Posts Tagged ‘Wild Food Foraging’

How I Did Less and Ate Better, Thanks to Weeds ~ Tama Matsuoka Wong at TEDx Manhattan

This was fun! Thanks to “And Here We Are.” David and I attended a Goshen event that aired this conference, but somehow we missed this one.

“Tama Matsuoka Wong is a professional forager and the principal of MeadowsandMore, which she founded to connect people with wild plants and natural landscapes. She won the New Jersey Forest Stewardship Award in 2007 for her work on stewarding her own property in western New Jersey. She collaborated with New Jersey Audubon on producing a booklet Meadows on the Menu about how to work with nature to turn lawns or fallow fields in to meadows. Tama has advised and worked with schools, conservation groups and private individuals to assess, steward and restore natural landscapes on their properties.

“Tama recently authored the book Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in your Backyard or Farmers Market about her several year project with the chef de cuisine at Restaurant Daniel in NYC to turn edible “weeds” from nature in to delicious cuisine. Tama has lectured about food and nature across the country and has led educational programs for schools, conservation groups, foodies and homeowners. Her “weed” work has been profiled in the NYTimes, NPR, CBS Sunday morning, among others.

“In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)”

Urban Homesteading and Faery Gardening

For many of us, this last third of 2012 marks a change in direction, and for some, the coming together of long held and carefully nurtured dreams.

In keeping with the change in seasons, David and I have some big shifts in store. He has accepted American Airlines’ “Early Out” package, and we will soon relocate to Goshen, Indiana — the adorable, artsy, eco-friendly, service-oriented town where his parents live. They’re both in their eighties, and we all realized that we could significantly improve their quality of life (and ours) by “right-sizing” and moving within walking distance of them.

This past week, we picked up keys to our new little eco-haven. It’s actually a new/old eco-haven — an older property taken down to the studs and refurbished with energy efficiency in mind. We’ve been given carte blanche to turn the wild yard into a permaculture and gardening spot with beauty, sustainability and possibly even our own backyard labyrinth. Our front porch can double as a coldframe/winter cold crop greenhouse, and we’ve got expansive Southern windows with deep sills for my indoor herb garden. Those who know how much David and I love wild food foraging and caring for the Earth will realize what a dream come true this living arrangement is — particularly since it involved zero looking on our part. The land and home synchronously came to us as a near exact match to the wish-list on my iPhone.

Our lease in Madison ends on November 30, and we have a two month overlap of leases for our relocation. We do intend to continue offering Raph events in the Dousman area; however, after this month, those Dousman events will not happen again until 2013. Depending on David’s new work schedule, the Dousman events will probably occur bi-monthly or quarterly. The Madison events have had such inconsistent turnout that we will focus on Dousman as our WI locale for Raph events, although we do plan to visit friends and family in Madison from time to time. We’ve also both got many connections in the Chicago area, so Chicago events may begin happening in 2013. Stay tuned on that …

I’m just so excited about the possibilities! Even though we have much more room at this new spot, I intend to utilize all I’ve learned about gardening “up” and growing in small spaces. That way we can maximize yield. We’ll also be planting tons of medicinal wildflowers and some fruit trees and bushes, combining beauty with powerful productivity. I’ve spent a lot of time researching the magickal properties of plants and will incorporate some faery attracting and protective non-edibles around entrances and the perimeter. We already have loads and loads of wild violets and, as shown above, wild petunias that self-seeded in the formerly overgrown yard. Not much grass in sight: our ground cover includes purslane, dandelion greens, chicory and plantain. Salad right out the door! Even more than the free, no work greens, we’re excited about becoming stewards of this land — loving it and working with it to express Earth’s bounty.

As 2012 continues to accelerate, I know many of you also face relocation, career and/or significant relationship changes. Please know that you are not alone in this process! I have clients all over the world, and so many people find their lives imminently unrecognizable. Change seems like the tall order of the day. Whatever your own deepest longings, visualize, imagine and intend well: wonderful changes await those who invite and receive them.