›› Josh Wagler

This is an exciting time of year at Spring Ridge Commons… Spring has arrived! As the days lengthen and we begin to harvest nature’s abundance, it is worthwhile to take note of Honourable Harvesting.

Guidelines:

  1. Do you need it? Harvest with a ­purpose or plan in mind, not just for the fun of it.
  2. Harvest only as much as you will use and process it as soon as possible. Don’t waste it.
  3. One in 20 rule: It’s ok to harvest a plant if there are 20 others available to maintain the population.
  4. Leave Grandmother: Allow the biggest and best plants to remain so they can continue to propagate the healthiest population.
  5. Leave damaged plants or plants with “residents.” Select quality material for your food and medicine. If a ­critter makes its home there choose another. Harvest a third or less of an ­individual plant so it can ­continue to thrive.
  6. Harvest with a clean cut so the plant will heal well and continue to thrive.
  7. Avoid polluted areas.
  8. Offer appreciation and bring positive energy to your harvest.
  9. Never put anything in your mouth unless you are 100 percent sure it is safe to ingest.

Miner’s lettuce, chickweed, clover, cat’s ear, cleavers, cress, ­dandelion, mint, milk thistle, and red deadnettle are plentiful in this earlier part of spring.

Plant of the Month: Stinging Nettle, Urtica doica

Here on the west coast we have been blessed with one of nature’s most cleansing greens. Be careful harvesting these ­nutritious, mineral-rich treats; it’s best to harvest with gloves. The underside of the leaves offer a painful sting. The leaves have been used as a spring tonic in tea for ­thousands of years, and they also make a nourishing soup or pesto.

‘Bee in the Garden’ is every ­Sunday from1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Spring Ridge Commons. All are invited to be in nature, join the conversation, enjoy tea, play an instrument, create art, volunteer in the ­garden and gather food! For more info about Spring Ridge and how to help, send an email to springridgecommons@gmail.com.