Foraged Harvest.May 8, 2011
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We did it. First farmer’s market of the season accomplished. It got a little hectic on friday trying to be ready for it, and we might have had the starting time wrong and got there a tad late, but it was all right. Our foraged harvest was well accepted and we sold a good number of daffodil bouquets. We found a foragers haven, ramps, fiddleheads, gooseberries and morels all in the same spot. (not all ripe at the same time of course) While we were harvesting our share of the wild edibles, (we made sure to only take 1/3 of a plants bounty) I realized how content I was to be sitting in the woods digging away at wild leeks surrounded by living bouquets of dutchmen’s britches and violets. There is something very soul satisfying about gathering food from the forest. It is also more exciting, because you never know what you are going to find, or you know what to find because you have a secret place to harvest from.
I’ve been reading several books on wild edibles, Acorn Pancakes, Dandelion Salad, and 38 Other Wild Recipes by Jean Craighead George is one of them and there is another older book which I don’t have with me but was a guide that gave the edible and medicinal uses for each plant as well as the traditional native american preparing of each wild fruit or vegetable. I’ll be sure to give you the name of it when I put up my next post, it is a great resource. After reading these books I am just amazed at how we are surrounded by such a wide and varying selection of edible goodies and yet we have decided on such a select few plants that we want included in our diet, some of which don’t even grow in this climate. There are long lists of root vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, and even blossoms that grow along our roadsides, in our ponds, are thrown into our compost bins, or cover the floors of our woods, and we either ignore them, appreciate them for their beauty, or treat them as weeds. Well I am bringing back some wild to our diets. We’ve started with the normal edibles, ramps, fiddleheads and dandelion greens, but this week I plan to bring some stranger yummies to the table. You’ll have to check back in to see what we find.
Of course everyone should be careful when dining from the outdoors, since it is an unfiltered menu and some items may be poisonous or toxic if consumed in too high a volume.
We’ve got over 100 berry plants in the ground, raspberries, gooseberries and currents. We also planted our peach trees and sweet cherries. The sweet cherry that my parents planted has bloomed! I hope it isn’t premature, we are most likely going to get a frost again soon hopefully the buds will survive. We also planted some asparagus about 100 plants, two varieties. I can’t wait for two years from now!
We built a goat palace. It is designed so that the pigs and goats can live together and have some personnel space. My precocious/pregnant goat didn’t seem to want to jump up in like little Isla did, but after we set up a little platform with a ramp I find her sleeping in there or just lounging all the time. There are walls on it now, we used some heavy white tarp from my parents arena that works well and keeps it light enough to move by hand.
That’s all the news for now! I think my blog posts will begin to happen on sundays more than saturdays just because saturdays are going to be so busy for us.
Anyone out there a wild edible fanatic? Anyone tried any weird wild vegetable this week? Have your local farmer’s markets started? Anyone else have secret wild food havens that they go to in the spring to harvest their crop? I love to hear from you!