Fox Walkers | Week 25 | Plant Awareness

Last week at Fox Walkers was chock full of wild edible inspiration!  A major highlight was preparing delicious Big Leaf Maple Blossom fritters (we made them Gluten & Dairy Free - that’s actually coconut milk in the glass milk jug in the pics!).  They were delicious, especially with a dollop of Maple syrup on them.  Yum!  We’re truly grateful for the wild edible abundance this time of year.  Spring in the Pacific Northwest is so incredibly special!

Our story and puppet show taught about the importance of truly getting to know plants before harvesting and eating them.  In the story, Running Deer was sitting with a dandelion plant and examining it closely.  Moon Bird laughed at her for being so meticulous.  He wondered why she was spending so much time looking at the plant, considering she already knew the name of it!  But Running Deer reminded Moon Bird that just because you know the name of a plant, doesn’t mean that you really know it.  When you meet a new friend you want to know more than just their name!  Later on, Moon Bird harvested what he thought was Cattail, but since he didn’t really “know” Cattail, he ended up harvesting the poisonous look-alike Wild Iris.  Luckily he only took a little nibble of the plant before he realized that he had made a big mistake.  From that point on, Moon Bird vowed to heed Running Deer’s advice and really get to know a plant by looking closely at it’s leaves, observing how and where it likes to grow, and educating himself on any of that plant’s poisonous lookalikes before he harvests it.

Last week at Fox Walkers, in addition to indulging in the Maple Blossoms, we also spent lots of time looking at any other wild edibles that we came across on our wanders, and got to know those plants more deeply.  Some of the plants that we explored included Chickweed, Shepherd’s Purse, Dandelion, Waterleaf, Stinging Nettle, Salmonberry and Oregon Grape.  Pat and I made sure to let the Fox Walkers know that they must always ask our permission before harvesting and eating a wild edible while they’re in class with us, so that we can confirm that it’s safe to eat.  

We also integrated our plant ID skills by playing some awareness games, including “You’re Only Safe If. . .” and “Plant Concentration”.  

Some highlights at Fairhaven were: adventuring to Animal Hotel (where we rode our Cedar Horses, got caught up in some mud monsters, found an Owl Pellet & jammed out on or “drum set”), climbing the perfect climbing tree, and playing in swamp monsters in the big soccer meadow.

Some highlights at Whatcom Falls were climbing up a Cedar Root rope on a steep hillside, re-growing our “Rose-nauceros” noses—thanks to the Nootka Rose bush and some Douglas Fir pitch, and exploring a part of the park that is new to us, where we found “Soup Bowl Mountain”, made soup for the faeries and slid down a butt-slide hill!

It was a wonderful time all around, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store this week!

WHATCOM FALLS PARK:                                                                                                           FAIRHAVEN PARK: