Links Testimonials Blog Recipes & Articles About School Store
Herb Articles & Tidbits
by Suzanne Jordan

Birch Bark Dye Solution
Recipe to use harvested birch bark as a lovely natural dye.

Chickweed - Stellaria media
Cooling chickweed can actually help reduce fat!

Cottonwood and Willow

Nature's pain relievers!

Dandelions - Eat Ur Weeds!

A dandy of an immune system and liver support wild plant!

Devil's Club

Native Americans use this plant for pain relief.

Yellow Dock
Iron-rich Rumex is soothing to the upper respiratory system - and a digestive aid.

Red and Blue Elder
Soothes skin; tea from the flowers can bring down a fever.

I See Plantain in Your Life
by Madame Fortuna. Plantain medicine and magic.

Kim Chee
Easy-squeezy recipe for kim chee - a nutritious fermented food for the immune and digestive systems.

Mineral-Rich Herbal Vinegar
Prepare your own culinary and medicinal herbal vinegars.

Moon Lore
A little moon tidbit.

Nettles for lung repair, allergy relief, tonic to the urinary system and helps beat acute and chronic UTIs with consistent usage.

Old-Time Herb Uses
Old time uses of plants.

Oregon Grape
also known as Wandering Mahonia, Holly Grape, and Yerba de Sangre. Blood cleanser, digestive system helper, liver stimulant, antiviral.

Paper Birch
Betula papyrifera
Habitat, botany and medicine of the birch tree.

Pickled Dandelion Flower Bud Recipe
Tasty mineral rich, liver supporting recipe for pickled dandelions!

The Magic Birch Tree
A love story...

Winter Herbs
Simple remedies to keep ourselves, our family, and friends healthy during cold and flu season.

Wise Harvesting
What to consider before you harvest any plant in the wild.

Unless noted, all workshops will be held at the Cedar Mountain Herb School in Mt. Vernon, Washington. Street address and directions will be given upon registration.

Recipes with Herbs & Wildcrafted Foods

Hawthorn Chutney
Nettle Energy Balls
Nettle Pesto
Wild Greens Quiche
Immune-Boosting Roots Herb Potage
Nettle Lasagna
Pickled Dandelion Flower Buds
Kim Chee
Mineral-Rich Herbal Vinegar
Birch Bark Dye Solution

Hawthorn Chutney
4.5 lbs Hawthorn berries
1 qt Apple Cider Vinegar
22 oz organic Brown Sugar
2 Tsp Ground Ginger
1 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 Tsp Ground Allspice berries
2 Tsp Sea Salt
Black Pepper
A few sprigs of fresh Thyme

Remove the leaves from the hawthorn sprigs (stems are okay). Put the berries in a 6 qt. pot, add the Cider Vinegar and salt to the pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook the berries until soft - about 45 minutes.

Pass the cooked hawthorn berries through a Foley mill to remove the seeds. The hawthorn paste will come out of the bottom. You should end up with 2 pints of pulp. Rinse out your pot, throw the hawthorn paste back in the pot. Well, maybe not throw.

Remove the stems from the leaves of the Thyme, add it to the pot along with the sugar and spices. Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat until the sugar is completely melted and is hot all the way through. I suggest constant stirring to keep the sugar from scorching.

Spoon the hawthorn berry chutney into the sterilized jars, wipe the tops of the jars, put on the lids and hot water bath can for 15 min. You should end up with about 6 half pints of the chutney. It is soooo good on toast, meats, etc. With every bite, you know that "Everything Is Going To Be Ok!"
Nettle Energy Balls
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup nut butter of choice
2 tsp powdered dried nettles
1 tsp bee pollen
1/2 tsp flaxseed or other good oil. I omit this if using the oil from the tahini.
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup raisins
Oatmeal - enough to bind everything together to make balls that stick together.
Unsweetened coconut flakes

Stir together all ingredients except oatmeal and coconut. Add the oatmeal, stir, and roll into balls. Then roll in the unsweetened coconut flakes. Each batch makes about 50 ping pong sized balls.

Add crushed cacao nibs, powdered unsweetened bakers chocolate, chopped dates and/or figs. Put a fresh blueberry or raspberry in the middle of each ball! Let your imagination take you! If using fresh fruit, refridgerate and eat within a couple days or freeze. These energy balls feed your adrenals, give you needed zip, help to clear congestion and inflammation. Can be frozen.
Nettle Pesto
4 cups fresh nettle tops - roughly chopped
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup nuts of your choice. (I used 1/2 almonds, 1/2 pecans in my last batch...yum!)
2-6 cloves garlic according to taste
1/4 cup romano or parmesan cheese (optional)

Put all ingredients in a food processor and process on high until creamy, making sure all the nettles are incorporated. That's it! What an incredible taste! Not only is it good on the traditional pasta, but the pesto makes a wonderful spread on toast or crackers. Also good as a dip with crackers and chips. Freezes well. You can use any edible wild or garden greens to make pesto. Think dandelion greens, chickweed, wild mustard, lambs quarters, onion and garlic tops, and of course, basil! (Click here to read more about nettles!)

