It was time for me to harvest the lavender blossoms today. I planted a few French lavender babies three years ago and now they make a small hedge in my little herb garden by the house.

The bee’s are loving their visits to my house. I have intentionally planted nectar producing plants for the wee ladies- lavender, calendula, sweet peas, vegetables, berries, nasturtium, are all blooming in my garden right now.


We gathered up another days worth of calendula. This time I had help… my son really wanted to help out with “picking heeeerbs”, as he puts it. One of the greatest gifts I offer my child is plant knowledge, he can identify so much at 4 years old and has even shown an older child how to make a plantain spit poultice. Way to make me proud!


The bees were hard at work, drinking from our lavender blooms. Have you ever tried taking a picture of a bee at work? It’s not so easy, they really are busy bee’s…

I was sure there was a bee there...

I was sure there was a bee there…

Then things got more intimate, the bee’s accepted my relaxed presence and rather than flying away, they worked along side me as I crouched in the lavender patch among them…

Face first!

Face first!

The lavender patch is THE place to bee…


Lavender nectar is sooo good!

Nom nom nom!

Nom nom nom!

Check out this last pic, do you see her wee tongue slurping up the good stuff? So precious! We love bee’s around here, can you tell?

Lavender blooms are for slurping.

The problem with beeing a bee lover AND a lavender lover is when you go to harvest the lavender, the bee’s doth protest. I had a few ladies stare me down and tell me off for cutting the lavender blossoms. I felt quite bad about it so I left enough blooms for them to enjoy their fellow foraging. I figure, we are all in this together, the lavender, the bee’s and I.

Lavender love to you,


I first discovered Okanagan Okanogan when it’s author Harold Rhenisch linked to Girl Gone Wild & Weedy for my nettle soup recipe. I have been reading his words ever since. It’s not often that someone captures my attention this way, but Harold has such a fresh, lateral way of thinking that I find myself wanting to know more about his work. Harold seems deeply rooted to the Okanagan/Okanogan valley that runs down into Washington, and writes of his observations of the unique ecology and water systems of this valley that transcend colonial methods of land and water use, and how these observations could empower the social and economic fabric of this land. Underground clouds, sky rivers and rock face collection systems. Alternative crops that can reform land use. Wow. Just wow.


Darke Lake, BC.

Darke Lake, BC.

DSCN2107It was a rainy morning yesterday so I decided to stay inside and make a batch of lacto fermented vegie kraut. I’ve been wanting to make pickled purslane for a while now so I ventured down to the backyard and picked a few handfuls of this juicy, crunchy, fleshy, wild vegetable from the undergrowth of my vegetable garden. Inspired by my sister’s kimchi lesson, I decided to deviate from a traditional cabbage kraut and create something with a variety of textures and complimentary flavours.

First we chopped up cabbage, green onion, garlic scapes and salad turnips.


Not all turnips made it.


Then we set up an apparatus to separate some whey from our fresh batch of milk kefir in order to inoculate the kraut.


Once the whey was dripping into our jar we wandered outside to the garden to pick purslane and have a play break in the rain.

Purslane in the undergrowth of the vegetable garden ecosystem.

Purslane in the undergrowth of the vegetable garden ecosystem.

A broccoli attack occurred…

DSCN2101DSCN2102But we still managed to pick enough purslane for the kraut.

DSCN2105We washed the soil off of our harvest and prepared to layer our kraut ingredients into our fermenting crock.

I picked up this crock at the local flea market for about $40. Way cheaper than buying a new fancy crock online.

I picked up this crock at the local flea market for about $40. Way cheaper than buying a new fancy crock online.

We layered the vegetables, sprinkling pickling salt between the layers.

DSCN2108It filled the crock at first…

DSCN2109But then we poured the whey on and began the pounding to create a brine.


We pounded this kraut gently so as not to destroy the purslane.

And after the pounding there was not so much in the crock.

DSCN2112Then I placed a small plate on top of the kraut to ensure the vegetables stay under the brine and placed the lid on top to keep out unwanted intrusions.

DSCN2117And my lovely assistant got a starfish strawberry kefir popsicle.

DSCN2113The kraut is happily fermenting in its crock on the kitchen bench and will remain there for about 5 days until it is suitably pickled. Then I will transfer it into a jar and store it in the fridge.

Purslane is popping up now in the Okanagan in gardens and farmers fields. It is very tasty, quite mild in flavour with a pleasing texture and is a great intro to wild vegetables. Purslane boasts nourishing amounts of essential fatty acid omega 3, vitamin E, beta carotene, vitamin C, and riboflavin as well as vital magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.

We look forward to enjoying our nutrient rich purslane in many meals from now until the end of it’s growing season and hope to make some jars of garlic dill pickled purslane to enjoy in the cooler months as well.

I hope you try your hand at traditional lacto fermentation, it really is easy, yummy, and so good for you.

