As I shook off the last winter rust and walked towards Spring Ridge Commons, I was nervous that there would be little to write about this month; I wondered if there would be anything to harvest on this frosty January day. I could not have been more wrong! The trees and shrubs were bare, and the sky was grey, but along the pathways, surrounding the trees, and throughout the beds, a blanket of green was bursting forth from the earth!

I was accompanied by Tanya Devine, a former Fernwoodian and owner of Sage Garden Design, and she helped me identify the wild greens and edible groundcovers sprouting up around me. Spring Ridge offers an abundance of earth medicine in the form of chickweed, clover, cat’s ear, dandelion, mint, cleavers, miner’s lettuce, milk thistle, and cress—please harvest responsibly and treat yourself to an incredible wild greens salad! I encourage anyone who is interested in wildcrafting to purchase the book Edible Wild Greens: From Dirt to Plate by John Kallas. This is a great introductory book that even includes recipes!

Plant of the Month:

Chickweed, Stellaria media

This sweet tasting wild green is in abundance in early spring and late fall and contains more iron and zinc than any of the domesticated greens. Chop it up with fresh garlic, lemon, spices, and olive oil, and you are blessed with a wild green pesto!

Spring Ridge Commons is always looking for volunteers who would like to give back! If this sounds like you, or if you have an idea for the Commons, please contact Sean Newman, at! You can also find us on Facebook, or at!

Bee in the Garden’ continues every Sunday at 1:30 to 3:30pm at Spring Ridge Commons (at the corner of Gladstone ­Avenue and Chambers Street). All are invited to attend, be in nature, join the conversation, enjoy tea, play an instrument, create art, volunteer in the garden, and gather food!