelion leaf: Harvest ideally before flower or early in the season (gets more bitter as time goes on). Cook the greens as you would spinach. To reduce the bitterness you can cook in water then discard the cooking water. Supports digestion and kidneys.
Dandelion root: Harvest soon or in the fall. Dig out the full, deep taproot. Chop into small pieces, dry and use for making an herbal decoction (simmer ~1 tsp. in 1.5 cups water on low heat 10-20 minutes). Makes a good coffee substitute and supports the liver).
Dandelion flower: Yummy to batter, fry and make into fritters! Dandelion wine is another more involved option.
Nettle! One of our other favorite spring herbs. Don't be alarmed by the sting of stinging nettle - it's de-natured upon drying or cooking in water. But harvest either very carefully, or with gloves!
Nettle leaf: Collect the leaves before the plant has gone to flower and cook into soups or by simmering in water for 5-10 minutes. Can make into pesto. Or dry the leaves and use 1-2 tbsp. per cup of water, steep as an overnight infusion. Very high in vitamins and minerals, supports kidneys and skin.
Burdock! This massive plant has a super deep taproot. If you are able to find young plants that haven't begun to grow their flower stalk then you can harvest them, or in the fall when the young plants first come up (don't harvest roots from mature plants with flower stalks or seeds).
Burdock root: Get a good shovel to get this deep taproot! You can cook it as a vegetable in stir fries or soups, or chop into bits, dry and make a decoction (simmer 1 tsp. in 1.5 cups water for 10-20 min.). Supports liver, digestion and skin health.
Mullein! This plant can be harvest either early spring, or in the fall. Harvest leaves when it's still like this photo, hasn't begun to produce a flower stalk.
Mullein leaf: Harvest and dry these wonderful fuzzy leaves and make a tea with 1 tsp./cup hot water, steeped 10-20 min. Soothes a dry irritated cough.
Happy foraging and let us know if you have any questions!
Written by Nick Cavanaugh.
Check in here to keep updated on news and activities at the apothecary.