Category: Uncategorized

Kids Fall in Love With Nature for Life Before Age Six

The squeal of excitement as my child finds a slug. The exhilaration on her face as she splashes through a stream. The exuberance as she climbs a steep mountain at a sprint, loaded down with two backpacks. These are the memories I will hold…

Common Violet

Violet (Violaceae Viola spp.) is a mild tasting and common plant in Central Virginia. You can collect the flowers and eat them raw or if you can collect 5 – 6 cups of them, you may want to try making violet jelly by following…

Jewelweed

Did you know that there is free, over-the-counter medicine waiting just outside your doorstep? Plants! We all probably learned that medicinal plants were used by people all over the world before modern medicine? Many of these herbs have fewer side affects than prescription pills…

Fruit of the Gods!

Have you ever had a persimmon? What about a North American persimmon, Diospyros virginia? These persimmons are similar to the Asian persimmons, but much smaller – only about an inch in diameter. This misunderstood Virginia-native fruit can turn even the most adventurous eater away,…

What is Tracks and Roots?

This video from The Wilderness School says it best:

Tracking: An Activity for the Whole Family

One of my favorite activities that can be done year-round is tracking. Tracks are EVERYWHERE. However, it’s easiest to track in mud, sand, or snow. Kids love learning to read the earth and it’s also a great stepping stone to reading. Tracking, after all,…

Red Clover

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is a common weed in Central Virginia that I have eaten since I was young. It’s pink, roundish flowers are so tempting and pretty and conjure images of Thumper in Bambi and his desire only to eat the blossoms. I used…

Milkweed

Milkweed (Family Asclepiadaceaeis) another plant native to central Virginia. It’s POISONOUS and edible. How does that work? Well, you have to cook them enough to remove the toxins. WARNING: DO NOT EAT IT RAW!!! The sap of milkweed is white and milky, hence the…

Wood Sorrel

Wood sorrel (Oxalis spp.) is a common weed in central VA. It has 5-petaled yellow flowers and a delicious, lemony flavor that even kids love and can work as a lemon replacement in recipes. It’s best raw and works as a great addition to…

Chicory

Chicory is a neat plant for coffee and tea lovers. It doesn’t contain any caffeine, but it tastes similar. To make a tea/coffee substitute, collect the roots. After washing them thoroughly, roast them on a low temperature in the oven. Then, grind the roasted root…

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