Dear Curiosity Journal,

One of the garlands of the first spring harvest is a flourishing microbiome from the diversity of fresh ingredients, and we can already feel an uplifting energy and healthy glow from the bounty. Today’s dietary highlight was a potato watercress soup with green garlic and lovage. Watercress boasts impressive benefits including high nutrients (especially vitamin K) and significant antioxidants. It’s also excellent for heart health and immunity, but the most curious benefit I’ve discovered is convalescing eye health due to a synergistic combination of vitamin C and the antioxidant compounds lutein and zeaxanthin, which are in the carotenoid family. Numerous studies have shown that these compounds are essential for eye health. In particular, they protect your eyes against damage from blue light and can lower the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. It seems like watercress might have carrots beat when it comes to elevating our vision, and it could be growing free in a stream near you. Just make sure to ask permission to harvest and identify, wash and prepare it properly. Although it can be consumed raw, it’s safest to cook it, especially if you are unsure of the stream’s health. Foraging for watercress is one of our spring milestones in the Driftless, so collect some wild greens and elevate your vision