Episode #7 of Wander, Forage and Wildcraft is here!
You can now check out the latest episode of the listener-supported podcast I dreamed up: wildcrafters and foragers around the world share their stories, tips and tricks to empower you on your wild path.
Give it a listen below (or listen and subscribe to Wander, Forage & Wildcraft on your favorite podcast platform).
If you like what you hear, you can become a patron on Patreon for as little as $5 per month to support production of the podcast and get extras, like the recording Kelly did with me about piñon pines.
About the Episode:
I've been following Kelly's work for awhile and, honestly, having a little bit of travel and plant nerd envy of the work she does. Her work with the Ground Shots Project is nothing short of freaking amazing! Our podcasts share similarities of interviewing and spreading the word about folks doing cool work with plants, however she travels the world doing it.
More specifically and in her own words, "The Ground Shots Podcast is an audio project that features conversations and storytelling about our relationship with ecology through the intersections of activism and creativity. This includes field recordings of folks in their element, music recordings, interviews, story captures, and more."
She asks the important questions, like, "How do we do our work in the modern age, when the urgency of ecological and social collapse sometimes feels looming? How do we creatively and whole-heartedly navigate our relationships with one another and the land?"
In our interview, we talked about this and more, including Madrone berries (a fave tree of mine in California), the land-based web of interconnection, how farming led her to foraging, how foraging revived her grandmother's traditions, how wild foods reflect the regional flavor, how she learned to forage sustainably with United Plant Savers (a fantastic organization) and the risk of foraging in the western U.S., along with reseeding as a way to wildcraft ethically. I loved our conversation how our foraging and wildcrafting can actually benefit plants if done in an ethical way. We also talked about the piñon pine and its edible nuts, how to forage and process them, and the medicine you can make from the resin. We finished the episode with her story of a Juneberry/serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis) foraging adventure.
We talked about her love of foraging piñon pine in California. She generously shared her recipe for Savory Winter Squash Pie with Pine Nuts (below).
Kelly Moody grew up in rural southern Virginia near the border of North Carolina in tobacco and muscadine country. She went to her grandma's house daily as a child, where fresh biscuits and iced tea were a regular necessity. Her other grandma was a determined plant lady who started a nursery business on the outskirts of their small rural town, which remained open for almost 50 years. Kelly grew up hiding with her sister in the tropical greenhouses, taking craft classes in the small nursery workshop, shelling green beans and canning tomatoes. These experiences of being on the family farm, working with plants and creating followed Kelly into her adulthood.
Much of the past decade she has spent living in different places and studying plants, ecology and craft, writing about the land, growing food and herbs, or honoring her wanderlust and love of learning new plants by traveling cross country in various incarnations.
She received a B. A. in Philosophy and Religious Studies in 2009 from Christopher Newport University in Virginia. For over a decade she has studied herbal medicine, ecology and botany with teachers like Rebecca Golden in southern Vermont, Paul Strauss and Chip Carrol at the Goldenseal Sanctuary in southeast Ohio, Luke Learningdeer and Marc Williams in western North Carolina. She apprenticed with Juliet Blankespoor and attended the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine in Asheville, NC in 2013. She helped manage the gardens at Dancing Springs Farm in Asheville, NC from 2014-2016. She studied book arts and paper making at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. She has taught hide tanning techniques for classes held by the medieval bookbinder Jim Croft at his rural Idaho homestead from 2017-2019. She has completed a handful of ecological activism focused artist residencies and workshops including Signal Fire's month-long Wide Open Studios program during the summer of 2017 in the Pacific Northwest and in the fall of 2019 in the Southwest. Her teaching over the years has included classes on hide tanning, plant ID, wild foods, medicine making, natural dyes, nutrition and gardening.
Kelly’s interest in both storytelling and cross-cultural dialogue comes from both an upbringing in the rural south filled with story, and by the inspiration of meeting people on the road during large periods of nomadism.
Of Sedge and Salt, Kelly's website, blog, and Ground Shots podcast episodes
Of Sedge and Salt Patreon site to support the podcast and her work
Kelly's Piñon Pine Plant Profile
Find Kelly on Instagram @goldenberries
The Ground Shots Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, TuneIn, etc.
Links to organizations mentioned in the episode:
Zach Elfer's Nomad Seed Project
United Plant Savers
A delicious regional recipe from Kelly:
Savory Winter Squash Pie with Pine nuts
First, bake several favorite winter squashes cut in half, open face in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
Take squashes out of oven.
Chop bacon into small pieces and sauté to brown. Remove bacon, and leave oil in pan.
Sauté leeks, black walnuts, piñon pine nuts and garlic in bacon fat.
In a separate bowl, smash winter squash into a consistent mush, removing skins if you desire. At this point I add some salt to taste, as well as melted butter or ghee into the blend. After this, add leeks, bacon, pine nuts and walnuts to blend.
I generally don't do gluten so I improvise different kinds of interesting crusts. In this case, I had a few wild foods to add to my crust mix. I mixed a half of cup of honey and a pinch of salt to homemade Yampah root Perideridia gairdneri flour, blue corn grits and gluten free baking flour. I slathered the crust mix into a an oiled glass dish pushing the dough up the sides (its more of a honey paste than dough). You could add pine nuts to the crust here, too.
Pour the winter squash mix into the open crust, smoothing over the top. Crack a handful of pine nuts and place them on top of the pie. I also add walnuts here!
Bake on 400 F for 30 minutes or so. Take out, let cool before eating.
If you want to learn more fascinating piñon pine details, become a patron on Patreon to hear our bonus interview material.
Founder of the WANDER (Wild Artemisia Nature Discovery, Empowerment, and Reconnection) School, Botanist, Herbalist, & Professional Forager, Abby Artemisia, lives in rural Appalachian North Carolina. She learned about plants playing in the Midwestern woods of Ohio, working on organic farms, an herbal apprenticeship, a bachelor's degree in Botany from Miami University, and running her own tea business. She teaches about plant identification, native plants, and working with plants for food and medicine throughout the country. Her mission is offering nature and herbal education to create healing through connection with the natural world and each other. She is the author of The Forager's Wild Edible and Herbal Plant Cards and The Herbal Handbook for Homesteaders. She is the host of the podcast Wander, Forage, and Wildcraft, founder of The WANDER School, and co-founder of The Sassafras School of Appalachian Plantcraft.