Foraging for Black Locust Flowers

Foraging for Black Locust Flowers:

Hey friends of the forest,

Dan de Lion here writing from Chimayo, NM, where I stumbled on a special snack that I wanted to share with you. Here’s a look at edible black locust flowers, Robinia pseudoacacia, which are sweet, fragrant, and tasty!

Note the compound (pinnate) leaves which are typical of the pea family; (fabacea). Different than most trees, they prefer full sunlight and dry soil, so often they can be found in disturbed areas, and edges of forest where there may have been some disturbance to the soil is where i would suggest to look for them.

The flowers grow large fragrant clusters and eventually your nose will lead you to them; they have the sweetest smell carried by the air. I remember when I finally realized that what I was smelling every year was indeed these blooms. They really only stick around for about a week and they taste like floral snap peas. The flavor is out of this world delicious.

It’s important to note that when I collected and dehydrated then they lost their floral flavor and scent, so I prefer to collect and eat them fresh. Many cultural dishes around the world batter and fry these flowers, including tempura style from Japanese cuisine.

The plant is also a nitrogen fixer, due to it symbiotic with nitrogen fixing bacteria on its roots, and it has been grown for fence posts. And it makes a durable hard wood which is very rot resistant.

The seeds can also be collected in fall and they can be soaked and boiled as a legume. The leaves and the bark are said to be poisonous.

Also, check out lots of herbalism and foraging videos, articles, and upcoming classes as well as herbal goods at www.returntonature.us and www.facebook.com/returntonatureskills

 

Plant blessings,

Dan de Lion 
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The Return to Nature #Savetheseeds initiative!

May every day be Earthday!!! As the foragemobile tour east gets underway, I invite you to join in the returntonature #savetheseeds initiative to grow your own medicine and help preserve seed biodiversity as a community!

On my journey, I have collected several wildcrafted and have been hand winnowing seeds into packets ready for a home! Every seed is a unique diverse lineage, and it feels a part of our birthright to caretake the garden, back to Eden, one seed at a time.

I would be happy to send you sustainably wildcrafted, small batch, hand winnowed seeds, along my travels, and you can help this mission by making a donation toward this initiative which helps this vital Plant knowledge spread.

The donation request is an open offering, at a minimum please help cover shipping. all donations will be put toward helping these teachings and seed saving, as well as ethical caretaking discussions, and can be offered to: Paypal.me/returntonature – in the note add your address, and which seeds you would like. Also, if you see a plant that I’m sharing about, that you would like to help grow, message me, and ask!

So far I have limited amounts of white sage, black sage, purple sage, Yerba Santa, California sagebrush, Cali mugwort, datura wrightii, carob, and horehound! And, lots more coming soon! Please remember that sages need to be stratified to germinate.
Make sure if you paypal that you add what seeds you want in the description!

Please do share below if you got your seeds, and how they’re doing. And please tag me in pics of progress and use the hashtag #savetheseeds as your seed tending project grows!

Email me with any questions at:

Dan@returntonature.us

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Sacred Ecology Retreat – California, Jan. 2018

Thank you Miranda Guzman Fernandez for this beautiful video of our weekend retreat on Jan, 2018, in the garden teaching the “sacred ecology retreat” where we taught a mix of interacting with nature in a regenerative way from foraging to dancing.

Grateful to Centehua Sage and the wisdom sharing of the weekend and to all who came. And thank you Erik Hjermstad and Dennis Sharmahd for adding your blessed green wisdom into the circle.

The medicine sharing quest continues in southern California with the Return To Nature #Foragemobile tour… Check out upcoming classes at Return To Nature

Plant love,

Dan De Lion

Also, check out lots of foraging and herbalism articles, videos, and upcoming classes at www.returntonature.us

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Foragemobile Forest retreat at Mt. Charleston

Forest retreat at Mt. Charleston 

I’m writing you from Mt. Charleston, Nevada. A forested mountain habitat which is rare for this region, as most else is flat desert.

I found a free camping site to park the van at 8000 ft, in pinyon pine country. This is one of the few places in Nevada that wasn’t clearcut then overgrazed by cattle, which eat young saplings to death, so there is still a sacred forest.

All along the ground are thousands and thousands of pine nuts, but many of them have already seen better days.

it’s day 4 with morning temps dropping into the 30s. Each day is filled with walks across the mountain landscape, seeking and harvesting the remaining pine nuts, wild teas containing pine needles, and juniper tips, and Mormon tea.

The silence is astounding at 8000 ft up, and the only company I have are birds and elk and the shelter of the foragemobile. The vistas are profound, especially when the sun lights up the horizon in the morning time.

