In the Appalachian hills, now lush, thick and draped in the verdant robes of a fast-approaching summer, we find ourselves surrounded by abundance. But the month of June is marked by a particularly delightful flavor. 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, both in our cultivated spaces and in the wilderness beyond our threshold.
Below is a guide to homesteading and wild-food foraging in this juicy season. This guide, created by Natalie Bogwalker, with contributions from Chloe Lieberman and Zev Friedman, is part of a series called Permaculture and Land Based Living Through the Calendar Year, and was created at Wild Abundance, a primitive skills, gardening and natural building school in Asheville, North Carolina, that offers weekend workshops throughout the year.
This guide was created with the Southern Appalachian landscape in mind, but is relevant for much of the south and north east.
Wild and Woodland Harvests in June
• Harvest black raspberries
• Harvest understory wineberries
• Harvest from wild/feral juneberries, mulberries, cherries, plums
• Harvest tulip poplar bark
• Get tulip poplar baskets into form
• Eat salads of flowers (yucca, daylily, daisies, lambsquarter)
• Harvest reishi mushrooms for medicine
As with all wild food foraging, be sure to take only what you will use, and be sure to harvest with respect for future generations to come.
Annual Garden Preparation in June
• Prune tomatoes, stake onto poles
• Pull/cut garlic scapes
• Plant sweet potato slips
• Direct seed your second planting of summer squash and zucchini
• Plant sorghum for molasses
• Cultivate, weed, and mulch
Tending to the Orchard
Harvest juneberries (serviceberries), strawberries, wineberries, mulberries, cherries, plums, raspberries, blueberries. Fill your belly, and preserve for later. Prune raspberries that are getting a little too tall to support themselves.
Preserving the Sweetness
• Preserve berries by freezing, drying, or transform them into luscious meads or wines.
• Make mouth-watering preserves, jams and chutneys.Make pesto with garlic scapes
Most important of all: Fill your belly with berries and indulge in the sweetness of this special season.
Photos provided by Wild Abundance
For more information about Wild Abundance, or to check out upcoming weekend workshops including Women's Basic Carpentry, a Tiny House and Natural Building Intensive, Permaculture Design Certification, or Hide Tanning, go to wildabundance.net.
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