A Day in the Woods.











When Lupine saw locally wildcrafted ramps at the co-op she squealed. "Mama! Ramps! We have to go the the woods and forage today!"

How could I resist?

So we packed a picnic and headed to our favorite foraging spot. The ramps were just beginning to come up so we harvested only enough for dinner and a couple of salad-additions. And then we played in the woods and by the creek for the rest of the day.

And days like these are among my favorites. Owl calls, wild flowers, red-winged blackbirds, laughing-playing kids (and mama), and a puppy learning to swim. Simple perfection.

(For the botanically curious, plants from top are: hepatica, wood anemone, hepatica, bloodroot, and ramps. And here are some recipes for ramps you find in your own woods.)

17 thoughts on “A Day in the Woods.

  1. Kate says:

    Love. I am excited to find new places to forage this year, but missing my old stand by places and knowing where to enjoy spring wildflowers.

  2. chelsea says:

    Bloodroot! We have this in a patch just outside our front door, and I had no idea what it was, but I thought the flowers were pretty and so decided it wasn’t a weed. =) If you have any favorite wildflower/plant identification books, would you mind sharing the titles?

  3. Lori says:

    Oh it sounds like so much fun. This summer one of my goals is to get my kids out in nature more – they both love it so much. Living in Madison though its hard to find nature I think.

  4. Lori says:

    And here’s something you might have some ideas for. Lexi wants a nature party this year for her birthday. It will be late April. Any ideas for activities or anything else for her and 15-20 of her little friends???

  5. Rachel Wolf says:

    Okay… I’m shooting from the hip: 1. plan as little as possible. Just let them play out in the woods. 2. a few simple activities: nature prints (bring paint and paper or t-shirts and make stamps out of seed pods, leaves, etc. Practice first at home to figure it out a bit.) 3. Make crowns! Fresh twigs (willow or grape are great), flowers, etc. Weave them together and everyone gets a birthday crown! 4. Favors: seeds, acorns, shells, pressed flowers… 5. Make seed balls/cookies/bombs. Google it. You’ll find instructions. Simple, messy, and fun. 6. Fairy houses! So sweet. Happy birthday sweet, wise Lexi. ~ Rachel

  6. sonja says:

    I wasn’t sure what ramps were so did a search. We call them wild leeks round these parts (Ontario). I’ve had the pleasure of searching for them finding them, and eating them. Unfortunately overharvesting and habitat destruction have put them on the “don’t you dare” list. Maybe I’ll find some, somewhere, and have a hand at cultivation.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Rachel Wolf says:

    Really. Thats a shame. They are prolific here, to the point where the coops are able to sell them. (Prolific in the woods-are-carpeted-with-them kind of way.) As an FYI, you can harvest a single leaf from a plant and the bulb and second leaf will survive. Thats what we did last week. Hope you find a way to cultivate your own. They are wonderful!

  8. elizabeth jeanne says:

    Rachel – I wonder what you guys do to protect against ticks!? it’s a growing concern in our area and then of course the first day this spring we were in the woods without jackets, and I found one on me. thoughts?

  9. Rachel Wolf says:

    Oh, ticks. Lupine had Lyme disease last year, so we understand all too well the risks. Especially here. Our best defense is a good old-fashioned tick check after each visit to the woods. We strip down everyone, look em over for ticks, and put on clean clothes. Hair is the tricky spot. (Thats where Lulus tick attached.) We add rose geranium essential oil to our LuSa Organics Bug Spray, but that means you have to apply it every time you go out.

    Hope that helps.

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