What a delicious treat to host Monica Wilde in this episode of Wander, Forage & Wildcraft! She tells us about her introduction to herbalism and foraging, motivations behind starting her “Year on the Wild Food Diet” where she lives in Scotland, and how her views on foraging have changed since starting the diet. She also gives us mouth watering recipe ideas, tips on learning to forage, and how to practice reciprocity through environmental stewardship.
Both Monica and I share the idea of foraging as a community activity. Processing, in particular, allows us to interact with each other by sharing stories or discussing the state of our planet, rather than using that time for passive forms of entertainment.
Talking about the bigger mission behind starting the ‘Year on the Wild Food Diet’ Monica says that her aim is to talk to people about climate change and our relationship with the land. She stresses the need for people to reclaim their power and stop the desecration and pollution of the Earth.
"What we do to the outer ecology is going to impact the inner ecology."
Throughout her journey Monica has realized that nature demands we have a more diverse diet. She goes on to explain:
"Nature lets us overdose when she knows that she is gonna then take it away. The trouble is now that because we have food in the shops and there are no breaks on the mechanism at all we are able to overdose on things in a way that we were never able to before because it would be gone."
If you like the podcast, please consider supporting it, by becoming a patron on Patreon and get Monica's bonus interview about the fascinating research she did throughout the year testing how her microbiome changed on the Wild Food Diet, along with other exclusive content.
Big apologies for the gap in podcast episodes! I (Abby) have been recovering from some back issues and focusing on getting back to good health so I can do more of this important work. Thanks for your support to make it continue to happen!
Enjoy Monica's Wild Recipe!
Dandelion and Burdock Gnocchi
(Serves 4 - makes around 24 gnocchi)
Scrub the dandelion and burdock roots. The burdock may need to be peeled. Steam the roots until soft. Then mash with a fork or put into a food processor.
Mix the flour, salt and pepper dulse powder and make a well in the middle to put the egg yolk in. Now mix in from the edges and stir in the mashed roots.
Once mixed, knead until you have a stiff but still fluffy dough.
Break off small pieces and roll them into gnocchi balls. Then press down lightly with a fork to indent them – it helps the sauce to stick to them! Put the completed ones on a floured surface so they don’t stick.
Half fill a saucepan with water, and a pinch of salt, and bring to the boil. Once boiling, slide in the gnocchi and cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan. Once hot, fry the drained gnocchi for 4-5 minutes, turning regularly until they are slightly browned.
Toss the gnocchi with a little oil and shave a truffle over it and serve. Or add a sauce or put into a bake.
Monica is a forager, research herbalist and ethnobotanist. She lives in West Lothian, Scotland, in a self-built wooden house on 4 organic acres where she is encouraging medicinal and foraging species to make their home, creating a wild, teaching garden. She has a Masters degree in Herbal Medicine from the University of Central Lancashire, with a special focus on beneficial drug, herb and micronutrient interactions. Since then she has immersed herself in researching herbal and integrative medicine treatment of infectious diseases, with a focus on Lyme disease and other tick-borne stealth infections.
Monica is a Fellow of the Linnean Society, a Member of the British Mycological Society and a Member of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS). She also teaches foraging and herbal medicine courses, with the aim of “Restoring Vital Connection.” Her book The Wilderness Cure, which follows her journey on the wild food diet will be published this year.
You can find out more about Monica and the services she offers at monicawilde.com or on the following platforms:
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