Wild About - Dock and the Miracle of Spring Sprung

As I sat the crew down for dinner tonight, we had an extra moment of thanksgiving.  Tonight was a night of celebration - our first meal of the year made from freshly picked forage.  After the long dark months of winter, those little leaves of dock (Rumex crispus) felt like every bit of the miracle that they were, a reminder of the circle of life, of seasons, of renewal, of the joy that always arises from the fertile ground of sorrow.  A miracle.

And I really hadn't anticipated how emotional it would be to harvest my first forage of the year.  Oh sure, I have been absolutely burning with jealousy at seeing spring arrive in other parts of the world, at pictures of plants and flowers, talk of gardening and farmers markets.  And here I sat, in the cold and snow, surrounded by waves of brown.  Humpf!  I knew that I was excited to get out and pick something green.  But the fact that those small leaves of dock made me weep with joy caught me off guard.

A miracle.

So tonight, we enjoyed a delightfully simple meal - pastured pork crumbles, heavy doses of garlic, ginger, chiles, and soy, with wilted dock.  The dock was both tender and tangy (like sorrel), and held it's own against the strong flavors of ginger and garlic. Hello Spring!

I also wrote about harvesting dock in the late fall.  Check it out here.

This post was made in loving memory of Charles, who passed on April 3 last year.  It was a beautiful day, Chuck.  I was thinking of you.

I'm sharing with Fight Back Friday, and the Hearth and Soul hop.


  1. I can really imagine how yummy ur meals were, fresh and straight from ur own garden, nurtured with so much love... !

  2. Hi Sonia! It certainly was a great meal. But the dock came from a highway underpass, not my garden :)

  3. I have never heard of dock, but love sorrel. We sometimes find wild foods in our farmers market (not too many opportunities for foraging in NYC, so we have to rely on other people). I'll keep an eye out for it.

  4. Oh, beautiful remembrance. I cannot wait to see what you uncover this year...you continue to inspire me and I just wish I lived closer that I might try some of your bounty. That sounds like a wonderful meal.

  5. Greetings from Southern California

    I just stopped by to say hello and may God richly bless you today :-)

    When you have the time come by and visit me :-)

  6. CS - Dock has such a gorgeous "meaty" leaf, and will be the staple green here in my house for a month of two, until the bugs take over and it starts sends up it's seed stalks (both of which make the leaves unpalatable).

    Heather - I bet there are all sorts of great things growing all around you. Dock just happens to be plentiful here.

    Hi Ron!

  7. I got a little "Va-klempt" aka emotional just reading about how your first foraging meal of the year! I love love love spring!
    Looking forward to more of your adventures this year! Thanks for sharing this with the Hearth and Soul Hop!!!

  8. This is a lovely post - isn't it wonderful now Spring seems to finally be here! I have not eaten dock before, but we sure have lots of it growing round here in Berkshire. I'll have to try it out. It always grows near to nettles here, and dock is the perfect thing to rub on skin that has been stung by nettles. It takes the sting right away. Nature is just so clever!

    Your meal sounds lovely with the ginger and garlic. Thank you for sharing this with Hearth and Soul.

    And I am sorry for your loss - those kind of anniversaries are always hard.

  9. Christy - I wrote this one with you in mind. Dock grows all over, go find some!

    April - If it grows in your area, take advantage. It's every bit as lovely as any storebought green you can find. And while you're out there, harvest some nettles to go with it!


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