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Herbalist by nature

When my son was born, we lived on a piece of land that had a large field of wild flowers and edibles. We spent a lot of our time outside playing in the dirt, growing food as well as medicinal herbs. One afternoon, when he was about 1 years old, we stumbled upon a chickweed patch. It was the first time I had noticed it, as it was pretty small and surrounded by many many weeds. My excitement was palpable. I showed him that this tiny little delicate herb was edible. He plopped down and started munching happily. It was in this very moment that his journey into herbalism took root.

On our next walk in that area of the land, a few weeks later, he suddenly plops down and starts eating something from the ground. I turned to look more closely, and he had found that same tiny patch of chickweed from the other week, and was plucking its tiny leaves and eating them. Avoiding every other plant and weed surrounding it. I was dumbfounded. Not only did he find his way back to the patch himself, he recognized it so well that he was only eating that particular plant and no other. This is when I realized just how profound his connection to the plant world is. And how often adults think children are not paying attention to their surroundings. Oh but they are!

Young children are so incredibly intelligent. They are sensitive beings and learn so deeply. Their connection to the outside world of plants and animals constantly amazes me. My son is now 4 years old and he can spot edibles in the forest, much sooner than I ever notice them. I love love love that he is as excited and curious about wild foraging as I am. Going into the forest and harvesting stinging nettles is our most favourite thing to do together. His excitement shines right through him and it brings me the most joy I have ever experienced.

Currently, as a 4 year old, my son is continuously surrounded by the plant world. There are wild edibles growing all around him and we also grow food and have a very large medicinal garden. We share land with 4 other families and we all steward the land together with our young children. They are learning how to care for the natural world which we believe has a very impactful ripple effect. They are learning to respect and tend the plants integrating deeply that their relationship is symbiotic. There is no better way I can think of to spend our lives together.

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