By Dr. Tom Cowan
Human beings are increasingly at risk for becoming what has been called “Homo Fragilis Domesticus.” This interesting and appropriate description refers to the fact that as time goes on, we are becoming increasingly domesticated and fragile, and these two things clearly go hand in hand.
Animals and plants that live in the wild have a tough life and one that is in harmony with the world around them. They are seamlessly integrated into their place in the cosmos, but this integration is not without its challenges and risks. Humans, for understandable reasons, have decided this path of integration and “wildness” is too dangerous. We live in climate-controlled houses, drive climate-controlled vehicles, rarely even go outside, almost never go to wild places untouched by human hands, and, finally, eat food that is bred to survive only in controlled environments (or, heaven forbid, made in a lab). This approach is not the way to robust health on any level. Health and strength and resilience are borne of challenges, they come with risks, and they come with a possibility of joy as a result of connection with nature that is not found in any other experience.
This connection with the wildness in the plant/food world was the essence of the reason for founding Dr. Cowan’s Garden. Our plan was to help people integrate wild and perennial plants into their daily diet. We personally attempt to integrate wild foods into our diet every day: wild mushrooms, wild fish, wild animals (game), foraged plants and many others. We understood that finding wild plants, a key source of phytonutrients that these plants must make to survive, is not easy for everyone. Our mission was to find foragers of chaga mushrooms, sea vegetables, wild ramps, cholla buds and other wild and perennial plants to make it possible.
At this time of the year when our gardens are flourishing and our plates our full of home-grown vegetables, it is easy to forget that we still need that dash of wildness, bitterness and earthiness. That is our goal, to help you make this possible and to foster a connection with the land and the nature around us.
On a practical note, we now have one of my favorite wild vegetables, Wild Ramp Powder, available in pouches. Stock up on our line of wild vegetables as a wonderful addition and complement to the abundance from your garden.
Are you foot-loose and fancy-free when it comes to cooking up a storm in the kitchen? Do you like to create your own masterpieces with tried and tested recipes? If so, you might relish this slightly healthier version of traditional Scotch eggs.
Scotch eggs were invented by Fortnum & Mason, an old-fashioned department store established in 1707 in the UK. This surprisingly simple yet delicious recipe has two main ingredients: eggs and pork sausage meat. It makes perfect picnic food, travels well, and can be eaten hot or cold.
Being in the garden is healing. Digging in the soil with bare hands and feet while soaking up the sunshine. Fresh water washing the toes via the hose. Where bees are buzzing, hummingbirds fluttering, buds a-blooming and beans are growing.