Did you know...You can forage in your backyard?!

Updated: May 17, 2020

I hear often... "I wish I had land, so I could forage like you." There are a lot of common weeds, that people have that just don't know that are edible. It's so fun to wildcraft, and forage food that is in your backyard, and good for you. I had many plants to forage at my old home "in-town" I just didn't have the knowledge that I do now. I had access to lambs quarter, rose of sharon, wild onions, wild violets, dandelions, and didn't even know I could use them. I grew up with dandelions being called "weeds". I had no knowledge of them being in the sunflower family. I also didn't know they are one of the bee's first foods. Before I get side tracked...I will stick with one lesson today, how you can forage wild violets in your backyard. I will tell you about a common weed/flower that comes up in early spring, that are called Wild Violets. They can come in many different colors, and aren't always purple. Make sure that when you are identifying a plant, or edible flower that you are certain it's correctly known before consuming. Small herbaceous plants of the woods, and fields; the flowers are blue, purple, white, or yellow, according to series; deep green, heart-shaped leavers in basal rosettes or on ascending stems; a god ground cover, and vigorous self-seeder. Wild violets are one of the first flowers to emerge in the late winter, and early spring. They smell, and taste very sweet with many medicinal uses. Violets or (Violaceae) are not only lovely to look at, but are healing, and cooling too. Both the flowers, and leaves are edible food, and the herbs are mainly used to fight chronic disease, oral cancer, breast cancer, and eczema. Please note that: Wild Violets do have a mild laxative effect, so consume in moderation. ;) Today, I will share how to make the simple wild violet infused vinegar out of items you have in your kitchen. We love eating the yummy flowers raw, or adding the leaves, and flowers to our salad or eggs too. The wild violet vinegar is great on salads!


Wild Violet Infused Vinegar Ingredients:


  • 1/2 cup violet flowers

  • 1 cup white balsamic vinegar or vinegar of your choice I always love using Apple Cider Vinegar too!


Instructions:

  • Fill a mason jar halfway with the violet flowers, about 1/2 a cup. Pour the white vinegar over the flowers.

  • Cover the jar with a lid. If you're using a metal canning lid, put a square of parchment paper between the lid and the jar to prevent the metal from reacting with the vinegar. 

  • Place the jar in a cool, dark place for 1-2 weeks. 

Notes Wild Violet Vinegar has the same shelf life as vinegar, but the color will fade with time. 


Please feel free to use any jar you want that has a good seal. When I'm making a vinegrrete for our salad. I like to combine 3 TBS of oil, 2 TBS of the wild violet vinegar, several cloves of garlic (use what you want), 1/2 TBS of chopped onion, 1 TSP of organic maple syrup with salt and pepper as you like. Shake it all then let it stand for about 30mintues. If you remover to shake it before you pour it on what you want you will get the most flavor.

There are so many things you can get creative with and make with wild violets, it's not limited to just the infused vinegar. I'm using it for salad dressing, and turning another jar into an oxmymel to soothe a cough by combining it with local raw honey. It's also good for the immune system. It's very high in vitamins, and is good to just drink as a spoonful or so in your water. It's wonderful in the bath mixed with Epsom salts to relieve aches, and pains. I've found it excellent for wasp stings, and a hair rinse, along with using the oil, and salve on sunburns. You can make so many things a flower bath soak, a honey cough syrup, violet soap, a tonic, violet ice cubes, vinegar, deodorant, lip balm, jelly, and so much more! Here is how my wild voliet infused Vinegar looked just after 2 days of being in the vinegar.

(my apologies on the windy sound)

What are your favorite ways to use wild violets?

Thanks for reading!

~ Lots of Love,

MJ

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