I’m repeating myself when I say foraging might be the perfect pastime, but that realization is one of those persistent happy thoughts. Wilderness, hiking, food — all things I love. Jackie Dill’s foraging walks have become an annual opportunity to meet interesting people and continue learning about Oklahoma’s wild edibles, as well as techniques for cooking and preserving them. And of course, there’s always delicious food at the post-walk potluck.
Here’s a show-and-tell from the June 2 outing that focused on medicinal uses of wild plants:
Jackie shows the group prairie sage, which can be used to make smudge sticks, scent bath water, or to replace culinary sage. It’s a ubiquitous prairie plant that’s easy to identify, and it smells wonderful, as you might expect.
Jackie is a busy woman. I met her in 2008 when she hosted one foraging walk per year. This year there have been at least four at-capacity walks, and she is organizing next month’s wildcrafting festival.
Beautiful Logan County
Pleurisy root/butterfly weed is the host plant for monarch larva and a nectar source for the butterfly. After the blossoms have wilted, you can pulverize the dry root, and use it as an expectorant tea.
Look closely: There’s a buffalo gourd in the center of the photo.
Vicki and Don dug some buffalo currant to plant at Rose Ranch.
Buffalo currants in June
Buffalo currant blossoms in April
The foraging caravan
Sarah Warmker picks sand plums.
Like a lot of things we identified on the foraging walk, lead plant can be used in tea form, but I don’t remember which part or for which ailment. Oh, well! I sure like the look of it.
Bee balm/wild bergamot. The dried petals and leaves are used as a tea, or blended with tea leaves. Jackie warned against using bergamot essential oil, or for that matter, any essential oils. I’m looking forward to learning more about this at the festival.
Before ingesting a positively identified plant, rub the plant on your cheek or inner forearm to check for sensitivity.
Leave no trace.
Leave enough for others and to ensure another growing season.