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Spring is the best time of year for wild greens! They’re both nutritious and delicious! Chickweed (pictured above) is super prolific, an...

How to Make Wild Greens Pesto


Spring is the best time of year for wild greens! They’re both nutritious and delicious! Chickweed (pictured above) is super prolific, and easy to harvest with a pair of scissors. It has lots of protein, a rare thing in greens, making it a great survival food to know about. It’s also packed with vitamin C, along with A, D, B, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.  It's one of the first greens to pop up and one of the last to stick around. In milder climates, it might hang out all year long.

Chickweed's botanical name is Stellaria media. The first part of that (the genus), means "star" because of the way the flower looks star-shaped. The flowers have 5 petals, though they look like they have 10, because each petal is split into two lobes. This plant is in the Caryophyllaceae family, also know as the "pink" family or the "carnation" family. Gardeners often despise this weed that invades their garden, but it pulls up easily and is so nutritious and delicious, with its mild, delicate taste. It definitely makes a good case for the saying, "If you can beat em, eat em!"

I also like to add chickweed to my cough syrup and salves. It has been worked with for dissolving cysts, lowering cholesterol, and weight loss. It can also be applied topically in compresses for almost any kind of skin issue.

Let's get started with the wild pesto recipe...

Wild Greens Options for Your Pesto (From top left, clockwise): Sochan or Cut-leaft Coneflower, Ramps, Daylily, Dandelion

Ingredients:

  • 2 c wild greens (chickweed, wintercress/creasy greens, purple dead nettle, wild onions, dandelion, daylily, etc) 
  • ½ c nuts/seeds (sunflower, walnut, pecan, etc) 
  • ¼ c + ⅛ c olive or other similar tasting oil 
  • 2-3 cloves garlic or an equal amount of wild onion tops and/or bulbs
  • dash salt 

Directions:

  1. Either don’t wash greens, or wash and spin or allow to dry. 
  2. Grind garlic in food processor. Then add nuts/seeds and process until they make a coarse meal.
  3. Add the greens to the food processor and process until chopped.
  4. Add the first ¼ c oil and salt. Process to combine the oil.
  5. If pesto, is still too dry, add the rest of the oil and process. If still too dry, add a tiny little bit more oil. If too wet, add a little bit more greens. This is great for dipping, topping toast or leftover burgers.

I'm so excited about this brand spankin' new video that the awesome videographer, Ty Gilpin, made for me! He came and hung out wit...

The Wander School with Abby Artemisia



I'm so excited about this brand spankin' new video that the awesome videographer, Ty Gilpin, made for me! He came and hung out with us for the never dull Wild Apprentice Day. Check it out, let me know what you think, then come on down for some forest time, and botanical and herbal education

Valentine's Day has been a cause of much frustration in my life throughout my single years. All the hype, all the pressure to be par...

Self-Love Day + Fudge Recipe



Valentine's Day has been a cause of much frustration in my life throughout my single years. All the hype, all the pressure to be partnered up or buy sugar-packed goodies and a million other things. There are so many different stories about how the day came about, including one I just read of how it was a pagan fertility celebration, woah! Over the years, I have worked to give Valentine's Day a more positive twist by making it more generally about love in all its glory and magic, and now, especially about self-love.

It's not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority.
It's necessary.
-Mandy Hale

Here's some interesting  history to blow your mind a little, "According to the legend, [St.] Valentine crushed the violet blossoms growing outside his cell to make precious ink with which to write, on the leaves, to his friends while an obliging dove delivered the notes. It is also said that Valentine maintained a remarkable epistolary relationship with his jailer's blind daughter to whom he wrote daily and cured of her ailment.

 St. Valentine was executed on 14 February 269 A.D. His demise coincided with the pagan festivals of Lupercalia held in honor of the goddess Juno, who favored women and marriage. From there on, this late winter festival was associated with romantic love, fertility rites and the coming of spring. Violets, linked to faithfulness or the 'I return your love' sentiment, remained a symbol as well as a popular offering between lovers." -http://americanvioletsociety.org/HistoryTraditions/Saint_Valentine.htm

Some say that violets were the first Valentine's flower because of their heart-shaped leaves. Too bad they don't bloom until April! So, more on them later.

Anyway, back to self-love...
February is a perfect time for it. Many folks, myself included, complain about winter, the cold and sluggishness it produces. If we were really connected to the Earth and ourselves, we would realize that winter is custom made for turning inward and rejuvenation. Just like the plants go dormant, a little dormancy could do us all good. It is a time of yin nourishing, quiet, darkness, and reflection. It is a time to rebuild our energy and recuperate from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the year. This will provide us with energy when we need it again, during the yang or active times, coming up sooner than you'll believe possible. 

My request to you for this day is to figure out how you can carve out time for self-love every day, and make a special self-love date with yourself every week. For me, this manifests in lots of different ways. It's through my morning yoga and meditation practice, but also through loving myself if I can't get out of bed some days to make it happen. My biggest self-love practice is my daily hike, time in the forest to reconnect. Sometimes I'll go with friends, because I've realized as an (mostly) extrovert and entrepreneur (aka working at home alone a lot), I need to be surrounded by others. Though there's days, usually after teaching, when my introvert self kicks in, that I need solo hikes. Also taking care of my body is super important for my self-care, like taking elderberry syrup and wild mushroom tincture daily. (You can find my blends here.)