There is barey any cell phone service, and to get WiFi, the little town library will do.

This is a sacred place, where ancestral practices still could thrive, where there is enough material; food, shelter, and medicine, but so far water is lacking. It is out here somewhere though. In a way, all modern humans are born into a survival situation with nature, instead of being born into a tribe which already knows where the resources are, what paths to find the best stands, the flowing waters, and the rare plants.

This exploration, for me, is a constant journey, where only the spirit of the forest guides my way. Within those voices, the ancestors of the land speak, if we get quiet enough to listen. The landscape is the teacher, and our senses know.

Meditation and self reflection are my reasons for coming, and I ask the elements for help in that quest. A lot of insights and visions come, when we plug in to the inner net.

Sitting with the fire, intent on its whispering message, contemplating the light, and the burning wood. How integral humans are to the health of the ecosystem. Sitting at the fire, I am releasing decades of sequestered sunlight back into the heat and light that the trees have absorbed and acquired, now released to keep my fingers warm enough to type, and my cup always full of wild tea.

When I burn wood, not only do I serve an ecological function by burning debris which could catch and start huge wildfires, which I suspect will but this is also an ancient achemical ritual that the ecosystem craves. Imagine that the branches of trees are gifts for the energy needs of their children; the humans. As I leave the pile of ash, which I also use for cleaning my camp cookware, the winds will spread the ash throughout the system. Free standing minerals are available. The ash contains mineral nutrients in which every Plant or tree that gets a taste, gets an edge up on how big and strong it can grow, and the ecosystem craves it. Basically we are performing an important ecological function for nature itself.

For, out here, only the caring hearted can survive. When you give, you receive… a simple ecological ethical standard.

Out here, we still have the chance to no longer be people with serial numbers, we are able to be raw feral spirits, humans seeking the union of ancestral skills, and the contemplation of the union of the spirit and matter. Creator and creation. Where nature and god aren’t separated. The more I sit with this space, the more I am convinced that we have not been banished from Eden, but since we believe we were, we treat nature in turn. We can’t see it, so we trash it.

If you resonate, and also are questing on similar things, please be in touch and check out lots more herbalism and foraging videos, articles, and upcoming classes as well as herbal goods at www.returntonature.us

Dan de Lion

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Upcoming Southern California Tour – Starts Jan 6

Hey forest friends and desert dwellers,

Here’s a look at the upcoming Cali tour in the works for January! Let me know if you’re in the area! Let’s link up, get inspired, discuss the sustainability revolution, and go exploring!

The first weekend, I’ll be teaching a weekend foraging and Fermentation retreat in Los Angeles at an awesome urban permaculture homestead (see class links below). We will culminate Sunday evening with and organic potluck (bring your own bowl and eating utensil, and a dish to share) followed by a tea ceremony led by Katya Laurentia​. Join us for a weekend not to miss!

Saturday, January 6, Urban Foraging Class:

https://www.facebook.com/events/758666667651162/

Sunday, January 7th, The Alchemy of Fermentation:

https://www.facebook.com/events/380427895730146/

From there I’ll be headed to The Long Beach area to teach at in the Green Wisdom Herbal Studies​ school hosted by the incredible Julie James​, a local herbalist who has lots of great wisdom to share and a full list of upcoming classes.

There, I’ll be teaching an evening Fermentation class, and you can check out that event at:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1756612977742211??ti=ia

And that Sunday, January 14th, at 2 pm, I’ll be sharing a foraging class around Long Beach! Location tba, email me to get exact meeting location to Dan@returntonature.us

Check out the event at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1566391396731949??ti=ia

From there I’ll be headed to teach in San Diego with a weekend workshop called “Sacred Ecology Retreat” combining a weekend of foraging, herbalism, firemaking, dance, and potluck with Centehua Sage and Eric Hjermstad: https://www.facebook.com/events/365258203937334

Then, near Moorpark, I’ll be teaching a “family plant walk” with Jess Starwood: https://www.facebook.com/events/142992316415216/

Also in the works are collaborations with Pascal Baudar​, Lanny Kaufer​, and interviews with Lorenzo from Psychedelic Salon​ and James Adams​, Chumash healer.

And, remember #returntonature is a people led movement! please help spread the word to those you feel would enjoy or benefit from these and many more upcoming classes!

Hope to see you there!

Dan de Lion

Also, check out lots of herbalism and foraging videos, articles, and upcoming classes as well as herbal goods at www.returntonature.us and www.facebook.com/returntonatureskills

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A Mistletoe Mystery

A Mistletoe Mystery:

Here’s a look at mistletoe growing in the desert. Mistletoe, Viscum Album. The familiar, white-berried plant of the winter holiday season, is a parasitic plant that grows on the branches of several species of trees, including several in the desert mid-west. Mistletoe burrows roots into the inner wood of trees and feeds from their sap, and is known as parasitic.

