Wild Hops are in full season here in Germany!   :-)

Wild Hops are in full season here in Germany! :-)

Mr. Racoon here has been my daily morning visitor for many months now, and I feel at peace with his presence as he is always humble and playfully bathing in the sun and harming none.  I have grown more curious about this animal as a spirit guide because his presence not only seems purposeful, but he’s also a totally new teacher to me and one that I wish to work more closely with and better understand. So, I asked him telepathically if I may take a photo of him peacefully lounging in the tree as he does most days I see him, so when he is not around I may look into the photo and get a feeling of what it is he is bringing into my life, and this was part of my discovery….
Raccoon as a Spirit Guide: Mr. Racoon is a problem solver at best. He is adaptable to both natural and man-made environments and has an innate curiosity about how things work. He will encourage you to discover new ideas and methods of achieving your goals despite obstacles and will teach you how to be an expert hunter/gatherer/provider for your own and others needs. 
Intelligence is certainly one of Mr. Racoon’s strong points; combined with adaptability and a playful Robin Hood-like caring nature for his family. Raccoon can show you how to live and play in the now so you may take full advantage of both the spirit world and the “real” world.
For example, When a group of Raccoons is scouting for food, they are fair and generous to one another all along. After selecting their favorite morsels of food, each Raccoon will give the best tidbits of food to their Lookout. The Lookout Racoon is always fed generously by the group to honor his vigilance as the group’s protector. This uncommon lack of greed, this altruistic behavior is as rare in the world of humans as it is in the rest of the animal kingdom.
One of the most striking features of the raccoon is the mask that it wears. Although some associate this with bandits and thievery, it actually gives the raccoon a very powerful mystical symbolism. Raccoon holds the knowledge of transformation through adaptation, masks and disguise. This knowledge can be applied as a sustaining spiritual and ritual practice within normal everyday life, without revealing it. 
 :-) :-) Thanks Mr. Racoon for your guidance and wisdom, come back now, ya hear?!

Mr. Racoon here has been my daily morning visitor for many months now, and I feel at peace with his presence as he is always humble and playfully bathing in the sun and harming none.  I have grown more curious about this animal as a spirit guide because his presence not only seems purposeful, but he’s also a totally new teacher to me and one that I wish to work more closely with and better understand. So, I asked him telepathically if I may take a photo of him peacefully lounging in the tree as he does most days I see him, so when he is not around I may look into the photo and get a feeling of what it is he is bringing into my life, and this was part of my discovery….

Raccoon as a Spirit Guide: Mr. Racoon is a problem solver at best. He is adaptable to both natural and man-made environments and has an innate curiosity about how things work. He will encourage you to discover new ideas and methods of achieving your goals despite obstacles and will teach you how to be an expert hunter/gatherer/provider for your own and others needs.

Intelligence is certainly one of Mr. Racoon’s strong points; combined with adaptability and a playful Robin Hood-like caring nature for his family. Raccoon can show you how to live and play in the now so you may take full advantage of both the spirit world and the “real” world.

For example, When a group of Raccoons is scouting for food, they are fair and generous to one another all along. After selecting their favorite morsels of food, each Raccoon will give the best tidbits of food to their Lookout. The Lookout Racoon is always fed generously by the group to honor his vigilance as the group’s protector. This uncommon lack of greed, this altruistic behavior is as rare in the world of humans as it is in the rest of the animal kingdom.

One of the most striking features of the raccoon is the mask that it wears. Although some associate this with bandits and thievery, it actually gives the raccoon a very powerful mystical symbolism. Raccoon holds the knowledge of transformation through adaptation, masks and disguise. This knowledge can be applied as a sustaining spiritual and ritual practice within normal everyday life, without revealing it.

 :-) :-) Thanks Mr. Racoon for your guidance and wisdom, come back now, ya hear?!

Wild Plum Trees, Blackberry Bushes, Horse Chestnut, and Red Sumac Trees are fruiting everywhere in Berlin right now!

Summer is that special time of year for gathering wild fruits, just like Autumn is for gathering wild roots. Even while riding my bike, I stop often to take close observations of my natural surroundings and to have a closer look at what is growing in those surroundings. I mark on my berlin street map where the wild food sources are that I discover, so when it comes time for making my dinner, medicines, teas, marmalade, and wine, I know exactly where to begin to look, and so can you! <3

Understanding Foraging Etiquette:

   Observation is one aspect of a relationship between you and nature, respect, knowledge, and experience are a few others. Do your research first, go on plant walks with professionals in your area, and always be respectful and careful with wild plants and do not over-harvest anything, ever.

