Vida Norris

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since Jan 21, 2014
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Ontario Canada, Zone 5b
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Recent posts by Vida Norris

cool trailer! This looks like it would be great for the small or urban homestead, especially in combination with the paddock system. Well done and all the best with it!
9 years ago
This is beyond awesome. Love it.

A few questions - Does the yarn smell like onions after? Also... what is alum? Mordant?

Really well done Judith and co. I'm very inspired to give this a try.
9 years ago
Wild Edible and Medicinal Plant Workshop
Sustaining in Harmony with our Local Land
Katrina Blair and Adam Klaus

June 5-7, 2015
Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch

Foraging is searching for wild food resources. Foraging for wild food is a great way to experience the natural world and connect with something ancient and primal within ourselves. And in many ways, it can be a healthier alternative to the assembly line foods we find at the grocery store. Not only is wild food much richer in essential vitamins and minerals, but foraging also provides much needed exercise. It's a combination of hiking and gardening and connects us with the natural world around us.

The weekend long workshop will intertwine the vast and extensive knowledge of Katrina Blair’s life work which has been dedicated to seeking and spreading information about the 13 most commonly found “weeds” that exist on the planet. This in depth, interactive workshop will teach how to identify both wild edible and medicinal plants and how to prepare them for consumption and medicine. This holistic approach is about healing ourselves both in body and spirit in an age where technology, commodity agriculture and processed foods dictate the terms of our intelligence. Gaining a greater sense of connection and interconnection, a more balanced life, and in tune with nature and sensitive to our environment and its resources.

The workshop will incorporate the following topics through interactive demonstrations and talks…

Core Concepts:
Wild Green Juice – A Life Tradition
Sustaining throughout the year
Preventative Medicine
Re-Wilding Ourselves in mind, body and spirit
Harvesting in Gratitude and Awareness
The Wild Wisdom of Weeds

Integration Themes throughout the Workshop:
Wild edible foods as part of the daily grocery list
Saving $100/month and gaining 1000 fold in optimal health
Connecting with our Sense of Place
Medicinal Applications of Wild Plants
Storing, Drying, Preserving and Culturing Wild Foods
Trusting Intuition and developing this skill

Additional Focus Topics:
- Building Solar Dehydrators
- Sprouting and Growing Microgreens

A little about Katrina Blair

Katrina Blair began studying wild plants in her teens when she camped out alone for a summer with the intention of eating primarily wild foods. She later wrote “The Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants of the San Juan Mountains” for her senior project at Colorado College. In 1997 she completed a MA at John F Kennedy University in Orinda, CA in Holistic Health Education. She founded Turtle Lake Refuge in 1998, a non-profit, whose mission is to celebrate the connection between personal health and wild lands. She teaches sustainable living practices and wild edible and medicinal plant classes regionally and internationally. In 2009, She published a book titled “Local Wild Life- Turtle Lake Refuge’s Recipes for Living Deep”, a book that focuses on the uses and recipes of the local wild abundance and has an upcoming book coming out this fall called "The Wild Wisdom of Weeds: 13 Plants for Human Survival" published by Chelsea Green Publishing.

A Little about Adam Klaus

Adam Klaus founded a Biodynmaic Farm, Bella Farms, in Western Colorado back in 2005. He is the author of "Dairy Farming: The Beautiful Way" -a 200 page how-to book on establishing and operating a grass-fed raw milk dairy. He is also the owner of Athena's Hand Harvested Herbs, a medicinal herb company dedicated to enhancing body care through traditional botanical medicine.

Cost $225

-Workshop with “take home” knowledge of foraging and food preparation with recipes
-Take home tinctures/salves
-5 amazing meals

Costs do not include lodging which will be offered to participants at a 20% discount. Camping is also available.

To register please contact Bethany at 435-335-7480 or at

For more information on the schedule and more details on the workshop please go to

9 years ago
Hey Meryt,

So sorry to hear you're having so much pain and suffering. There are many things I could suggest that have worked for me, but I kind of feel every body is different and what helps one person can hurt another and vice versa. If you can afford it, or if it's covered by insurance, and you're interested in it, I would recommend finding a really good natural doctor to help guide you through everything. Those are hard to come by since many have different techniques and not all will work for you but if you can find someone who knows the body and all of the symptoms very well then you can really heal a lot. Even seeing a chiropractor can do quite a lot of healing.