My self-love dates can consist of a wide variety of activities. Sometimes they're letting myself take a nap, read in bed, or watching a guilty pleasure movie (without guilt). Sometimes it's going on an extra long hike and taking extra time to explore a path I've never been down before. Other times it's taking myself out to lunch or  just working from a coffeeshop and treating myself to something special, or a dinner date in town with a friend at an Ethiopian restaurant or whatever I'm craving. 

And of course, how can you have self-love without chocolate????!!!!
Did you know that cacao (raw chocolate from the chocolate plant) is the highest antioxidant food in the world? Unfortunately, by adding a bunch of sugar to it, it kind of cancels out the health-supporting properties. So, because I love you so much, I wanted to give you a healthy, yet scrumptious chocolate recipe from my recent Herbs as Food workshop. 


Self-Love Fudge
⅛  c hemlock, spruce, pine, or fir needles + some for garnish
⅛  c sumac berries + some for garnish
2 c cocoa powder (or ground cacao)
¾ - 1 c coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ c maple syrup, or to taste


Directions:
Melt coconut oil, if not already melted, by warming slowly in a double boiler or in a pot over very low heat.
Finely grind evergreen needles and sumac berries (except the garnish) in coffee grinder. Make sure the seeds in the berries are fully ground. Mix sumac and evergreen mixture with cocoa powder in a food processor. Mix coconut oil, vanilla, and maple syrup, and blend with dry ingredients in food processor, while running (this is important to help the ingredients emulsify) until it holds together, no longer crumbly, but not too oily. Blend until smooth.

I pour this into a 6.5x4.5 tupperware and it makes 12 small pieces, 1 inch deep. You could use a 9x5 inch pan and ½ inch deep, or use a loaf pan. Press garnish into top of fudge. Refrigerate until fudge is set and hard.


If you want more chocolatey self-love, check out this past post:

If you make either recipe, please tell me, in the comments, how it went. 

Also, I thought I'd let you know some of my fave books on self-love and related topics:
Radical Self Love by Gala Darling
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz
If the Buddha Dated (and others in the If the Buddha series) by Charlotte Kasl
Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Menton
Anything by SARK
The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach
Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein

What are your faves? Let me know below.

Again, I'm asking you as favor to me, to the world, and mostly to yourself, to make a self-love date. Pamper yourself a little (or preferably, a lot)!


Sending big hugs and lots and lots of love today and every day,
<3 Abby

What does self-love mean for you? What will you do on your self-love date? Leave me a comment.




This morning I was jolted awake at that vital moment, during a horrific nightmare. It took me a minute to realize I was alive and safe....

How a Nightmare became a Blessing




This morning I was jolted awake at that vital moment, during a horrific nightmare. It took me a minute to realize I was alive and safe. Once I did, a wave of gratitude flooded over me. As my beingness became more tangible, I realized what a blessing that nightmare had been. I was reminded how very precious life is, and how I should be giving thanks for every moment that I am alive, healthy, have good food, warm shelter, and loving and loved family (blood and chosen). Every day is a gift, and sometimes our memory has to be jolted into remembering that.

Last night my sweet daughter encouraged me to wear my pajamas inside out so it would snow. It is incredible to me that she still does this at 14, and I hope she will never lose this! It is more of this innocent wonder, belief, and play that I want to bring into my life. One of the first things I remember thinking in the dream, when I thought my life was over, was that there was so much more I wanted to do, and I wished I had time for big, bold adventures. 

When I do my yoga in the morning, I usually listen to some kind of inspiring podcast. This morning's was The Art of Creation through Desire. The part that most hit home for me was near the end, (spoiler alert) when they talked about how playtime is vital to a creative life. I think we all probably know this, though maybe subtly, and even if we do, it can be easy to forget. It can be so easy for me to get so stuck in planning and doing mode that I start running on empty, with no inspiration, which doesn't accomplish anything.

Winters can be hard for me: cold, a lack of vibrant, growing flora, lots of time inside spent planning, often in front of the computer. I honestly think the only way I survive the season is by ingesting a healthy dose of Vitamin N: Nature. A friend recently posted something about how native cultures often don't have a word for "nature" because there was no separation in their minds between us and nature. I believe it is that separation that creates a lot of the depression, seasonal affective disorder, and many other current issues in our culture.

It can be so tough for me to get motivated to get outside this time of year (yes, even me). But once I am out, it can be tough for me to motivate myself to go back inside. So, this morning, before an impending snow storm, I motivated myself to put on my insulated Carhartt's, my hat, scarf, gloves, boots, and big puffy jacket, and head out. A friend ended up joining me, and we kept remarking during the walk about how glad we were we got into the forest, and how great it was to be there. As we left, the first snowflakes dropped, like an affirmation that the hike was meant to be.



I guess the inside out pajamas really worked!


I wanted to make getting outside the focus of this whole blog post because I believe it is so vitally important to our lives to do it every day. I wish for you to not have to look back and wish you would have taken more adventures.

And just to give you a little herbal nugget before I leave, elderberry syrup (from the fabulous elderberry that actually binds with the flu virus to keep it from entering your cells), wild mushrooms (in tincture, tea, or stock), and Vitamin D, can all be great supplements to help you stay healthy this winter. Make sure to listen to your body, and get a little extra rest or quiet time for introspection, if that is what your body tells you it needs. Some antioxidant boosters, besides elderberries, include citrus, of course, but also sumac berries, rose hips, and evergreen needles (most pines, spruce, and fir). More on that next time...

What keeps you healthy and happy during the winter? Let me know in the comments. Wishing you much wonder, frolicking, and Vitamin N!