Little known locals

28 Jul

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what is it

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oh, it has a tail.

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Didn’t know it at first but this is a stinkhorn egg probably Phallus impudicus, rarely if eaten at all in N.A.

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This one is not uncommon though it is usually just one mid size mushroom which doesn’t draw much attention until you try to pick one. The stem will either snap when breaks like a green bean or you will pull up 1/2 ft of underground stem root. Only the caps of Hymenopellis furfuracea are edible.

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Lastly is a colorful mushroom which I often don’t find most years though this year there are many in Maritime mixed and conifer forest, (Boletus speciosus var brunneus), it has quite a name doesn’t it. This mushroom is considered edible though a fraction of the population will experience stomach trouble so you may choose to leave this one off your edible list. Hope you enjoyed seeing some of the locals we rarely get a chance to meet. ciao

Now gathering in N.B.

27 Jul

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Lots of folks are getting outside and picking wild low bush blueberries right now, it is the most popular gathered wild food in much of New Brunswick.

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When it comes to wild mushrooms Chanterelle is the most popular gathered and it is available in good numbers at the same time though its season runs many weeks longer than our blueberries, rain permitting.

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Craterelles ignicolor are just starting to appear and are much to tiny at this point, it should be at least a week before we see any at a good size for harvesting.

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By the look of the cap this must be a bolete.

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Yes, pores surface turned to the sun we see its a Boletus subglabripes in a mixed conifer and poplar woods. Well I must be off, its harvest time.

Oyster Ms and baby Chantys

17 Jul

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I was a bit surprised to see these spring Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus populinus) in such good shape as usually this mushroom is eaten up very quickly by a type of small beetle when growing in spring and early summer on our poplar trees here in eastern Canada. These ones had no trace of beetles, a few weeks ago the beetles were chewing the tiniest oyster mushroom it seems even before they appeared, possible the warm days leading into the recent rains has encouraged a vacation somewhere else.

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This particular variety of oyster mushroom has a very nice aroma which fades away in a few hours after gathering.

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It has rained a good amount lately and these small brightly colored baby Chanterelle mushrooms are popping up in great numbers in mixed and conifer woods.

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These small mushrooms tend to remain in a firm edible state on the ground for a much longer period of time than most of the choice edible mushrooms I gather so I feel no urgency to gather these at this point. If no further rain was to appear for a week to 10 days these little ones would dry out and not recover to expand out, though a new bunch may grow in the same area with future summer and fall rains especially if they continue for  a few days. Small Chanterelle are often consider the best to eat though these ones to me need at least one more rain.

These oldies are new to me

8 Jul

I haven’t posted in quite awhile so here are a few photos to show what has caught my attention recently. This year I am learning a bit about the ancient edible grasses and sedges which were commonly eaten before time was even created by man (he he), along also with other wild foods all new to me, so I can’t recommend anything I show here today as I am still in the process of growing comfortable with these foods. I am also having some fun with fermenting, especially with sour tonic beverages and should do some post on these in coming months.

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Here in my hand is a very common small bulrush in my area known as Scirpus microcarpus which will be easy gathering if its taste is to my liking, I’m interested in the interior stem bases cooked and seeds and possibly the sprouted seeds and flowers.

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Scirpus microcarpus flowers in June.

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Notice the red sections on the stems which makes this small bulrush S. microcarpus easy to identify from the many others in wet areas, this one will venture up on to drier areas like the edges of roads which is not a good gathering location, but it may make it a good plant to grow in marginal soils or in a soggy garden?

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Another fresh water marsh plant which is considered invasive in some parts on NA , Phragmites australis aka the Common Reed which is the largest grass in my area towering many feet above my head, here we see some young green shoots. This is a very useful plant with a 5 (which is the highest) edible rating at the PFAF website, check it out.