As for plants/food Ive personally gained a lot of healing from drinking dandelion root tea (with honey and a tiny bit of organic 3% milk to make it taste yummy), kombucha, (homemade, not the stuff in the stores), eating lots of fresh fruit and veggies, healthy grains (I don't eat gluten really, and if I do it's one piece of whole grain toast per week, which is very high quality) soft boiled eggs, greek yogurt (probiotics!) and if I have meat I don't have very much and I never combine it with grains. I go very easy on legumes as well. No processed foods etc.

I really hope you find healing soon.

9 years ago
I like the plain text as well for sure - and I generally read the entire email since they are usually short and sweet. I am a sucker for nice pictures though, so I could see that as being a way to easily liven things up (if so desired) without having to get all fancy like.
Hey Rhonda,

Are you thinking of more ornamental plants or were you considering something edible?

9 years ago
I share a similar view to what's been posted already. The first year at my place I put in a garden along the edge of where my leaching field is, not really knowing much about it. I didn't end up putting anything there except compost, which volunteered pumpkins, squash and some tomatoes. I used the pumpkins for halloween, and left the tomatoes and squash. I ate wild raspberries from the same area and didn't get sick but it's one of those things I go back and forth on and can't seem to decide. I have decided to just use the space for flowers - and right over top of the leaching field is just grass - and you can really tell where the waste goes, since the grass is super lush and green in one area and just kind of regular in the rest.

In terms of the roots scenario - I definitely am more apt to not plant anything with roots near it because I don't want to pay a zillion dollars to replace it - but that being said, my septic and leaching system has an ENORMOUS white pine right smack in the middle. How it has not ruined the thing already - I have no idea. So I am sure there are exceptions - and I have wanted to believe there must be some permaculture solution to it all, but I haven't yet found anything I'm comfortable with aside from planting wildflowers for the bees and butterflies etc. I know Geoff Lawton made the point that if you put a reed bed in between where you want to grow and where the leaching bed is, it acts as a natural filter. Not always practical in every space though.

9 years ago

Kevin MacBearach wrote:After I watched the video, "deep chicken bedding with christmas trees in the chicken coop" , I started pruning pine branches around my property and filled the coop with the small twigs. Instantly the strong ammonia smell was gone and in it's place was a nice pine-scent which lasted over a week. Even after the pine-scent dissipated, the ammonia smell never returned.

At this point I can't say enough about how well this has worked out. I feel that this is the first thing I've done at my farm that's felt like I'm doing permaculture since I don't leave the property to buy straw anymore, and just use what's on my own property, which works ten times better.

The lady in the video used old Christmas trees, and gave the impression that either because the chickens spend more time in the coop in winter, or she hasn't many conifers growing where she lives so it could be a seasonal thing, for her anyway. I on the other hand am cutting fresh ones and using them, and I'm wondering what else it would work, pig bedding, or cow? I have yet to use the finished product of broken-down pine needles and chicken manure as a compost on the soil so I have no idea how it will be for growing stuff. It's strange that, besides this one video, I've seen nothing else on mulching pine needles with manure to make good compost. If it's so great, then why isn't there more chatter about it?

Hi Kevin,

Thanks so much for posting this. It's exactly the confirmation I was looking for! I am surrounded by conifers so it would greatly reduce my bill if I could use them instead of sourcing out wood shavings. One question though - can this be done in a coop that has a wood floor? I am setting up my system, which involved a mobile coop in a paddock shifting scenario, but the coop will be where they hang out at night. The floor unfortunately is made of wood, (I've heard earth is the best) so I am just wondering if you think this system will still work in an elevated wooden floored coop?

Thanks in advance!!!

9 years ago

Max Tanner wrote:I agree with the good advice of not buying the birds from an auction.
You can call him before and meet at the sales barn. There are outside booths as well. Or go to his farm directly.
At the sales barn;
There are inside animal sales as well as outside implement sales of all kinds. Go early to register and look at what is there. You can pick up lots of equipment of all sorts for pennies on the dollar.
Always go with an experienced person and listen to the auctioneer and watch the flow of events and staff.

Awesome. Good advice Max!! Thanks very much. Does he mind random people calling him asking for chickens LOL?
9 years ago