Hey friends, Heres a look from last Saturdays class where we broadcasted the intro the class live on the Return To Nature facebook page. Click and like our FB page to see more live classes, coming soon!
If you appreciate this work, and want to see it keep thriving, please help by donating any amount to my Foraging Apothecary Van campaign:
Hey Friends, Its been 20 days since we launched our Foragemobile Van Fundraiser. We need your help to get beyond the $3000 marker – If each of you who follow and appreciate this work could donate just $11.11 to my van fund, I would be able to visit many more of you and spread our message of a #greenrevolution and #returntonature knowledge far and wide.
You can also donate any amount on PayPal to Dan@ReturntoNature.us – from there we will transfer each donation to the campaign with huge thanks!
Gypsy Nomad Revival and the Cottage Industry Rebuild with Dan De Lion:
The Gypsy nomad van plan is underway! I feel this is going to be a shift, an example of our exodus back to the earth, the return to nature that is so immanent as climate shifts, and as the need for getting closer to the earth becomes more obvious! During these teaching travels, I will also webcast my adventures and share in the live foraging and teachings on the road as I also study with elders and interview them!
I see myself writing in the van over the winter, and publishing my first of several books in the Spring of 2017 on foraging, nature philosophy, and the transitions we all desperately need. Lately I have been pouring out writings, of which I keep posting through my various sites, even though I am mostly in the woods, on an iphone always seeking ways to charge it, and get wifi, and I really need the proper place and time (internet, electricity, and a dry place) to be able to organize these writings. This van will also be a well stocked roving apothecary in service to all communities that i visit, which I can offer herbal consultation and services to the people in the places I travel and teach.
Sustainability Factor of Vans:
Yes, it is true that vans don’t always have the best gas mileage (15-20 mpg). However, this is an alternative to the idea of a stationary sheetrock house, where the overhead is too expensive for our generations, and will set the pace for a transition into a more simple life. This is a huge transition from our modern way of life.
Consider, a van is a stable house which can be moved. Applied carefully, it is a reduction in fossil fuel use, if you think about how much fossil fuels are used to heat and cool a house. This van becomes the ability to reduce that. I don’t use air conditioner, and instead of heating a huge house over the winter, I will spend most of my time in the forest, next to a campfire, as usual.
Also, on this van I will have a bike rack on the back and install a solar panel on the roof with enough energy to charge a laptop and cell phone, basically all of the electricity I use. I will park the van at hubs and will have my backpack and spend days or weeks at a time walking through the forest, camping, foraging, and creating an intimate trail through many sacred sites in the forest…
This van will be not just a vehicle for driving, but a teaching hub; Within the foragemobile, I will build shelving, herb drying racks, food storage bins, and have a bedroll and space for meditation and study, to do computer work, write, and have a traveling space with supplies to open up a campsite and gypsy teaching village anywhere. It will be a mobile food storage unit/root cellar where I will seasonally circle key locations which are ready for transition building. Consider this vs a house.
Please help this vision become real! Consider sharing this with those who believe in the need for our transition, and donate what you can!
Here is the recording of the “Working Herbally with Lyme” class taught by Dan.
In it, he discusses the micro and macrocosm relations to Lyme as a “dis-ease” and what the proliferation of ticks, individually and ecologically expresses within “parasitism” as a healing metaphor. He also discusses aspects of herbal treatment
Listen to the class here:
Working Herbally with Lyme
If you found this class helpful, please offer a donation so that more events like this can be made possible, and subscribe to the Return to Nature newsletter to stay in the loop of the upcoming talks and events. Donations can be PayPaled to my email at Dan@ReturntoNature.us
Dan De Lion is a Forager, Herbalist, and Teacher dedicated to working with Nature to facilitate the reunion of the people with our planetary purpose. Dan teaches through Return to Nature providing classes in foraging and herbalism, making homemade remedies, fermentation and kombucha, and primitive and survival skills. He also makes herbal products, gives herbal consultations, runs mentorship programs, and teaches custom group herbalism classes. Dans website is ReturntoNature.us and he can be contacted at Dan@Returntonature.us
This class and class recording are intended for educational purposes only and are not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any specific illnesses or ailments. All information provided here should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult a licensed healthcare practitioner for medical problems.
Chicken of the woods is an easily identifiable and safe mushroom to start your mushroom seeking adventures.
This mushroom is in the Laetiporus genus, of which there are 2 or 3 species in North America; namely Laetiporus sulphureus having yellow pores, and L. cincinnatus having white pores. The pore surface, opposed to gills, is a very important characteristic of the underside of mushrooms.
This beautiful and relatively easy mushroom to identify is amazing in a stir fry, baked, breaded and fried, and can be sautéed just as one would prepare chicken. The texture is similar, and it can be a good replacement in any recipes that call for chicken.
One of the main factors in safely identifying this mushroom against several other bright orange mushrooms is that it grows directly on wood. This means that when you find it, you should look to see that it is orange and fan shaped, has a porus underside, and is growing out of wood directly. Otherwise, it can be one of many other mushrooms, some of which can be poisonous.
Ethical and sustainable harvesting of all mushrooms is important, and although there is some debate among mycologists, it is generally recommended to remove the tender part of the mushrooms with either a knife, or by hand, and in the case of chicken of the woods, by breaking off the fans, but not necessarily removing the entire base. Often on chicken of the woods everything but the fans are very woody and inedible, while this can be used for stock, the real gem is in the soft succulent tips, which break off like the texture of chicken.