And don’t forget to eat your weeds.


How cool is this?! A simple yet highly effective manual washing machine for under $10. I love off the grid options. One day my family may very well live “off the grid” so always good to learn a few tricks along the way.

DIY: Hillbilly Washing Machine.




It’s Stinging Nettle season in the Okanagan.

I get pretty excited leading up to this part of the year and start to dream up stinging nettle recipes weeks before the nettles are ready to pick. I also have an irrational tendency to panic over not having enough nettles to last me a year even if I have jars and jars of dried nettle leaf and plenty steamed, chopped nettles in the freezer. And why wouldn’t I?

Nettles make you feel good…

Nettles, as a food, deeply nourishes and restores arguably better than any other. It’s absolutely delicious as a green vegetable, mineral dense and slightly salty, so rich in broths and green smoothies.  It dries easily and blends well with many other herbs for nourishing infusions, and a pinch added to tisane blends adds depth of flavour and colour.

I like to blend nettle tea with red clover and peppermint for an enjoyable, full flavoured tisane that not only tastes great it supports the adrenals, balances hormones, boosts fertility, settles the stomach, and helps prevent cancer; all while being rich in vitamins, minerals and life giving vibrancy.

I’m not going to go in depth as to why nettles are awesome, today. Instead I am going to share a recipe. I’ll probably make a nice monograph for nettles another time.

I’m in the mood to make, taste and experience good food made from nettles, so when I got home with the first of my harvest I made a batch of this delicious and nourishing soup. It is a creamy soup but not your traditional stodgy, thickened with flour, cream of chicken soup. It is light yet rich, made with fresh spring cream and scratch made chicken broth . A simple seasonal dish that is easy to make and very delicious, if not a little French rustic.

Creamy Nettle & Chicken Soup

nettle soup


8 cups of freshly picked nettles

1 whole chicken, rinsed well (Pasture raised, organic, is best but work with what you’ve got.)

2T olive oil

1T butter

2 onions, fine diced

5 cloves of garlic, chopped

4 carrots, sliced

1T apple cider vinegar

Bay leaf

1 cup fresh cream (Again, the best is from pastured, organic cows, and watch out for funky additives.)

Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

Chopped spring chives and chive blossoms to garnish

In a stock pot that will accommodate a whole bird, sauté the onions and carrots in the olive oil and butter until they soften and become deeper in flavour, releasing their aromatics. This will be your flavour base for the soup. Don’t over colour your onions and carrots, this soup is on the delicate side of flavour profiles. You want to enjoy the subtle flavours of nettles, broth, cream and chives and a more fresh and purifying sense in the mouth, unlike the colder months rich, slow cooked, winter soups.

Throw in the chopped garlic and bay leaf and sauté until there is a release of aroma. Add the vinegar and stir to deglaze the pan. Drop your bird into the pot then cover with fresh, cold, filtered water. Add a good tablespoon of salt and some cracked pepper to the pot and turn up the heat. Bring the broth to a boil then immediately turn the heat down to a gentle simmer.

After about 10 minutes a little bit of scum will surface. Grab your ladle and skim it off. Now you can use the pot’s lid to partially cover the stock pot so that the steaming broth can baste the top of the bird, as it will tend to float a bit as it cooks.

Leave your broth to simmer for an hour. While the broth simmers you can very lightly steam the nettles in a pot, just until they turn a gorgeous, bright green. Strain them, reserving the green liquid to add to the broth. Once they cool enough to handle roughly chop them up and set aside for serving.

After the broth has simmered for about an hour, test the doneness of the chicken. The meat should slip easily off the bone. Remove the cooked bird, strain the juices that run off but pour them back into the pot. Keep the broth simmering uncovered to reduce and concentrate the flavour while you deal to the chicken meat.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle pull the meat off the bones and chop half of it for the nettle soup. Save the rest of the meat for another dish tomorrow, it will have a lovely flavour and should be anything but dry.

Once the broth has reduced enough to your liking, take your ladle once again and skim off any undesired fat. There will be a layer floating on top. You may wish to keep it all, it is good fats after all. Or, like me, you may prefer a less oily soup and leave only enough to make yummy looking pools of goodness around the edges of the bowl. Now add the chicken meat back to the pot, add the cream and check the seasoning….

Is it good? No? Try more salt. Scratch made broth needs a good amount of salt in it. Not too much though, the nettles are a bit salty as they are mineral dense, but you won’t notice so much as not need extra salt once served.

Let everything warm back up together.

When ready to serve, portion the nettles into each bowl then ladle the hot soup on top of the greens.

Garnish with chopped spring chives and chive blossoms. Season if desired.

Serve with a salad of wild spring greens and slices of baguette spread with fresh butter.

Enjoy your yummy, creamy, nettle goodness.


I have some more nettle greens recipes to share and I might do some tutorials on preparing nettles for the freezer, in vinegars for nutrient dense vinaigrettes,  and drying them for teas and infusions.

