Rediscovering Nature and Myself
This spring, focus on reconnecting to foodways as a means to reconnect to your inner self during this season of emergence, renewal, and growth.
Not so long ago, our ancestors’ everyday lives were constructed by nature. Shifts in seasons, lunar-based calendars, and human hunger influenced when travel plans were made, harvesting commenced, and socializing happened. This inextricable interlace went on for thousands of years, and as a direct result, our humanity is attuned to nature’s cues.
Sadly, our modern lifestyle distances us from spending time with the natural world, and that may have consequently removed us from our most inner selves. Instead of learning to read the flora and fauna of our surroundings, we learn the innumerous logos and emblems of the world. It is no secret that this severing has had profound effects on people physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Springtime is the season of emergence, renewal, and growth. This spring, focus on reconnecting to foodways as a means to reconnect to your inner self.
As the dark, damp, and chilly days of winter begin to brighten and warm up our world, nettles, dandelion, chickweed, and so many other edible leafy greens begin to push through the dark, damp soil and greet the sun. This tender, new growth offers us crucial vitamins, minerals, proteins, and bitter flavors that support our elimination systems. They can help prepare our bodies for the year to come and fortify our inner strength so we might accomplish all the goals we envisioned during our winter dormancy.
There are so many ways to invite this season into your daily life and enjoy its benefits. Make fresh salads with common weeds, like chickweed and dandelion greens that are harvested from clean areas in gardens or local woodlands. A locally produced variety of kale, chard, or collards from the supermarket or your garden could also do the trick. Chop them up and add them to a nice spring soup. Sauté them in a hot skillet with some sliced onion and a dash of soy sauce or balsamic vinegar. Or prepare a fresh pesto to top roasted veggies or pasta, or to use as a dip.
Make this spring an opportunity to eat and live with the seasons by exploring what’s emerging in your area. By being attuned to the natural world around you, you can better connect with it and understand how you are a part of it.
Seasonal Leafy Green Pesto
4 cups greens (chickweed, dandelion leaf, or kale)
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup pine nuts, sunflower seeds, or pepitas
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil or sunflower oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional: Add basil leaf or a combination of greens.
Rinse all produce. Roughly chop greens and place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until the mixture is very smooth (or until you can’t handle the sound anymore). Transfer to a clean glass jar and cover with a lid. Can be kept in the fridge for up to two weeks.