Letting In The Wild Edges
In this beautifully illustrated book, Glennie Kindred inspires us to celebrate the bounties of our wild native plants and find a richer relationship with the natural world around us.
Season by season, we are shown how to grow and manage native edible and medicinal plants in our gardens or on the wild edges of the land. Included are foraging tips and many recipes for making kitchen medicines and delicious food from our finds.
By letting the wild native plants into our lives, Glennie helps us to reconnect with our rich herbal heritage and enter into a new relationship with our local environment.
She explores many different ways to mark and celebrate the seasons, especially outside on the land, which support our ability to adapt and grow for the benefit of the Earth and ourselves.
This is a practical, optimistic and inspirational treasure trove for a more creative, integrated, self-reliant future.
Published By Permanent Publications 2013
£15 + £3.20 postage & packaging - UK ONLY
Preface & Chapter one
Letting in the Wild Edges
by Glennie Kindred
In these changing times, we find ourselves living on the edge between the old and the new. We are moving into a new understanding that all life on Earth is functioning as one whole living ecosystem, and the Earth is an intelligent living being, a self-regulating, self-evolving, complex system. We can no longer perceive ourselves as separate from the rest of life on Earth, and with this realisation we move into the next stage of our evolution. This evolutionary shift into the holistic perspective is the great adaptation we are called to make for the sake of the Earth and for our own survival.
"To read and sit with Glennie Kindred's new book Letting in the Wild Edges is a truly delightful experience. It touches on some of the most profound issues on the transformation of what it is to be human in a way that is unusually direct, engaging and deep. It's a book that 'sings'! This is not a book about ideas of relationship with the earth (although it is full of insight into what it means to understand the oneness of life). Glennie Kindred leads us into new ways of thinking that bring us into a fresh relationship with the earth and its creatures and with ourselves. She does this through a wealth of possibilities (gardening, walking, hiking, eating, healing) that gently and lovingly introduce us to the wild edges of our being, the intuitive and imaginative parts of our self.
This is not a book about pompous or high-flying ideas or ideals. Yet there is a sense that the act of letting in the wild edges is fundamental to the reshaping of humanity's relationship with the earth. Our time in history is all about learning, as individuals, communities and a species, to respond appropriately to the crisis of climate change and the need to somehow develop a culture and civilization, an economics and a politics, that is truly sustainable. At the heart of this is the birth of a newly oriented human being who knows in a mythic, poetic, philosophical and visceral way that Life is One. Letting in the Wild Edges contributes to this grand process." - Steve Nation
Steve Nation is joint founder of Intuition in Service and is co-convenor of the Spiritual Caucus at the United Nations in New York. He distributes a monthly newsletter, Please Hold in the Light, inviting recipients to give loving, mindful attention to important global events, conferences and processes. www.intuition-in-service.org ; www.spiritualcaucusun.org
"Glennie Kindred describes many wild edges - seasonal edges, garden edges and the edges of ourselves. She recommends we welcome these wild edges, become receptive to this awareness and see what changes this focus brings. There is so much in this beautifully illustrated book: walking ideas; gardening and foraging inspiration; ways to use native herbs and plants as food and medicine; chapters on the cycles of seasons and festivals and how you can celebrate them and the suggestion we all get outdoors as often as possible. Glennie Kindred is evangelical about encouraging us all to benefit from the outdoors, to allow the seasonal cycles of incubation and regeneration to be reflected in our own lives, and how this can contribute to inner resilience, holistic health and healing.
Letting in the Wild Edges is a challenge for us all to let go a little, to try walking barefoot in the grass, engage with the Earth and reflect on how this changes our world perspective. At a time when we are facing the global challenge of finding paths that are truly sustainable Letting in the Wild Edges can help us reflect on what is important and why. By looking within, by re-establishing our connection with the environment around us in meaningful ways, and by understanding its cycles, we might just find practical answers to those global questions.
Letting in the Wild Edges has inspired me to get outdoors as often as possible, and to reconnect with the natural world around me." - Saffia Farr
Published in ISSUE 32. Juno Magazine. Summer 2013 by Saffia Farr, editor of JUNO, a natural parenting magazine - www.junomagazine.com
"My journey into Permaculture taught me some time ago that the edge was a diverse, creative and magical place to be, and Glennie Kindred's new book takes this realization one amazing step further.