Or I might not. I have a strange perspective on blogging right now, currently feeling it’s a bit vain and self promoting, because, well it kind of is, hah! But on the other hand there are some great benefits, like getting to nerd out and write a monograph that has to be good because it will be scrutinised.

And I like that I have decided to share recipes. I have a skill and a passion for food, and now that I am not working in the culinary arts I no longer have to treat food (crap quality, so-called food that is) as a profit margin.

I love that I am falling in love with my culture of food and dining all over again. It’s like re-immersing myself into my true beliefs towards preparing and sharing nourishment that also tastes amazing. It’s about home grown and hand gathered, about slowing down, taking time, sharing with the ones I love and hanging out in bliss over a dish with a good glass of wine. Remembering my own food culture actually helps me deal with my homesickness. Now that’s got to be healthy.

It’s just too good not to share. We shall see what happens next…

Until next time, eat your weeds!



Look at that crazy wild Pine. How dare it be so sexy, showing it’s sexy bits like that…

Well hello there,

So I have been working on a couple other blogging projects lately, one for my dance troupe and one for the herbal community of BC and Canada, but lately I have been feeling a need to write on my personal blog and not necessarily only about plants. I have so much on my mind that I find I have a need for an outlet, to share my thoughts, as they do in essence relate to and connect to herbalism as a part of the whole.

So be prepared to find some different thoughts when you come here, other than my usual plant talk and medicine making recipes.

Also, I have been thinking about a name change for this blog. This in part comes from having a facebook page for this site and the weirdo’s it attracted due to the Girl Gone Wild & Weedy name. Yeah, people thinking they were going to find a topless stoner chick. I guess I should have not been so naïve, I did not know about girls gone wild culture until recently. Though in some ways I’m thinking it is about time we reclaimed the term “wild”. Wild does not mean drunk and promiscuous, when on earth did the word “wild” become connected to a thinly veiled part of our youth’s dysfunctional sexual connection or dare I say it, “rape culture”? Here is a dictionary definition….

(of an animal or plant) Living or growing in the natural environment; not domesticated or cultivated.
In an uncontrolled manner:  “the bad guys shot wild”.
A natural state or uncultivated or uninhabited region:  “kiwis are virtually extinct in the wild”.
adjective. savage – mad – feral
noun. wilderness – waste
Indiscriminately touching fronds. I'm so badass...

Indiscriminately touching fronds. I’m so badass…

Touching frogs, too! Oh the humanity. I totally see how this blog was mistaken for something it is not.

Touching frogs, too! Oh the humanity. I totally see how this blog was mistaken for something it is not.


Now, I have used the word as an adjective but to me wild means more. It means un-domesticated, natural, free, unadulterated, self sufficient, tenacious and strong. It means deeply connected to the Earth and thriving with all you need from the ecology around you. It means living without constraint of social or religious restrictions, and following your heartfelt path. It means deep dark and mysterious, and often it means the unknown. For me, wild represents something very complex, feminine and balanced.

I'm so promiscuous, blatantly loving my herbal medicines like this and taking pictures of it...

I’m so promiscuous, blatantly loving my herbal medicines like this and taking pictures of it…


In the case of this blog, I use the word “wild” specifically in description of plants. This blog is about wild and weedy plants. Wild plants as opposed to cultivated plants. Kind of boring, really.

So I have entertained the idea of a name change as Girl Gone Wild & Weedy now carries some negativity in my heart and actually created a reluctance to write here.

I am thinking of simply dropping the “Girl Gone” part and keeping the “Wild & Weedy” part. Not as catchy, but at least familiar for the long time readers. I’ll have to think about it some more.

Anyway, name change or not, Spring is here and a new season for getting down with my plant peeps.

I’ll write again when I can, next time about more interesting things than blog names.

Until then, take care,


Hola beautiful people! How’s it going?

Guess what I have been up to? Germinating the seed of an idea with action, that’s what.

I will be winding down Girl Gone Wild & Weedy as I move on to another project. A community project. An awesome project. The Wild and Weedy blog will remain up as many still come for the recipes and such and perhaps I will still write the occasional article for it.

The project is called: The Gathering Basket.

It is an online community for BC herbalists. But not just for BC folks, it will have resources for all herb minded people from the Yukon to New Zealand. The service will offer cool articles, photos and video by various BC based herbalists and herbal students and also encourage all and any herbalist to contribute from the greater community. It has a herbal school directory, a herbal supply directory, a forum, an event page and a local sustainable business directory. It is a place that those who are seeking a local teacher or a bag of local nettles can come to find a connection that will take them where they need to go.

And I hope you come join us, too. I would love to offer you a place to promote your herbal work, school, business and events. I want this community service to be shaped by the people it serves.

Come on over, just take a short walk through the wild woods below and you will arrive at The Gathering Basket. (click on the forest)😉