Swedish whitebeam berries are ripe about the end of September. Middle of September last fields of grain are harvested here. Now, if grain harvest wasn’t good, perhaps due to bad weather or fungus, people used the berries of Swedish whitebeam to supplement or sometime even substitute grain. The flesh has a mild, somewhat “boring” flavor, while the seeds, once ground, develop a pleasant marzipan type flavor, and are rich on fat.
Here, in Atlantic northern Europe, people are quite familiar with using rowans in recipes one normally would use cranberries in. Rowans are a good replacement. Cranberries need very low soil PH and don’t agree with our Atlantic winters. Cranberry shrubs would lose their buds once they thaw out and re-freeze. Rowan trees are much more tolerant against “yoyo-style temperatures”.
Samphire is the accepted name for the plant Crithmum Mairitinum, although along the banks of the River Dee where my grandmothers and great-grandmothers foraged for it, it was always known as sampkin. It is also sometimes known as glasswort, as it used to be used in the glassmaking industry. It is known in France as salicorn, or “horn of salt”. It is also, confusingly, sometimes called Sea Asparagus.
Wineberries are one of the most abundant wild summer fruits, and just as delicious as their blackberry cousins. They also happen to be an invasive species and you’re doing a good deed when you eat them. Here’s how to identify, gather, and eat wineberries.
There is a growing, sometimes contentious movement afoot: traditional lawns vs natural landscaping. Two years ago, we came up against Ohio’s laws regarding lawns and weeds and were heartbroken to have to mow our luscious long grasses. Last year, we enjoyed a reprieve and the serenity of our natural garden. This year, the grasses back!
Both tart and sweet, June is infused with the tangy taste of wild cherries, the sweetness of plump raspberries, and the succulence of wineberries. Though feasting, harvesting and preserving this sweetness is a priority, there is much more to do to make the most of this month. Below is a guide to homesteading and wild-food foraging in this juicy season.
As the days stretch closer to their full summer length, we are welcomed to sow directly into the warming ground. We are invited to harvest from the woods, which are coming to life with new abundance. Now, we step into the light of the growing season, and we plant beneath the poplar moon! Learn how to prepare your garden and what to harvest in the month of May.
There is wild fruit nearly everywhere, free for the picking. This spring, as soon as leaf buds swell in your area, go looking for blooms. Take a ride, get somebody to drive for you, so you can search roadsides and fields, along railroad tracks, in power line right of ways, and maybe even an abandoned homesite, looking for brushy shrubs, brambles, vines and trees with white flowers.
The American High Bush Cranberry is a neglected fruit that deserves more fans. Fruits are high in Vitamin C and anti-oxidants. The fruit is also high in natural pectin so it makes a great jelly. Fruits (drupes) are similar to Thanksgiving cranberries in color but with their own distinctive flavor. Whether you pick them from the wild or from your own planting, learn to tell the difference between the Native American High Bush Cranberry and the bitter European kind.
Ramps, aka Allium tricoccum, are really wild leeks. They combine the taste of garlic with the taste of onion, although that's really somewhat of an oversimplification as the taste of ramps is bursting with other — so many other — flavors and nuances that they leave their actual essence difficult to verbalize.
"The Wild Wisdom of Weeds," by wild-foods advocate and author Katrina Blair, is the only book on foraging and wild edibles to focus on thirteen weeds found all over the world, which together comprise a complete food source and extensive medical pharmacy and first-aid kit. Blair’s philosophy is sobering, realistic, and ultimately optimistic: If we can open our eyes to see the wisdom found in these weeds right under our feet, instead of trying to eradicate an “invasive,” we could potentially achieve true food security and optimal health.
Hidden inside the stinky orange pulp of the fruits of the ginkgo tree is a delicious, pistachio colored edible seed. Here's how to identify and prepare ginkgo (without the stinky parts) by foraging for ginkgo nuts!
Unlike many wild foods that take a long search, dandelions are found in almost every wood and meadow. And while many wild plants require special training to identify and discriminate from similar-looking poisonous plants, dandelions can be readily identified by every schoolchild.
Garlic mustard has spicy, delicious leaves, flowers, seeds, and roots. It is an invasive species that may be harvested without sustainability concerns. In fact, you'll be doing your environment a favor if you eat this plant!
Lacto-fermented swiss chard ribs and how to can them right along with foraging for wild mushrooms and a butternut squash update. Discovery Expedition vented fedora hat makes gardening cooler when the sun is blazing down.