I am a great fan of Glennie's work and it has been hugely inspirational in my life path over the last couple of years in particular. Glennie writes and illustrates beautiful books about Earth Magic, Earth cycles, hedgerow wisdom and much more. She is incredibly skilled at taking old knowledge and imaginatively applying it to our present lives. Letting in the Wild Edges weaves and extends this knowledge to guide us along the spiritual, emotional and physical routes meandering the edge.
The book is dived into two parts; part one discusses holistically exploring wild edges relating to 'Out on the Land', 'the Wild Garden', 'Kitchen Medicine' and 'Seasonal Celebrations'. Part two is a 'Seasonal guide', eight chapters each taking a season, plus the edges of these seasons, of the year. In this second part of the book, each of the four chapters in part one is examined in the eight seasonal chapters of part 2, cleverly creating a smooth flow which encourages seasonal links with each.
Throughout Letting in the Wild Edges, Glennie has created so many different elements for her readers to utilise and appreciate…there is a really useful plant reference guide of her favorite native (UK) plants; historical observations and how they influence the here and now, lots of ideas for practical activities, recipes for storing and using healing herbs and of course many examples of mindfulness and spiritual connection practices.
The layout, text and language in the book is clear, accessible, easy to use whether reading from cover to cover or as a reference. The wonderful illustrations enhance the text beautifully and personally helped me to pause and reflect on each chapter.
I love this book, at its core it's helped me to recognize, value and rejoice in the wild edges in my life and work. Its also filled me with a renewed hope and energy about how we as humans relate to the Earth and how in turn that can facilitate the healing that our planet and all who live here so desperately needs. I know Letting in the Wild Edges is going to be a book that stays by my side to reread, learn from and absorb, along with my notebook and journal throughout the changing seasons and energies of the years ahead of me. For anyone who is at all interested in how we connect with our world and how exploring our wild edges can deepen this connection, I can't recommend this book enough." - Katie Shepherd, Hill Farmer, Dip in applied Permaculture Design Apprentice
Published in issue 76. Permaculture Magazine
"I first met Glennie at a Big Green Gathering over a decade ago. I was a permaculturist who had come from a healing background, and Glennie was running the Healing Field at the festival. We both wanted to discover how we could bring a greater awareness of seasonal celebrations, art and healing to permaculture. Since then we have met regularly in wild places to explore the inner and outer landscapes.
A true connection with the land
So often we yearn for true connection with the land and its turning seasons. Our culture has taught us that we need to control and hold dominion over Nature and in doing so we have severed our intimate bond with her. No longer children of the soil, our lives demand that too much of our time is spent indoors. We have become conditional. We only want to be out in Nature at certain times of year when it is sunny and warm. We are afraid of her extremes.
Glennie sweeps all of this away. She urges us to fully, deeply allow ourselves to re-embrace the feral within ourselves. This is no intellectual premise but a journey in both the inner and outer worlds. She encourages us to get out on the land in all weathers and all seasons to forage, collect edible plants and medicinal herbs that ease acute conditions, to learn about our local landscapes, to meditate, or just be in the wild. We are encouraged to walk at the times of the 'edge'; at dawn and dusk, at the transition of the seasons, in groups, in silence, in wonder and alone.
Then she brings us home and teaches us how to grow a wild garden full of our native edibles and medicinals so that we do not have to rely on diminishing natural resources. Instead we invite the wild to our doorstep. We are taught to make tinctures, herbal honeys and elixirs, to craft from natural materials, to share food, and to anchor our appreciation for Nature in ceremony, both silent and personal, and with our friends, in groups. This is a joyful journey in the steps of our ancestors but with a strong sense of the contemporary. Glennie's seasonal practices, both pragmatic and energetic, lay a pathway towards a more permanent, lower impact culture.