Foraging is always going to be a journey into nature, whereas you have to go exploring in many areas to find your varied wild food sources. So just take your time, see where you end up on a blackberry hunt, have no destination. It is meant to be peaceful, quieting and relaxed, and it can be done any time of day, all seasons of the year, and thats the beauty in learning this craft. <3 

HARVEST SEASON HAS BEGUN! Here’s Some Photos Of Todays Abundant Garden Harvest, Thursday, July 24, 2014!

Finally my fruit garden is growing baby fruits!!! Here are the photos of my backyard permaculture garden with mixed fruit trees (plum and apple), white wine grape vines growing along the tool shed and then mixed in are my berry bushes: blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, and gooseberry! The fruit gods are alive!!   :-)

Pictures from a recent wild plant walk that I hosted in Friedrichshain-Berlin. 

Assembling the wood-pallet vertical garden. It’s such a fun & easy DIY project to do with friends! I will be hosting this project as a workshop this July at Berlin Farm Lab, so please join! More details soon.  :-)

Dandelions are one of my favorite wild plants for preparing dinner dishes with. Instead of buying soulless spinach from the supermarket shelf, I can always rely on harvesting fresh Dandelion just moments before I start preparing my meal!
I find it incredibly versatile to use in the kitchen, and never hesitate to use it in substitution of other greens. Whether I am baking muffins with the flower petals, grinding the root for a coffee-like beverage, or gathering the greens for a salad, I&#8217;m forever thankful for this wild-edible growing everywhere I go! I&#8217;m also surprised to find that many people still consider Dandelions either a bitter-tasting green or a lawn gardeners nuisance!
However, I believe that this plant should be integrated into our weekly diets (at the very least) merely because of the high amount of complex vitamins, minerals and nutrients that it offers, most of which, we don&#8217;t get from commercialized agricultural crops anymore. And, if that isn&#8217;t enough to convince you, then check out this list of vitamins and minerals contained in Dandelions: Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Fiber, Calcium, Riboflavin, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium, Folate, Boron, Selenium, Copper, Zinc, Proteins, and Iron&#8230;.Just to name a few! Try getting that from your supermarket diet!

Well, go figure Dandelion is ill-adapted to the pallets of the white-picket fence homeowners who work hard every year at applying chemicals to their lawns to kill these plants from disrupting their perfect green lawns, but I&#8217;ve also met many people from the other side of the spectrum, &#8220;Eco-fighters&#8221; or people who talk about keeping things local, sustainable and organic, that also don&#8217;t fancy this plant one bit either, but for different reasons.
Mainly I&#8217;ve found most people in general can learn to enjoy eating Dandelions, but they just don&#8217;t know what to do with them or how to prepare them tastefully! Well, I cant change peoples taste buds, but I can boldly say that it cant get any more local, or more nutritious than Dandelion, and that its worth trying this recipe as an introduction and then finding your opinion from there!
Therefore, I&#8217;ve decided to put together this simple &amp; delicious Greek recipe for all of you Dandelion-beginners out there to try at home. Remember to be patient with your tastebuds! Happy wild cooking everyone!
Greek &#8220;Horta&#8221; Dandelion Greens &amp; Caramelized Onions:
Ingredients:
3 bunches, Fresh Dandelion Greens
Olive oil, extra virgin cold pressed, 4 tbsp
2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
Sea salt, 1-2 pinches
1 Lemon, squeezed
Garlic, 2 cloves crushed
2 Onions, Chopped into quarters
Red Pepper Flakes, 1 pinch
1 Tsp. baking powder
Cooking Instructions:
Cut the stems off the greens and wash thoroughly. 
Soak the dandelion greens in a bowl of cold water with 1 teaspoon salt or baking powder for 10 minutes, and then drain.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon sea salt. Then, simmer the greens until tender, drain and press all of the liquid out of the greens.
Heat butter and olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat; stir in onions and add red pepper flakes. Caramelize the onions until golden-brown and tender. Next, stir in the garlic for about 1 minute. 
Increase heat to medium-high and add dandelion greens. Continue to saute everything for another 3 to 4 minutes. 
Season with juice from one lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, cracked black pepper and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese!
Lastly, serve on a bed of couscous or quinoa. guten Appetit!
 Disclaimer: Before eating any wild plants, you must first have positive identification from a trusted source. Please forage smart!