Wild Greens Quiche

Sift together:

  • 1 cup flour of choice

Measure and combine:

  · 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon chilled lard or butter. I render pig fat I buy from a local organic farmer and use the lard for my pie crusts. The taste is incredible!

  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

Cut the lard/butter into the flour/salt mixture until crumbly.

Sprinkle the dough with:

  • 2 Tbsp. cold water

Blend the water lightly into the dough with a fork until it holds together in a ball. On a floured surface, roll flat and put it in a pie tin.


Saute until tender and place on bottom of crust:

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves

Sprinkle on as next layer:

  • 4-6 broken pieces of cooked bacon because everything's better with bacon! (ok, this is optional, but for you meat eaters out there, a must!)

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh wild greens of choice. I use dandelion greens and nettle tops, but use your imagination. There are so many wild edibles! Add on top of bacon (or onion/garlic if bacon is sadly omitted).

Add on top as next layer:

  • 1 cup shredded cheese of choice. I like to use cheddar, mozzarella and freshly grated parmesan.

Mix together in a bowl and pour over quiche:

  • 4 beaten eggs - I use the eggs from my chickens, so I know they're organic and fresh
  • 1 cup milk - always organic in my house.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt. You can omit this salt if you use bacon. I use Himalayan pink mineral salt for added nutrition.
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. flour

Arrange on top of quiche: 1 thinly sliced tomato.

Bake 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Delish!

Immune-Boosting Roots Herb Potage
1-2 fresh burdock roots, chopped
2-3 fresh dandelion roots, chopped
3 handfuls dry nettles, crushed
2 1/2 qts. nonchlorinated water
8-9 fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped

5-6 grams kelp, crushed
1 cup whole grain basmati or brown rice
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. miso
6-8 cloves garlic, chopped

Cook burdock and dandelion roots with water. Cook 15-20 minutes over medium heat or until tender. You can pour off this water to make the soup less bitter, adding 2 1/2 cups fresh water. However, you will be pouring out the nutrients as well, so you might want to retain this nutrient-rich water and enjoy the bitter taste. Add remaining ingredients with the exception of miso and garlic. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 hours, Add miso and garlic right before serving. This soup has an exceptional taste that improves with age and is strengthening to the immune system and all our systems and cells. For variety, try adding beans, cabbage, beets and other root vegetables. 8-10 servings.

Nettle Lasagna
1 medium onion, chopped
3-5 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 handfuls dry nettles, crushed
1/2 Tbsp. kelp, crushed
8-10 fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup pickled dandelion roots, chopped

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Fresh or dried rosemary, sage, oregano, and thyme to taste
4 cups crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce
6-8 cups fresh young nettle tops
9 lasagna noodles, boiled and drained
3/4 - 1 lb. goat or sheep feta cheese, crumbled
Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until golden. Add everything up to and including tomato sauce and simmer 1 hour. As sauce is simmering, chop nettles - wear kitchen gloves. Layer a pan with sauce, cooked lasagna noodles, sauce, nettles, feta, sauce, noodles, etc., ending with feta as the final topping. Bake at 350° F for 30 minutes or until bubbly all the way through. Serves 12.

Pickled Dandelion Flower Buds - mmm mmm!

Dandelion flower buds – tightly closed…not ones that have simply closed up for the night, but ones that have not yet opened.
Garlic – chopped
Onion – chopped
Ginger – chopped
(amounts depending on the size of jar)
Tamari or Soy Sauce
Apple Cider Vinegar

Put about a half inch of garlic, onions and ginger on the bottom of the jar. Fill with dandelion buds about a third of the way up. Add another half inch of garlic, onions and ginger. Add another third of dandelion buds. More garlic, onions, ginger, then fill jar with dandelion buds.

Pour 1 part tamari or soy sauce to 3 parts apple cider vinegar into the jar. Cover with a plastic lid or put a bit of waxed paper between dandelions and metal lid so the vinegar will not rust your lid shut!

Let it sit for 3 weeks on your counter. No need to ever refrigerate your pickled buds. Use as a condiment like any pickle, mix into tuna, egg, green or potato salad, and enjoy straight from the jar!