One of my favourite aspects of permaculture is the appreciation of using and valuing the edge and the marginal. It has taught me that the edges of different ecosystems are the places of greatest fertility and biodiversity, such as the banks of rivers, woodland glades and estuaries. This is also where Nature's beauty is often at its height. There are also edges within our psyches. These are places where the imagination is most creative, where fear or joy arises unbidden, and times of transition between sleep and awakening when we are able to form impressions that dissolve in the full light of the day. These creative edges can also be found when we are absorbed in Nature, connected to seasonal cycles, transported by the intimacy of a special gathering or drawn deep by a symbolic aspect of ceremony.
As we explore the wild edges of our landscapes, the margins of the day, the shifting energies of the seasons in all weathers, and the turning of the year through its cycles, we heal a dissonance within ourselves. Too long have we yearned to truly reconnect with Nature, rather than being an observer. Here we learn how to let the wild edges in again and to open to our own ever-deepening connection. We are able to reach deep within our psyches and find our natural joy and power. We fall in love with the wild and the wildness in ourselves. Once we experience this wild love, we can no longer live in a disconnected way; re-acquainted with our heritage, we are freed from the spell of materialism for its own sake. This richness makes us want to preserve our beautiful natural world forever.
Letting in the Wild Edges is the story of this journey. It is a joyful, creative synthesis of both the spiritual and the practical, season by season. It is not only to be read and enjoyed for its artistry, or as a journal of activities and celebrations, we can live it too. This is Glennie's gift - her ability to navigate an ancient healing pathway - and to open a portal that we can all enter. In doing so we not only bring harmony to our inner lives, we reflect it in our outer actions. We deepen our ability to live more gentle, low impact and creative lives.
I have lived this book whilst it has been in the making and it has changed me. I invite you to walk through that portal and out into the wild edges and be changed too." - Maddy Harland
ADAPTED FROM THE FOREWORD OF LETTING IN THE WILD EDGES.
Maddy Harland is a writer, publisher and co-founder of Permaculture Magazine. www.permaculture.co.uk
"There has in recent years been an increasing number of books written on the importance and significance of the Wild and Wilderness for the emotional and psychological health of human beings. As we become more dominated by technology, many authors have highlighted our disconnection from Nature, especially in its wilder aspects.
Glennie Kindred is a local author, who has written and illustrated a large number of books on aspects of Nature and its annual cycles. In this new and substantial book, she draws on her previous work and extends it into new areas. She invites us to celebrate and engage with the wild edges of the natural world around us. The book has 4 main approaches . Firstly a section on engaging physically, emotionally and spiritually with the natural world. She has many suggestions for this, from the more obvious "get yourself some good outdoor gear" to more subtle and surprising ideas of expanding our senses and ways of expanding not only our encounters with Nature, but expanding our minds and ways of being too. I liked her idea of changing our conversations, getting out of our usual ways of talking and thinking.
The second section focuses on wild gardening, bringing "wild" plants into closer proximity to our backyards and gardens.
The third section is about using plants as medicines and the fourth on seasonal celebrations of the Earth's cycles, especially outdoor rituals.
She then guides you through the year, season by season with many suggestions for activities and engagements with appropriate plants.
There is an extensive guide to Native Plants, their characteristics and uses and indeed this is a hefty book with a lot of information.
It is written in a very engaging style with Glennie's own attractive llustrations and this is a book to enrich anyone's life." - Guy Cooper - Scarthin Books. Arts Beat Summer 2013
'I remember a cartoon from a yoga magazine published years ago. It showed a little boy with a jigsaw of the world, and he was puzzling out where the pieces went. His father saw him struggling and told the boy: 'The thing to do is to turn the pieces over, where there is a picture of a human face. Put the face together right and look, on the other side you have put the world right!'
Glennie Kindred is right there with the useful dad. She knows, from instinct and her long experience of greening work and play, how the individual and the world are inextricably linked, and how healing at a micro level goes along with macro change. Her new book is about renewing our relationship with the natural world, and she shares with us many practical ideas about how to let its wild edges into our lives, to our benefit and that of the planet.
It may sound difficult and dreamy, but Glennie accompanies us, showing us the process of reconnection as a personal journey. And what do we do? We get out in nature, we walk barefoot, we make small pilgrimages, we forage and we value our native plants. We can start a wild garden or go guerrilla gardening; we can try out flower essences and keep a herb journal; we make simple herbal remedies.
