Wander, Forage, & Wildcraft Podcast NEW SEASON! Season 2, Episode 1: International Nature Storyteller Doug Elliott
Well we finally did it! A second season! Thanks for staying with us through these crazy years and welcome if you're new here. We're excited to have this opportunity to continue to share stories of our favorite wanderers, foragers, and wildcrafters around the world. And speaking of our favorites, world renowned Naturalist, Herbalist, and Storyteller Doug Elliott definitely makes the list.
I (Abby) am honored to call Doug one of my teachers, meeting several years ago at one of the conferences or gatherings where we were both teaching. He's a pleasure to know, always with a unique song or story to share about the life around him. We recorded this episode in his awe-inspiring home, full to the brim with food and herbs stored in handmade baskets from his own hands. The food has been grown and foraged by Doug and his family on and around the land they have lived on for years in the Appalachian Mountains of rural western North Carolina.
Doug tells us about the first plant he ever learned to forage, wood sorrel, and what he later learned about it from a Chippewa Cree friend. He goes on to share about one of his favorite plants, dandelion, of which he calls, ". . . one of the most nutritious plants you can grow," along with the meaning behind its French translations, and its edible and herbal benefits. Make sure to stick around through the end of the episode to hear Doug's song "Dandelions" from his album Bound for Carolina.
"We're not really raised in a culture where every being that shares the Earth with us is known and assumed to have a story or a teaching or a lesson . . . but it kinda reminds us . . . if you just figure out what your questions are, open your heart, squinch your eye, whatever it takes to realize that probably the answer to every question we have is here within the miracle of creation that we're a part of."
Get a flavorful taste of Doug's storytelling in the stories of the VW bus he drove around from one country fair to the next with his herbs drying in the back, the death-defying time he and a friend harvested a tulip poplar tree (along with my knowledge and experience of the tree's medicinal benefits), our discussion of the merits of foraging garden weeds, one of Doug's favorite mushrooms to forage, how Doug found his own paw paw patch, and his recommendations of how to raise children with nature connection.
Phew that was a lot! It's hard to believe we fit it all into this podcast!
Thanks so much for listening. Please check out the links below to connect with Doug.
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Doug Elliott is a naturalist, herbalist, storyteller, basket maker, back-country guide, philosopher, and harmonica wizard. For many years made his living as a traveling herbalist, gathering and selling herbs, teas, and remedies.
He has spent a great deal of time with traditional country folk and Indigenous people, learning their stories, folklore and traditional ways of relating to the natural world. In recent years he has performed and presented programs at festivals, museums, botanical gardens, nature centers and schools from Canada to the Caribbean. He has been a featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival.
Read the rest of Doug's extensive bio.
Connect with Doug on his website
Get his album Bound for Carolina where you can find the Dandelion song
Todd Elliott's book Mushrooms of the Southeast
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