I I love spring. Spring is a symbol for so much. It is a reminder that life continues and will get better after challenges. It represents new beginnings. It helps us to recognize how beautiful and amazing our planet is as everything becomes green and fresh once again after the winter's rest.
I've always been one to believe that God has provided us with all that we need, which is one of the reasons I'm moving towards a self-sufficient lifestyle. Our planet is filled with beauty, with food, and with all that we need to survive. We just need to figure out how it all works and works together so that we can reap the harvest.
I still have a lot to learn when it comes to foraging. My grandpa is the third generation to live on their farm homestead, and he talks about his mom's foraging here in Wisconsin and all that she gathered from Mother Nature's garden. One of the things she collected each spring was mushrooms. Mushrooms are tricky- it's hard to know which are poisonous and which aren't! My grandpa can easily differentiate between the edible mushrooms and the non-edible mushrooms, though explaining that knowledge isn't quite as easy. He says he can just tell by the smell which are edible or not, and my sniffer just isn't trained like his. I know there are edible mushrooms in our forests here, but learning how to find them is still something I need to learn to do.
Earlier this spring, C pointed out that it looked like some flowers were growing next to the chicken coop in the woods. I took a mental note of the leaves and figured I'd wait to see what they were as the spring progressed. Then one night when I was up nursing the baby, I had a revelation- they were wild leeks! I had seen these before during school forest trips with the fourth graders at my school. Otherwise known as ramps, these wild leeks are small onion-like plants are completely edible from the bulb to the leaves and taste like a combination of a green onion and garlic. They're one of the first things that can be harvested in the spring, and such an exciting treat. To have them here next to our house would be super exciting!
I started looking online for pictures to make sure what I had was actually leeks, and I could hardly wait until morning to get outside and dig a few out.
It really was like Christmas! The smell of onion quickly filled my nose as I started digging out the plants, and I eagerly harvested some for our breakfast. We chopped them up and added them to our scrambled eggs- a breakfast entirely created from our own home!
There is just something about creating meals from foods you just harvested from your home. It just feels...natural! And so good. Whether it's the eggs we get from our chickens, the spinach that's been growing in our sunroom all spring, the peas and radishes that have made their appearance in the garden, or the leeks that Mother Nature has tended to, I am happy to feed this to my family. It makes me even more eager for our garden to be ready and producing. Yet, I have to remind myself not to wish for the summer yet- instead, I have to enjoy this beautiful season we are in right now, enjoying the beautiful gifts God has given us through spring.
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