One main issue in their edibility is people harvesting it once the mushroom is dried out. In most climates without high humidity, you really only get 3-4 days after the rains to get fresh mushrooms. After that, mushrooms quickly become bug hotels. This may be one of the factors of why a select few people can get digestive upset eating this mushroom. This is easily avoided by only eating a small amount to see first how you’ll react to it, and this is especially important for children. I’ve also heard that chicken of the woods growing on evergreens can be an issue for some peoples digestive systems; although this may be a rumor from mistaking poison hemlock (Conium) for the edible and medicinal hemlock tree (Tsuga sp.) of which there is no relation, other than their common name. I have never even seen this mushroom grow on any evergreens. Look for them on downed oak and maple as the bark peels off.
Also, medicinal mushroom research has also shown that chicken of the woods is also medicinal and is active against staph, ” All strains demonstrated antimicrobial activity against a wide spectrum of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria during agar and submerged cultivation including methicillin-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and glycopeptide-resistant strain of Leuconostoc mesenteroides.” – Check out more about their medicinal aspects at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12741318
Here’s a video on ethical and sustainable harvest in a tongue-in-cheek “zen” way:
It turns out that water is priority over oil. We can easily replace oil technology as an energy source, but you cannot replace water.
Remember this in the coming years as corporations try to make us dependent on them for the most basic human rights.
It’s time to stand and say no!
Use the hashtags:
#noDAPL #Waterislife #standingrock
Do what you can to stand with the native brothers and sisters at #standingrock who are fighting for all of us for clean water and less pipelines.
There are supply lists, as well as herbal remedies supply chains headed their way to keep up the pressure.
“When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you – pull your beard, flick your face – to make you fight. Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor.” – John Lennon
Here is a website with a call for solidarity actions as well as insight into what is happening:
Update on help Dan get a Van Plan: A Huge thanks to all who have donated so far! So far we have raised about half of what it looks like I’ll need to build my forager van, feels like a great start! Check out more about the Forager Van Project at Help Dan Get A Van!
Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) is a controversial but medicinal and sometimes edible plant, depending on how correctly it is prepared. This plant can be VERY poisonous and shows up often where people don’t want it to grow, BUT, it has every right to be in north america, as the species name indicates. It IS a native plant!
In this quick video I show you one of the easiest ways to prepare it, ***with the caviat that for food, you MUST pick the young shoots only, that are under 12 inches tall and only take those shoots which have no reddening on the stem. This means that poke is only able to be harvested for food for a small window of time.
And remember, all wild foods, always be careful when trying any wild food, eat a small amount first to make sure you have a. prepared it correctly, and b. that you wont get a unique allergic reaction.
Check out lots more herbalism and foraging articles, videos, and upcoming classes at:
Here’s a look from the “Yoga of Plants” workshop at The Inner Warrior in Loiusville, KY, where I gave a talk on determining constitutions of wild herbs by taste based on Ayurvedic constitutional principles and webcasted it live on the Return to Nature Facebook page.
The Yoga of Plants: Learn the foundational practices to apply Ayurvedic constitutional principles to intuit and understand herbal properties and their effects on the body through your own ability to taste wild plants!
If you appreciate this class, and want to see more webcasts, please help cover expenses for doing so. You can make any donation through paypal to Dan@Returntonature.us
Also, check out lots more foraging and herbalism articles, videos, and upcoming classes on
Today we went exploring one of my favorite patches of wineberries. Said to be an invasive plant, I encourage everyone to cross compare that with the idea of shipping the equivalent berry from across the US or even worse, foreign countries with less-than-optimal employment situations.
It is an odd culture indeed that targets a local food source as something to get rid of, and to spray toxins on, then to happily go to a grocery store and buy an sub-par replacement, which is often frozen for shipping, always accompanied with tons of fossil fuel burning, and is old and therefore the antioxidant value has gone down.
This is extremely revealing to what has become of the distorted survival instinct of the human. And how hard corporations have been at this game of disconnecting us from our local ecology, and local food sources.
To recap, in case anyone is confused, berries are not dangerous terrorists and therefore do not need to be targeted and eradicated. I personally can think of several other solutions, and I’m sure you can as well.
What if, for example these local patches were managed and maintained by the local townspeople who saw it fit to pick berries from their local environment instead of feed into the delusions of corporate exotic agriculture.
If you would like another solution, how about raising children in a nature based way and teaching them of the local abundant wild resources. If we eat the wine berry, since most people prefer to poop in their county drinking water supply, the seeds will not reproduce. This would drastically reduce the numbers of seeds being sent to the environment.
Perhaps this would be an aspect of humans fulfilling their current ecological purpose, and would help caretake and manage local ecology which would rebirth a transition out of exoticised capitalism into a local cottage industry which rebuilds community, connection, and localizes dollar spending.
I forsee that with more research done, we will realize that ecology is compensating for human disconnection, and that humans don’t need to fight nature, but return to nature.
In this video, I share a look at some key identification points in identifying edible vs inedible mushrooms of the agaricus genus.
This genus of mushrooms is where the common store-bought “white button mushroom” comes from, but they are a lot tastier and much more fun to find in the wild.
The rules mentioned in this video only apply to this genus, and not all mushroom species. And remember, always get all mushrooms checked out and properly identified by an expert before trying to consume them.