Now a days, we are such a plant phobic culture that people are too afraid to bring this into their house because it is indeed a poisonous plant. Yet, they may have no problem having house plants which are of equal toxicity, and plenty of cleaning products which are much more toxic.

The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is yet another pre-Christian ritual that was swallowed up and assimilated by the Catholic Church with no question or tradition as to why.

It is more likely that mistletoe was applied as a talisman or sache to attract love, as was a thriving folk tradition with many plants.

Medicinally, Mistletoe has been used for centuries in traditional medicine for a variety of conditions including seizures, headaches, and arthritis. Today, mistletoe is also used in Europe as a treatment for cancer.

Check out lots of herbalism and foraging videos, articles, and upcoming classes as well as herbal goods at www.returntonature.us and www.facebook.com/returntonatureskills

Happy holy days!

Dan de Lion

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The 2018 Return to Nature Herbal CSA 

Hey, Friends of the Plants,

We at the Return to Nature apothecary are elated to be offering our 4th year of handcrafted herbal goods to the community through our Herbal CSA program.  Our Herbal CSA is loaded with herbal goodies, full of wildcrafted, and organically grown and purchased ingredients to help you maintain health throughout the year!

You can join our herbal csa subscription by signing up for a full year of our love infused goods, which begins in April 2018 with our first of 4 packages sent to you throughout the year!

 

During each season, you’ll receive a care package of various organic and wildcrafted goods for your everyday healing needs.  Throughout the year, you will get to sample our delicious and healing tea blends, raw chocolate, elixirs, tinctures, salves and so much more!

 

Heres a look at our Seasonal Package Offerings for 2017 (Click to enlarge pic)

Our 2018 Yearly Subscription Options:
Choose from 3 options for pre-payment as follows:

(Each option includes 4 seasonal packages and shipping costs)

– Large Family Plan: $335

– Small Family Plan: $235

– Individual Plan: $135

 

About the CSA model: The benefit of being part of a CSA is, each dollar spent becomes a vote toward the community itself choosing what thrives, and helps provide local business the funding it needs for supplies throughout the year.

Joining our yearly CSA is a great way to sample a variety of our goods throughout the seasons while building your own home apothecary as an active participant in our growing herbal community. We are eager to hear your questions, feedback or suggestions and look forward to creating and sharing the magic with you all!

 

*Sign up by December 21st 2017 and receive $12 off the yearly subscription cost.

 

Only 20 shares are available for 2018…don’t miss out on the magic!

How to Order: To be part of this unique opportunity, Send the total payment for the Package of your choice to: paypal.me/returntonature.

 

For questions, suggestions or feedback email us at: HerbalCSA@ReturntoNature.us

Much Love and Magic Plant Blessings,

Dan de Lion & Lauren Roderick
www.returntonature.us

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Upcoming Foraging Herbalist Mentorship ONLINE!

Hey friends of the forest,

We’re excited to launch the upcoming 2018 online mentorship program with Dan de Lion of#Returntonature

Hope you will join us for a year of exploration of the natural world together with live interactive support and live videos to help guide your journey with the wild world.

Check out the upcoming program in detail here:

http://returntonature.us/events/return-to-nature-monthly-online-mentorship-2018/

The program starts in March of 2018! Let us know if you have any questions!

Topics of This Years Class Includes:

– Wildcrafters Materia Medica: Learning the healing and edible applications of many wild plants throughout the year, which bodily organs the plants and constituents effect, and how to harvest in their proper time and way.

– Constitutional Herbalism Practice: Plant Sense Meditations: Direct field practice of awareness of the 6 tastes of Ayurveda and how that directly correlates to medicinal application and organ systems, study of the doctrine of correspondences and signatures, and how to correlate our sense perception with medicinal applications of plants.

– Herbal Medicine Making with Backyard Allies: Students will receive step by step directions and live streams to make common helpful home remedies together, from infused oils to tinctures, and delicious meals.

– Monthly Live Webinar videos: On the 4th Wednesday of each month (see dates below) with assignments, discussion, Q+A, and seasonal plant walk awareness – Each video will be available to watch live, or a playback file will be posted in the group, and you will be able to attend the “playback only”, but live is recommended.

– Access to our “Return to Nature – Monthly Online Mentorship 2017” Facebook Group: Here we will discuss plant identification, projects, and ask questions, as well as all learn together.

