Subscribe to Wild Craft's newsletter


 UDI Lead Designer

 EFAO member

permaculture [pur-muk-kuhl-cher]: noun.
A system of design that seeks to mimic
the structure of ecosystems to create
resilient and regenerative gardens,
homes, farms, and communities.


Chokecherry Jelly

Making Chokecherry JellyI’m lucky to have a chokecherry bush in my backyard as well as several within a few blocks of my house so that when they’re ready I can make it to the berries before the birds do. The raw berry is a little tough to swallow for some, but the jelly it makes is divine! I use this recipe from The Prairie Homestead. make-chokecherry-jelly-low-sugar-and-honey-variations.html

Wild Scape Pesto

There are a variety of wild onions and garlics (allium species) that grow in Southwestern Ontario. Ramps (wild leeks) are the most famous but also the most fragile in terms of population stability so harvest these very conservatively (taking no more than 5% of a population). Wild onions are much more resilient and I have a field of them not far from me so I harvest them at several times of the year. What I really love to do with them is make a poignant pesto. A part of the scape that you harvest is the curled over top of the allium with the flower bud on the end. You want to pick these before the flower starts to open in spring, when it is still a tight little ball. This actually helps the bulb to grow larger so you can come back and harvest again in the fall. Harvest them by snapping at the natural break point, the stem will be tougher below this. I find that cutting the grass-like tip off helps the pesto be a little smoother and less fibrous as well. I fill ¼ pint jars and put them in the freezer to last all winter. Try it on pasta, rice, pizza or scrambled into your eggs. Delicious!

1 cup scapes
½ cup of walnut
cashew, or sunflowers
½ cup olive oil
½ tsp salt

Puree the scapes and nuts in a food processor until a paste forms. You may need to add some oil to keep the machine flowing. Drizzle in the rest of the oil slowly. Blend in salt and jar for freezing or use within a couple of weeks.


Making Sumacade with Stag Horn SumacImporting lemons from down south is costly environmentally as well as economically, but a cold glass of lemonade is oh so refreshing on a hot summer’s day. Enter our native substitute! Staghorn Sumac is considered a bit of a weed in southern Ontario so I’m sure you can find some near where you live. Wait until the fuzzy clusters of berries on the tips of the branches turn a nice dark brick red. Squish some on your tongue and if it tastes lemony it’s ready.


  • Soak whole berry clusters in a bowl of cold water for a couple of hours or overnight.
  • Squeeze out the water, discard the berries, and filter the liquid through cheesecloth if you don’t want all the fuzzies in there.
  • Add honey or maple syrup to taste. Serve with ice.

Anise Hyssop Gazpatcho (from Foraged Flavor, by Tama Matsuoka Wong with Eddy Leroux)

Anise Hyssop Gazpatcho SoupServes 6. 16 plum tomatoes, 1 oz (25 large 3-5”) anise hyssop leaves, 6 slices white bread without crust, torn into rough pieces, 1/3 cup sherry vinegar, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp red pepper flakes. 1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water ready. Add half the tomatoes to the boiling water and cook for 15 seconds to loosed the skins. Anise HyssopTransfer to the ice water to cool. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes. Core and peel the tomatoes, the slice in half, removing any large clusters of seeds. 2. Transfer the tomatoes to a blender or food processor and add the remainder of the ingredients. Puree for a minute or more until smooth. Pour into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Serve cold garnished with feta or ricotta if desired.