Forage + Tea

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This past Sunday my mom, sister and I  attended a Mother’s Day “Forage & Tea” event hosted at Headwaters Farm, a permaculture cooperative and education centre located in the beautiful rolling hills of Northumberland County.

We were taken on a tour of the property and shown various wild plants that can be used for nutritional, medicinal and utilitarian purposes and then afterwards we were served a tea.

The foraging portion was led by Erin and Tyler, founders of Foragers Farm, who partner with Headwaters on the their eco-friendly and sustainable farm.

We had a great time to say the least, even though the weather was very temperamental. All day there were intermittent rain showers, but luckily it was quite mild out. Personally, I love rain on warm days as it always makes the natural world seem mystical.

The farm was certainly stunning to see in that kind of weather.

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We walked around the 120 acre property for about two hours but it seemed much shorter since there was consistently something new to learn.

It was an excellent introduction to wild plants in this area. Just enough to get a taste about how much more there is to learn, because there is definitely so much. It’s funny that we are surrounded by potential food and medicine right in our backyards but most of us are oblivious to it.

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We identified many different plants, but here are just a few pictures. Please note that none of this is meant to be taken as advice to forage. Always consult with an expert on safe harvesting, preparation and use of wild plants.

This here is Colt’s Foot, one of the first spring flowers to bloom.

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Wild grape.

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The young leaves of a Basswood tree.

Most people recognize pine trees but may not know that White Pine needles can be boiled for a tea.

We walked through a beautiful grove.

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When we arrived back at the house there was a tea ready for us. It was so good and exceeded our expectations. The dandelion fritters and wild leek scones were exceptional. This was the best tea I have had so far, as it was like a healthy version of the standard high tea. Instead of orange pekoe, we had stinging nettle tea or mint tea. The stinging nettle was amazing and I hope to make it myself sometime soon.

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If you’re looking for something nice to do this Summer in Southern Ontario, Headwaters Farm is definitely a nice visit.