– Monthly Assignments Including Plant Identification “Scavenger hunts”: Students will develop their identification practice, checking identifications with the group, learning plant families, and basic botanical terminology.

Hope you will join us for an awesome year!

Dan De Lion

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Foragemobile Tour Live Class From Cincinnati, Ohio

Heres a look at yesterdays live class at Enright Ridge Urban Eco-Village, in Cincinnati, Ohio where we will be explored the wild foods, mushrooms and medicinal plants of their backyards, forest edges, and woodland habitats.

If you appreciate these teachings, please consider making any donation to Paypal.me/returntonature help this mission sustain itself and continue to bring these teachings to you!

Also, check out lots more foraging and herbalism articles, videos, and upcoming classes at www.returntonature.us

 

 

Huge thanks to everyone who came out to yesterday’s class! It was a lot of fun to share with such knowledgeable Plant people.

There’s a great scene developing in Cincinnati Ohio, and Enright is an awesome hub for it.

They have around 40 acres of forest, farm, and housing, which is dedicated to community, sustainability, and waking up the people.

There were so many plants to discuss, some of them were gill over the ground, daylily (seen here), heal all which was still in flower, and one of my favorite wild fruits, hackberry.

It’s inspiring to see such a project on the outskirts of such a developed city…

Now, I’m headed to Indiana this week to teach Thursday, November 9, at Monarch Apothecary, where I’ll be teaching The Alchemy of Fermentation

Saturday, November 11, at the Indiana Herbal Center for a class called “Working Herbally with Lyme Disease”

And Sunday, a lecture at The Inner Warrior in Louisville, KY entitled “Yoga, Tantra, and the Alchemical Traditions.”

Check out the full tour and upcoming classes for the Westward Foragemobile Tour at: Foragemobile Westward Winter Tour

Hope to see you there, and please help spread the word!

Dan de Lion

www.returntonature.us

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The Foragemobile Westward Winter Teaching Tour!

Huge thanks to all who donated to our 24 hr facebook Foragemobile fundraiser!

Your donations helped me compensate for part of the cost of the solar set up, and gave me funds to plan the winter tour (dates below) with lots of webinars and online classes, as well as in person classes and live question and answers from all throughout my travels, all with the help of solar power!

If you appreciate this work, and have learned from these efforts, please continue to help donate in any way to Paypal.me/returntonature and also check out lots of awesome herbal goods at www.gofundme.com/returntonature

Here’s part 1 of our free workshop on how to rig yourself to off-grid solar: https://www.facebook.com/ReturntoNatureSkills/videos/1671177736246632/

Also, the Return to Nature #foragemobile is headed on a westward teaching tour this winter!

The solar set-up now enables me to have a multimedia set up to turn the Foragemobile into a news van for podcasting and writing, and inviting podcast guests along the way, as well as offering live webcasts and workshops from my travels. Stay tuned for the launch of the Return to Nature Radio podcast…

I’m working on a winter westward tour, starting in Monroe, New York at Ananda Ashram on October 28-29, Foraging and Herbalism Retreat (The Yoga of Plants)​ where I will be teaching a weekend foraging and herbalism retreat to start the tour off; I hope to see you there!

Then November 4-5 in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Enright urban ecovillage. Check it out at: Foraging and Herbalism Class @ Cincinnati, OH

Then, Thursday, November 9th, Ill be teaching The Alchemy of Fementation at Gosport, IN at Monarch Apothecary

November 11th weekend I’ll be headed onto Bloomington, Indiana, affiliated with the Indiana herbal center (http://indianaherbalcenter.com), I’ll be teaching “Working Herbally with Lyme Disease”. Check out the event here: Working Herbally With Lyme Disease

Then Sunday, November 12, in Louisville, Kentucky ill be teaching a class called “Yoga, Tantra, and the Alchemical Traditions” at the Inner Warrior yoga studio. The FB event can be seen at: Yoga, Tantra, and the Alchemical Traditions @ Louisville, KY

From there, November 18-19, I’ll be headed to New Mexico for a weekend foraging and herbalism retreat, at Zia Energetics Permaculture Homestead (http://www.ziapermaculture.com). The event at: Wild Medicine and Fermentation Retreat @ Chimayo, NM

Then I’ll be headed to Prescott, Arizona, November 25-26 for classes on herbal medicine making, and then classes TBA in Nevada, and a California tour by mid December!

Stay tuned for those dates and locations soon, and be in touch, and help spread the word and flyer if you’re in the area!

Also, help make this tour happen and get yourself some awesome herbal magic from our loving line of herbal goods from our apothecary at www.returntonature.us/apothecary

Much more to come,

Dan de Lion
www.returntonature.us

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