Kim Chee

5 pounds napa cabbage - chopped
5 Tablespoons salt (1 T. per pound)
5 cloves chopped garlic per pound of cabbage
Chopped ginger, green onions and cayenne to taste.
1/4 cup Whey

Mix together in a large bowl and pound with a wooden mallet or canning jar until the cabbage gets juicy. This should take about 10 minutes or so.

Pack in glass jars and cover with lids. Leave a little room for bubbling.

Let sit on counter for 3-4 days, then refrigerate and enjoy! The Kim Chee will keep for weeks in the fridge.

To learn more, sign up for my Cultured Veggies, Feta Cheese, Kefir Workshop and the Botanical Primer!

Mineral Rich Herbal Vinegar

Vinegar extracts the vitamins and minerals from plants as well as the essential oils and flavors. The acidic nature of vinegar releases the iron and calcium and makes them easy for our bodies to take them into our cells. Pregnant mamas, women during menses and menopause, growing teens, those dealing with health issues such as iron deficiencies, arthritis and bone loss are nourished by the liberal use of plant vinegars.

• Drizzle your vinegars on: Cold noodle salads, stir fry, fruit, spinach and/or field green salads, cooked greens.
• Marinate seafood, pork, chicken, beets and other vegetables. Makes an ideal marinade!
• Mix with ketchup, mustard, brown sugar or molasses, chopped onions and garlic for a delicious homemade BBQ sauce.
• Combine with olive oil for dipping crusty bread!
• Cool a fever or hot flash by dabbing the vinegar on your pulse points, forehead, back of the neck and knees.

To make your herbal vinegar:

Finely chop edible wild and garden plants of your choice. Pack the plant material tightly into a pint jar. Fill completely with apple cider vinegar. Add a piece of parchment paper between the jar and lid (if metal lid) to keep the lid from rusting, or use a plastic lid. Let the mix stand on your counter for 3 weeks to a month. Strain and enjoy!

Suggested combinations:
• Comfrey leaf, peppermint and red clover.
• Garlic, onion, oregano, thyme and parsley.
• Nettles, yellow dock leaf or root, dandelion leaf and root.
• Blueberries and raspberries
• Wild raspberry leaves and wild currant leaves
• Chives, dill, and basil
• Wild or garden violet leaves and flowers, oxeye daisy flowers and leaves, pineapple weed
• Chickweed, lambsquarters and nasturtium flowers
• Motherwort and Mugwort
• Lavender flowers

To learn more about vinegars and wild plants, join the Botanical Primer group! Also, read D.C. Jarvis's book Folk Medicine.

Birch Bark Dye Solution

Place 1/2 pound of crushed inner bark into 1 gallon of lukewarm water and let infuse overnight. In the morning, heat slowly to a simmer. Simmer 1 hour. Strain the bark from the dye solution. Let cool. Use only pruned or fallen branches; do not strip bark from the standing tree trunk. This invites insects and parasites which can debilitate and possibly kill the tree. Wool dyed without mordant in birch bark solution turns light brown in color. Of course, the more bark you use and the longer the wool is steeped, the richer the color will be.

Dying The Wool

1) Weigh dry wool. You'll use about 1-cup dye solution per 1/2 lb. dry wool.

2) Soak the wool overnight in room temperature water with a few drops of liquid soap.

3) Using the biggest pot you have for a large quantity of wool, a smaller pot for a lesser quantity. Fill with water and leave enough room for wool and dye solution.

4) Heat water to 120 degrees F. Add strained dye solution. Use more for a richer color, less for a paler shade. Continued experimentation with wool dying will help you to determine the desired ratio of dye to wool.

5) Mix solution thoroughly. Add wetted wrung out fiber. Cover and slowly bring temperature up to 190-200 degrees F. This should take 3/4 to 1 hour. You can stir occasionally, but not too often as too much stirring encourages felting. When solution is to temperature, let simmer 1/2 hour. Do not boil as this also encourages felting.

6) Turn off heat, let sit overnight to cool naturally. This is best to solidify the bonding of the color and fiber.

7) Fill a clean bucket of container with water that is the same temperature as the water in the dye pot and 1/3 to 1/2 cup white vinegar. Add wool and soak 10 minutes. Remove fiber gently and roll in a towel to squeeze out excess water, or, put in your washer on spin cycle only (no water). This method removes more water and the fiber dries quicker.

8) Spread out unspun fiber to dry or already spun yarn can be hung over a chair or curtain rod to dry.

Undyed wool may be found in yarn or craft stores carrying natural fibers. Consider contacting your local spinning quild or even sheep farmer for wool straight from the sheep. For more information about dying wool, Weaving Spinning Dying by Rachel Brown, published by Alfred A. Knopf (NY 1978), is an excellent resource.