We also reconnect with our seasons: Glennie writes well about eight seasonal earth festivals, with each subdivided into sections called 'out on the land', 'the wild gardener', 'kitchen medicine' and 'seasonal celebrations'. Take summer's wild edge, moving from June into July. Activities suggested include a solstice pilgrimage and celebration, breathing with the trees, drawing and painting with natural earth pigments, harvesting your weeds, making liquid fertilisers, producing flower tinctures and infused oils, and your own medicine bags. Each season has its own ideas for reconnection, and what fun to allow ourselves to do these things or try them for the first time!
At the end she advises us to go back to the beginning and do it all over again, to make the linear account in the book a deepening personal circle through our life. Glennie is an inspirational teacher, an insightful fixer of our jigsaw worlds, and a brave, trusting venturer into the forgotten field of wildness. And let's not forget the beautiful illustrations she has drawn specially for it, which help make this a contemporary eco book of days! - Matthew Seal for The Herbalist, Summer 2013.
"I got your Wild Edges book yesterday and just love it. I was in the playground today which is surrounded by woods and all of a sudden remembered your wise words. I stood in the middle of the field holding some kids hands and closed my eyes and enjoyed the breeze and the sunshine on my face. I could hear the birds and wind mixed with the sound of children playing and had a moment I can only explain as bliss and peace. I asked the kids with me to do the same and we all enjoyed the moment together. We then went to the edge of the field and looked at the wildflowers, trees and listened to the birds. Nothing mattered after that, all my frustration melted away. I left the playgound happy and so did the kids. Thank you for the book Glennie. Its making a difference already to my life. I’m going out now to find my wild edges." - Tina Mac
"One of Glennie's best books yet, exploring one of the most powerful practices we can have in these times. A beautiful mix of ideas and practical suggestions for a more wild and enchanting life." - Janet M Franck
"This is a fantastic book. It leads you gently into a deeper appreciation of all the wild and growing beauty right under our noses, then it gives you ways of connecting in a very profound way to the seasons and the ebb and flow of this earth." - Lola
"I have all of Glennie Kindreds books and love everyone of them, they feed my heart and soul and I cannot recommend them enough. They are written from the heart and will be an inspiration to anyone who has the pleasure of reading them." - Dee Dade
"Another wonderful book by Glennie Kindred. I have collected all her books over time and find them inspiring in both my work and personal life. Fabulous recipes and ideas for ceremony that connect you deeply to the land and the seasons." - Exmoor Books
I have all Glennie Kindred's books and enjoy and use them every day. She is an inspirational author caring deeply about our planet and its people and encouraging new ways of thinking and celebrating our natural world." - Karen Payne
Some Testimonials for Letting In The Wild Edges:
"Here are a thousand ways in which you can reconnect with nature, whether you live in town or country, have a garden or not, are community minded or enjoy your own company, spiritually inclined or otherwise. Glennie's book is so rich in ideas that it will open the door on a new way of living, one in which nature becomes a real part of your everyday life."
Patrick Whitefield, author of The Earth Care Manual and permaculture teacher
"Letting in the Wild Edges touches on some of the most profound issues on the
transformation of what it is to be human in a way that is unusually direct,
engaging and deep... Our time in history is all about learning, as individuals,
communities and a species, to respond appropriately to the crisis of climate
change and the need to develop a culture and civilization, an economics and a
politics, that is truly sustainable. At the heart of this is the birth of a newly
oriented human being who knows in a mythic, poetic, philosophical and visceral
way that Life is One. Letting in the Wild Edges contributes to this grand process."
Steve Nation, co-founder of Intuition in Service and co-convenor of the Spiritual Caucus at the United Nations in New York
"Glennie's long green experience, wisdom and love for life emerge from every page, and the beautiful new pencil illustrations are more than an adornment: they add more layers to an already subtle and multi-levelled survey of eco-consciousness at the start of the new millennium. There are joyful things to do, things to gather and things to make - wonderful resources to harvest in your own personal walk on the wild side. Glennie has produced a bright, inspiring and green Book of Hours for our time!"
Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal, authors of Hedgerow Medicine and Kitchen Medicine
"Glennie's gift as a communicator of all things beautiful, celebratory, spiritual
and practical is unsurpassed and this book is my favourite yet. Packed with
precious and inspiring ideas to help us explore the edges of our worlds, it is
must read for those of us who want to reconnect with the wild within."
Brigit Strawbridge is a campaigner, writer and speaker working to raise awareness of the importance of bees
"Glennie Kindred has created a work of simple beauty, old wisdom and profound
integrity. By encouraging us to expand into our wild edges she takes us on
a journey that celebrates the full cycles of nature, gently pushing out the
boundaries of what is familiar and leading us all, whether new traveller or
experienced wayfarer, to examine both our physical and intuitive connections
to soil and sacred landscape. While her detailed recipes and projects will keep
hands busy, the effect of her book as a whole is to slow time, as we step into
the ebb and flow of seasons and deepen our understanding of what it means to
be custodians of the earth."
Carolyn Hillyer is an artist, musician and author from the wild hills of Dartmoor
"Glennie Kindred remakes the connection between our hearts and our hands,
our souls and the soil. With gentleness, wisdom and simplicity she reminds us
where we come from and where our focus should be in these challenging times."
Sarah Pugh, permaculture teacher
"From gardening to tincture making, from foraging to festivals, Glennie reminds
us that the Earth patiently awaits our interaction and appreciation, offering
healing on so many levels. Letting in the Wild Edges is glorious. A perfect and
deeply nourishing sequel to Earth Wisdom."
Nicki an Greenheart, www.wildmedicine.co.uk
"Glennie's deep love and resonance with Nature shines through every page in
this book and ignites the wild self in us all. Informative and empowering, Letting in
the Wild Edges gently encourages us to explore and experience the land as our
ancestors have done since ancient times in a contemporary, co-creative form.
It is an open invitation to take a wonder wander through its pages and to meet
the wild soul of Nature for yourself."
Sophie Knock, Chalice Well Trustee and co creator (with Glennie) of the Plant Spirit Medicine Retreats
"Letting in the Wild Edges is a challenge for us all to let go a little, to try walking
barefoot in the grass, engage with the Earth and reflect on how this changes
our world perspective. At a time when we are facing the global challenge of finding
paths that are truly sustainable, Letting in the Wild Edges can help us reflect on
what is important and why. By looking within, by re-establishing our connection
with the environment around us in meaningful ways, and by understanding its
cycles, we might just find practical answers to those global questions."
Saffia Farr is the editor of JUNO, a natural parenting magazine
"The sheer joyful immersion in Nature's bounty which leaps from every page
is wonderful to read. This is a beautiful book, a true compendium for anyone
wishing to join Glennie in celebrating this unique planet of ours, in all its seasons.
Ark Redwood, Head Gardener at Chalice Well Gardens in Glastonbury, and the author of The Art of Mindful Gardening
"Letting in the Wild Edges is a complete joy to read, and is so very beautifully
illustrated. I urge you to take the hand that Glennie is reaching out - take it,
open your heart, and immerse yourself in our wild countryside that has always
been there, waiting for us. These are powerful edges indeed."
Jaine Rose, artist, writer, activist and recorder of life's wonders
"Glennie has such a gift for words and images and for making it seem possible that we can change ourselves and our way of living on our planet for the better. Thank you so much for being in the world and walking the paths you do - and for helping the rest of us to share in the Journey."
Jude Meryl - Director of www.justposters.org , www.justbeginnings.co.uk
"We love to read Glennie's heartfelt, intelligent words about our planet, our herbal friends and the cycles of the earth. Glennie's beautiful illustrations are a joy to look at and evoke the spirit of the natural world wonderfully. Glennie articulates the whispers that are carried on the wind, in a very sensitive way. She is one of our tribal elders, a source of constant inspiration. Letting in Wild Edges is filled with practical information and advice for creating natural remedies, tools and rituals through the cycles of our seasons and with consideration of the elements. Its deeply spiritual and practical a perfect combination one we strive to reach through our own teachings. This is a really special book that should be on the reading list of anyone seeking a deeper connection to our planet."
Karen and Fiona, Creators of Sensory Herbcraft, herbalists and friends of the plant world. www.sensorysoutions.co.uk