Curly Dock - Rumex crispus

Curly Dock - Rumex crispus

The Great Chain of Being

There once was a brother and sister who were fortunate enough to live in a magical house with three generations of relatives. This house provided everything that was needed. The foundations of their house were first laid by their great-grandparents. These elders were people of strength and solidity, they loved geometry and magic, and were able to mix these two in order to create something out of nothing. This generation eventually gave birth to the sibling’s grandparents who added to the house the power of growth and light, love and sacrifice, balance and harmony. In time they also gave birth to the sibling’s parents who added to the house the unique gifts of independent motion, greater awareness, and dreams.

"What is the extinction of a condor to a child who has never seen a wren?"

After a very long time of preparation, the house was full of hope and expectation at the arrival of a new generation that would possess all the combined attributes of their family. What they would become and what they in turn would give birth to was on everyone’s mind. But as they grew, something seemed to go terribly wrong. The boy became infected by a virus of the mind called 'separation.' This caused the boy’s body and mind to grow strong, but it also caused his eyes and ears to grow weak. He eventually grew apart from his family, because he could no longer see them as family, and he could no longer hear their wisdom.

"You are standing at the crossroads. So consider your path. Ask where the old, reliable paths are. Ask where the path is that leads to blessing and follow it. If you do, you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not follow it!’"

The family was relentless in trying to get the boy's attention, but he could no longer notice them, unable to hear or even recognize his family’s pleas to remember the old ways. Instead he came to relate to them as interruptions that were constantly interfering with his new quest to control his environment; an environment that had become increasingly frightening with the diminishing of his sight and hearing. Eventually he decided to control these interruptions and so unknowingly he chained his sister in a cubicle and forced her to spend her life working long hours to help him in his quest for control. He put his parents in small cages, and forced them to suffer in the production of meat and milk for his own pleasure. His grandparents were put in straitjackets, and were unwillingly forced into perfectly straight rows, compelled to produce monocultural food crops to support the brother’s desire for control. His great-grandparents were trampled under his feet, stripped of their strength and dignity, forced to build and power his machines.

"It is no measure of health, to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

The family knew that their son had gone mad, and that such a destructive perspective was the fate of all who would forget the mineral, plant, and animal kin-doms that provide us with a house to live in. But they knew something else too. They remembered from a time long ago that in order to re-member, there must be a dis-membering. That to create light is to also cast a shadow, and that great heights cannot exist if there are not also great depths to give them support. The mad son was on a journey, and it was the darkness that would eventually bring him to the light.

"What was knowledge, what was truth, beauty, love, idealism, philosophy, or religion when copared to man's desire to control an infinitesimal spot in the fields of Cosmos for an inestimably minute fragment of time? Merely to satisfy some whim or ruge of ambition man would uproot the universe, though well he knows that in a few short years he must depart, leaving all that he has seized to posterity as an old cause for fresh contention."


It would be unwise to overlook a plant as wonderful as Curly Dock. Rumex Crispus is most often called Curly Dock for its wavy margins, but it is also called Sour Dock due to its lemony flavor, and Yellow Dock for its yellow root. When picked early in the spring it is a wonderful vegetable that we eat much like we do Spinach, but like Spinach it also has oxalic acid, which again reminds us to practice diversity in what we eat. Leaves are said to be very high in Vitamin A & C, and to also have a fair amount of zinc. But that’s not all, being a member of the Buckwheat family, the seeds are also edible and are said to be high in calcium and fiber. And still there is even more to this plant, as the root also have a long history of medical use.

Curly Dock is often incomprehensible to most, surely a weed to be pulled, but ever since we have started to get to know it, we have begun to realize that there is so much more to this marvelous plant.


Young leaves go well in sandwiches, salads, soups and stews, and we generally use them as we would spinach. The seed flour does well when mixed with other flours, but when used by itself it can be a bit too powerful.

We've been trying to perfect Curly Dock Cookies, but have a lot of work to do, as the taste still needs some help. Well, acutally they taste terrible. Here is a picture of our first attempt. Our kids made it through one bite cookie before they gave up.

Curly Dock Cookies

Curly Dock Cookies