Jura Journal Part 3

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Botanical hike with Denis (Afternoon)

Denis was our tour guide for our nature hike. He came from the region of Auvergne just south of Jura. He was very enthusiastic about showing us plants on the nature hike. Aside from the beautiful green pastures engulfed by a perfectly clear creek and peaceful waterfalls, Denis introduced us to our first plant. The stinging nettle. At first glance, the plant seems like any old green weed coming out of the ground. According to Denis, the stinging nettle has more protein than soy, and more vitamin C than oranges. He informed us that we will be using this stinging nettle to make soup for dinner. He encouraged us to pick the stinging nettle, but also warned us to be careful, but they burn if we pick from the wrong spot. With in seconds of picking, the majority of the students were screaming in shock or pain fro being zapped by the plant. Denis have us another green plant grown near the stinging nettle as an anti-inflammatory substance to rub on our burning fingers. Apparently, this plant is grown not far from the stinging nettle.  Next, we long green grassy plant which was wild garlic. When biting into the stem, I could taste the wild outdoors garlic substance. We also tasted aspérule (asperula/woodruff) picked along the trail. This was bitter and had the arôme of green iceberg salad or mâche leafs. We also tasted la fleur la prim called coucou, which is the first flower of winter.  It had an odor of honey though I did not taste it.

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