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The section at the top of the stem where the slight gold coloring is showing is what I’m after here, this is the male flowering section of the Cattail which is a good source of vitamin C and possibly antioxidants so I will tinker with drying some to use later on. It is a little tricky to harvest these and also select the right time as I’m a little late to start collecting for most of the Catttails in my area, I’ll be better prepared next year. Here is a link to a great video on harvesting this plant by Arthur Haines  —   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0XBlPROtz8

 chow for now

 

Tree of Lite, Eastern Hemlock

14 Jun

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Some of my favorite summer and fall mushrooms grow on or under this sometimes large and long living conifer known as Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis). Today as I walked along this country road I was taken by the light of the freshly emerging needle tips at end of all the Hemlock twigs in this dark forest.

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The new needle growth are actually close to an inch long at this point and are a very light green in color. Time to gather a few tips to bring home for tea as Eastern Hemlock is another one of the conifer trees with leaf needles rich in vitamin C though I can’t recall the taste of this one.

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Well as you can see the heaping tablespoon of crushed needles for this tea doesn’t look much different from the boiling cup of water it was steeped in for 15 minutes and the flavour is subtly pleasant and the aroma is of a slight citrusyness. I didn’t add any sweetener or other herb today as I wanted to experience this tea on its own. I liked this tea enough to start the pursue on how other folks are preparing and storing it. cheers

 

Resting in Stinging Nettle bed

8 Jun

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This is my last stinging nettle gathering for 2014 and this field has been very good to me for a few decades now.  This particular area is around a 100 feet square and there are several similar beds in this old farm yard which was abandon probably in the 1950s. Click on the photo to notice the thickness of the plants here.

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Standing a little taller with a bit of red on its leaves is a Fireweed plant which is known nowadays as Chamerion angustifolium and is the only other serious competitor amongst the stinging nettle in this old field on the edge of a fresh water marsh. Since the fireweed leaves looked in ideal shape for gathering they to became part of the picking to be later used for tea and to be possibly tried as cooked greens as I did enjoy the young shoots a few weeks ago.

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It was warm in the sun so I moved into the shade under a few large red maples which had some very soft stemmed nettles with large health leaves under them, this made for some pleasant picking indeed, so after a few cool hours I had plenty of stinging nettle for drying and freezing to last the year.

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My current favorite use for stinging nettle is blitzing 2 or 3 fresh or frozen leaves in a blender with 6 ozs of orange or other citric juice for a very tasty cold drink. cheers

Goutweed finally dawned on me

30 May

 

DSC06747Been in a bit of a fog like the sky this morning over Goutweed as I often wondered if I just haven’t notice this plant around as it is well known for being an edible and medicinal, invasive plant. A recent wordpress post on (62nd Parallel North) really woke me up to what this plant looks like in its spring growth and since that post I’ve noticed Goutweed (Aegopodium  podagraria) in 2 recreational areas a short walk from my home. Unfortunately these locations were close to roads within the city and not a wise place to gather food.

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It is -2 degrees C this morning at 6.00 am and the Goutweed in this area has been touched by frost, though the good news is I pass by close to this country area most week days, so I’ve found a good source to gather later today and also in the future if I like this plant.

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Goutweed is a member of the Carrot family which has some of the most poisonous plants on the planet, so unless you are really familiar with the poisonous ones like Water Hemlock and others, you best have an expert verify this plant before trying it.

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I stopped by this guy’s place figuring he would know his carrots even better than me, but he wasn’t talking so I looked around the net some more to get as much info on this plant as possible and I ended up arriving at another wordpress blog along the way which was (Of Plums and Pignuts) where I received some valuable tips on harvesting and cooking.

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Work is over now and it is 19 degrees C at 5.00 pm, quite a change and the Goutweed has made a nice recovery.

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Here is a look at the young shiny growth I gathered for my initial encounter with Goutweed, tasting the young stems raw I found them better tasting than raw caraway and sweet cicely greens, 2 other members of the carrot family, so Goutweed’s first impression is good. Cooked in the frying pan this plant is very good and it appears new young shoots will keep rising for several months during the year, this hardy invasive has a lot of potential. No wonder this plant has a long history of usage throughout Europe and Asia for thousands of years. ciao

 

 

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