Photos from Wild Art of this Place; Recipes for Doug Fir Probiotic Soda, Locust Blossom Vermouth

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare...

May 22-31: Wild Art of this Place, Recipes for Doug Fir Probiotic Soda & Locust Blossom Vermouth

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

22 Ca Poppy for Relaxation: While weeding, I collected the upper part of spent flowers after blooming, leaves and stems. I made a relaxation tea by steeping the plant for 20 minutes, straining and then adding honey.

23 Douglas Fir Soda: There is still time to collect Douglas Fir, especially at higher elevations. Store it in the freezer for a high Vitamin C drink to enjoy throughout the year. Here is a link to a short video clip on harvesting Douglas Fir.

Fir Tip Probiotic Soda: This “soda” is a very good digestive aide that is also very high in vitamin C. Use a starter from a pre-prepared ginger “bug.”

Gather and chop 1 cup of the tender green Douglas Fir tips.

Make a Ginger “Bug”


  • 3 cups water
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons diced ginger


  • In a quart size jar combine all ingredients.
  • Place a tight lid on the jar, give it a shake and allow it to sit in a warm or room temperature spot (72-80F).
  • Every day for the next week add 2 more teaspoons each of sugar and diced ginger. The liquid will begin to get bubbly towards the end of the week. If you’re using the classic mason jar lid, you will be able to feel the top of the lid for pressure or even a distended lid. Burp your “bug” if you feel the distention in the lid. Once bubbly, it’s ready to use.
  • Strain off liquid into a new quart jar and add chopped fir tips.
  • Let sit for 2-5 days, two days if the weather is warm.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve. Burp to let off some of the gas and pour through strainer into glasses. Serve with a small sprig of fresh fir tips. [Recipe submitted by Anna Werderitsch, L.Ac.,

Locust Blossoms (Robinia pseudoacacia)

24 Black Locust Blossom Vermouth: Last chance for blossoms. I fell in love with this non-native this season, because the flowers remind me of vanilla and are so delicious.


1 1/2-2 c locust blossoms; 1 bottle dry white vermouth or mild white wine; 3 empty kombucha bottles or any 12 oz jar.


1. Put about 1/2 c blossoms in each jar and cover with vermouth until jar is filled.

2. Let sit for at least one week and then pour liquid into a bowl, squeezing blossoms to remove all liquid. Discard blossoms.

4. Return liquid back to jars and refrigerate.

5. Serve in 1-2 oz glasses, garnish with a couple of blossoms.

Note: Gather your blossoms in early May. Gather them as they have just opened, and they will have a sweet, aromatic nectar flavor.  They should still have a little yellow coloration in the blossom. If the yellow has faded, the blooms are too old, and will be bitter. [Recipe submitted by Anna Werderitsch, L.Ac.,]

Elderberry Flowers (Sambucus nigra subspecies caerulea)

25 Elderflower “champagne” 

10 flower heads

2 cups sugar, dissolved in 3/4 cup boiling water

1 ½ tablespoons white wine viniagar

2 lemons, juice and rind

12 cups water

Mix all the ingredients and allow to steep overnight. Strain and bottle into sterilized bottles. Open after 1 week to release air and then reattach lid.

Enjoy after 2 weeks.

Purple Milkweed (Asclepias cordifolia)

26: Milkweed: These beautiful flowers are blooming now and the butterflies are loving it. Scientists have discovered evidence that 10,000 years ago, fibers from milkweed stems were used to make clothing. Cordage made from wild plants such as Milkweed is an essential aspect of cultural and functional art.


27: Hands-On Oak Nut Marzipan: This video demonstrates how to make delicious Oak Nut Marzipan from any variety of acorn.

Yerba Santa (ERiodictyon californicum)

28 Yerba Santa: These often unnoticed plants line roadways and dry, hot, neglected areas. This time of year they are covered in purple blossoms that the butterflies enjoy. The

Alicia Funk, Mowen Solinsky Gallery

29 Wild: Art Celebrating the Nature of this Place. Up until June 11th, The Living Wild Project honors local artists working with native, wild materials. Twelve artists spoke about their creative process, at the reception for the event, held at the Mowen Solinsky Gallery on May 29th. Grayson Coney, Tsi-Akim Maidu closed the evening with a Maidu song on the Elderberry clapper. Visit the gallery before the show closes to enjoy a rare glimpse of native art truly of the local landscape we inhabit.

30 Manzanita Cider with Elderflower “champagne”

31 Ca Poppy: To make a tincture for stress-relief, use a quart mason jar to soak the upper parts of 5-6 plants (leaving the roots in the ground) in 70 proof alcohol. Allow to sit for 2 weeks, shaking daily to help extract the medicinal compounds. It is approved in Canada for use as a mild sedative and the Pomo Indians used it as a sedative for babies.