Dandelions are one of my favorite wild plants for preparing dinner dishes with. Instead of buying soulless spinach from the supermarket shelf, I can always rely on harvesting fresh Dandelion just moments before I start preparing my meal!

I find it incredibly versatile to use in the kitchen, and never hesitate to use it in substitution of other greens. Whether I am baking muffins with the flower petals, grinding the root for a coffee-like beverage, or gathering the greens for a salad, I’m forever thankful for this wild-edible growing everywhere I go! I’m also surprised to find that many people still consider Dandelions either a bitter-tasting green or a lawn gardeners nuisance!

However, I believe that this plant should be integrated into our weekly diets (at the very least) merely because of the high amount of complex vitamins, minerals and nutrients that it offers, most of which, we don’t get from commercialized agricultural crops anymore. And, if that isn’t enough to convince you, then check out this list of vitamins and minerals contained in Dandelions: Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Fiber, Calcium, Riboflavin, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium, Folate, Boron, Selenium, Copper, Zinc, Proteins, and Iron….Just to name a few! Try getting that from your supermarket diet!

Well, go figure Dandelion is ill-adapted to the pallets of the white-picket fence homeowners who work hard every year at applying chemicals to their lawns to kill these plants from disrupting their perfect green lawns, but I’ve also met many people from the other side of the spectrum, “Eco-fighters” or people who talk about keeping things local, sustainable and organic, that also don’t fancy this plant one bit either, but for different reasons.

Mainly I’ve found most people in general can learn to enjoy eating Dandelions, but they just don’t know what to do with them or how to prepare them tastefully! Well, I cant change peoples taste buds, but I can boldly say that it cant get any more local, or more nutritious than Dandelion, and that its worth trying this recipe as an introduction and then finding your opinion from there!

Therefore, I’ve decided to put together this simple & delicious Greek recipe for all of you Dandelion-beginners out there to try at home. Remember to be patient with your tastebuds! Happy wild cooking everyone!

Greek “Horta” Dandelion Greens & Caramelized Onions:

Ingredients:

  • 3 bunches, Fresh Dandelion Greens
  • Olive oil, extra virgin cold pressed, 4 tbsp
  • 2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • Sea salt, 1-2 pinches
  • 1 Lemon, squeezed
  • Garlic, 2 cloves crushed
  • 2 Onions, Chopped into quarters
  • Red Pepper Flakes, 1 pinch
  • 1 Tsp. baking powder

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Cut the stems off the greens and wash thoroughly. 
  2. Soak the dandelion greens in a bowl of cold water with 1 teaspoon salt or baking powder for 10 minutes, and then drain.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon sea salt. Then, simmer the greens until tender, drain and press all of the liquid out of the greens.
  4. Heat butter and olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat; stir in onions and add red pepper flakes. Caramelize the onions until golden-brown and tender. Next, stir in the garlic for about 1 minute.
  5. Increase heat to medium-high and add dandelion greens. Continue to saute everything for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Season with juice from one lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, cracked black pepper and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese!
  7. Lastly, serve on a bed of couscous or quinoa. guten Appetit!

 Disclaimer: Before eating any wild plants, you must first have positive identification from a trusted source. Please forage smart!
Today&#8217;s rainbow over the garden! 

Today’s rainbow over the garden! 

Some lovely photos taken by a student at my weekly “Wild Plant Cooking Workshop”. Here I am demonstrating how to juice Wheatgrass, followed by a tasting and then the feeling of the Chlorophyll BUZZ kicked in and i could’ve ran for miles!

Great teamwork at Berlin Farm Lab last weekend! We not only tackled the finished mulching of one hugelkultur bed but we also planted many colorful potatoes and onions!

I straw mulched the garden beds today! They are already looking devine and its only mid-spring here in Berlin!  :-)

DIY bird feeder using a reused supermarket garlic-net filled with sunflower seeds then tied to the tree with a rubber band! Next all you have to do is watch the colorful birds flock in by the dozens!  :-)

Growing potatoes and onions together in tires at Berlin Farm Lab!

I find so much joy in observing my garden and watching it grow. Here’s my tomato plants growing vertically in reused yogurt containers.

Such lively little plants they are too! After only two days growing vertically, both plants have started wrapping themselves around the tree to secure themselves and to better position themselves to face the bright sun! A genuine life instinct that all creatures on earth share. I would like to take a moment to give a Shoutout to all you garden plants out there: for bringing me back to the primal source of all living things! Yo’ You da’ best garden plants!