Wild Food Forager, Paul Tappenden, reminds us the Earth gives us gifts every day…
To those of us who love nature and her myriad, wonderful gifts, every day is Earth Day. We celebrate the seasons and all that they bring, and feel a responsibility to help protect that which is our very source of life.
Since becoming a forager and herbalist, I have made friends with many species and have studied their nutritional value and medicinal powers. The natural world is filled with powerful superheroes. These heroes don’t leap high buildings in a single bound, but have protected far more lives than Superman. They don’t parade around in tights and capes, but exert their super powers in very subtle ways.
As one who uses plants as food and medicine, I have become aware of their remarkable abilities, and have, of course, incorporated them into my life. I also feel that it is my duty to share this knowledge with others, especially the younger members of our society.
The main objective of Earth Day is to help spread respect and appreciation for this amazing planet that supports us and presents us with such beauty. One does not need to overlook a canyon or stand atop a mountain to observe nature’s beauty. It is possible to find great beauty on a single square foot of land, wherever nature has blessed the soil.
April is the month of rebirth (in the Northern hemisphere), when we can observe nature springing to life, and the world that surrounds us transforming, bringing with it sustenance and healing and promise of abundance.
Of course, I’ve already been out there grazing on fresh young greens and shoots, throwing wild ingredients into my dishes and just plain enjoying reuniting with familiar plant friends, watching their daily growth and marveling at the forces which bring us these gifts. So, I am celebrating Earth Day today and every day, and hope that this annual celebration helps us appreciate all that we have been given.