Wednesday, January 28, 2015

An Awesome Get Together With a Like-Minded Family

You know how sometimes you have one of those days that are just so perfect, everything going so well, but they just are so full that they leave you exhausted afterwards? Today was one of those days.

I have a friend, Holly, who is just really awesome and we're so similar in so many ways. Her family is healthy eating, gluten free and dairy free and adventurous eaters, and they're homeschoolers- unschooling inspired just like we are. We're lucky to have each other! (Thanks to the internet for helping me connect with like minded individuals!)
Today I traveled with the kids to her hometown (1.75 hours away by bus) to give Holly and her kids a private wild edibles walk around and near her house.
So first we found, learned about, and foraged a bunch of plants: henbit, stinging nettles, wild mustard, mallow, milk thistle, calendula, dandelion, sow thistle, bull thistle, plantain, lambsquarters, olive leaves, large num nums, horehound, eryngo, mullein and more!

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It was fun to do a kid centered foraging walk, unlike the adult centered ones I usually do, because it involved making it even more fun and hands on than I usually do, as well as giving me the challenge of figuring out how to explain it in kid friendly language.

After the walk we went back to the house and I did what I love most- cook creative frugal meals for people that appreciate that kind of food. I sautéed up some of the wild mustard and mallow we foraged together with some cabbage, onion, garlic, and curry powder. I fried up some brown rice bean thread noodles until they were crispy, and also made some boiled brown rice bean thread noodles with sardines, olive oil, and lemon juice. We also ate some chopped fresh veggies on the side. Everyone really enjoyed it- it was all polished off- not a speck remained.

After that, my kids played with Holly's kids for hours- playing with Lego, feeding and playing with their chickens, playing hide and go seek and tag. They had such a great time that they didn't want to leave. We pushed off our departure time for hours because they were having such fun. As much as my kids have friends locally, it's always nice to get together with people who lead similar lifestyles; it helps them feel normal and not different.

While the kids were playing Holly and I looked through some hand me downs she got, first her seeing what would work for her family, then I saw what would work for ours.
I got such great stuff!

A skirt for Anneliese, tights and leggings, sweatshirts and outfits for Rose, a jacket for Ike, some gloves, some scarves and a necklace...

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A whole bunch of skirts for me- which was super awesome because one of them was three sizes down from where I was at when I started my weight loss journey, a size I haven't fit into in at least 10 years or more!

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Some art supplies (water colors and markers mainly), beading supplies, a peg board, magnetic letters, a book on unschooling, Added bonus- a bottle of Bragg's raw apple cider vinegar that she had a lot of!

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After an awesome but long and tiring day it was time to go home. No one wanted to go home, they were having such fun; we resolved to do this again. Maybe next time they'll come to us!

On the way home- another great way to end our day: next to the bus stop, I found a huge patch of giant chickweed, one of my favorite greens to forage since it is super versatile, so I foraged a bunch to take home.

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If only all days can be as great as this one!

Do you have any friends and families that you just click with so much? How far would you be willing to travel to spend time with people like that?
If you're a similar family to mine- natural, homeschooling, etc... do you know more people like yourself, either locally or not? If yes, how did you end up meeting each other? 


  1. It's been a while since you did a foraging post. Love it Penny! Sounds like you had another successful and fun un-schooling lesson.

    1. I have so many foraging posts I want to write... I just need to get around to doing that. Hopefully soon.

  2. I used to live in the same town as Holly. I would take lovely walks with my baby through the mountains and in the forest and trails. I always saw so many weedy looking plants and had a strong feeling that they were edible but never had the desire to to find out. The only plant the I recognized was Shepherds Purse but again I was too nervous to pick it as I didn't really know. Now that I read your post I am so annoyed with myself. Well, with our next visit I know what we will be doing; foraging! And thanks for letting us know where the Chickweed is. I will look out for it and bring some back home as long as Holly left some for me!

    1. Awesome! Be careful if you do that to watch out for scarlet pimpernel, which is growing right near the bus stop- the chickweed is growing a few feet away. The difference? Chickweed has a line of hairs going down the side. Scarlet pimpernel has no line.

  3. Can you do a post about Mullein? I just recently had it in my Mate tea and it was so mind-blowing. I wanted to plant it in my garden, but finding seeds is difficult. It's a great healing herb and tastes awesome too! Please show us how to forage that one :)

    1. To be honest, i dont forage mullein often, so i don't know it well enough to write a post about it, just to pick it. How do you make it into tea? It isn't too fuzzy and scratchy for your throat?


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