Since the late 70s (Sedum telephium) Live-forever leaves have gone into more of my spring and summer salads then any other green. In those days the only place I found Live-forever was where ostrich fern fiddleheads also grew near my local river.
On the land surrounding the Tantramar marsh Live-forever is much more common in damp old fields, thickets, forest and even tall grass as we kind of see today if we look closely. (click on for better view)
Live-forever in some soils produce bitter leaves, though in the Tantramar area I haven’t found any as bitter as the commonly used romaine lettuce, plus Live-forever can be stir-fried as well.
That’s enough green only, here are some Aronia shrubs in blossom with a little more green and why not some blue too. ciao
Approaching someone’s home garden of Large-leaved Aster.
The best time to notice Large-leaved Aster is the month of June in eastern Canada. The best time to eat the cooked leaves of Large-leaved Aster is in the month of May. So today I’m locating large beds of this perennial plant in areas close to where I live or frequently travel in preparation for observing the plant through its different stages as it grows and then returning in late April to start gathering the young tender leaves while they are still shiny and around 4 inches long. I may also gather the seed heads after flowering in the fall to see how this plant grows from seed inside the house or in the spring outdoors in my garden.
A look at a young plant as this aster bed seems to be expanding outward in this area.
The 3 leaves on the left are acceptable for cooking, but the 3 leaves on the right though of similar size would be leathery to eat.
Here is another local animal who is fond of Large-leaved Aster and the Ojibwa hunters were well aware of this and dried Large-leaved Aster leaves and smoked them as a deer charm.
This very edible seaside plant is common in salt marshes and many other coastal environments included the clay banks rising from sandy beaches as shown below. The perennial goosetonge grows all the way up these salt spayed banks and a short distance into the field, if one is present.
Goosetongue can be added fresh to salads or cooked for 10 to 15 minutes and served as you would green beans. It is one of the most popular foraged greens in Atlantic Canada known by a few different names such as seaside plantain, goosetongue and passé-pierre.
Here is one from back in the salt marsh. ciao
Sea-rocket (Cakile edentula), this member of the mustard family is one of my favourite wild plants for summer salads and stir-fry. It is best to dice the fleshy sea-rocket leaves up into small pieces as they have a horseradish flavour only milder and saltier. This plant needs to be experimented with a bit as I see few recipes around for it and it seems a natural for fresh salsa and possibly as a pesto ingredient.
Sea-rocket often grows in patches well out onto sandy beaches, usually being the closest plant to the high tide line so it is very salt tolerant.
A healthy patch of Sea-rocket. This plant grows on both the east and west coast of N.A and also in some areas along the Great Lakes
Here are some (un-tasty) sea-rocket seed sprouts, I suspect only one sprout will likely survive here packed this close together, but luckily for many of these seedlings they will be coming home with me to be potted to produce seeds. These sprouts are from the bottom half of a 2 part seed pod as they remained attached to the parent plant and become buried in the shifting sand over the winter, the upper pods on these plants are somewhat rocket shaped and often separate from the parent plant and are transported from the beach to shores possibly great distances away. Oddly the sprouts and older leaves of this annual are not near as enjoyable to eat as the leaves in between these 2 stages of growth.
Just to the right of the sea-rocket seedlings are a few (darker green) Orach plants which are another good seaside edible which I’ll do a post on later.
Pleurotus populinus, finally some spring oyster mushrooms which have a soft pleasant almond aroma, these can be found on trembling aspen and possibly other poplar trees, this oyster is much rarer than the Oyster mushroom which appears very commonly on sugar maples in the autumn in the maritime provinces.
Egg and flour coated Oyster mushrooms are quite tasty fried up with a little sea-rocket in your dip.
A skate egg, I often see the dried-out black skate egg cases on the shore line, this green one with a yolk similar to a hen’s egg was an interesting surprise.
Skate egg amongst some local previously owned mobile homes.
A big maritime wave to you.
I think they’re done, there was a lobster cannery around Cape Jourimain many years ago and this was its boiler, I suspected this was something of a train at first glance.
A Lighthouse out on the point, lots of interesting plants around the beach and salt marsh areas which I’ll do a post or 2 on later.
A closer look at the lighthouse, it was a pleasant time in the light rain. ciao
I’ll work my way from the edge of the salt marsh back to the main dyke focusing on a few plants along the way, actually I’m standing here on what remains of a very old dyke and I can’t judge its possible age, though they were being constructed out here as early as the 1670s. If you click to enlarge the photo below you will notice the muddy banks are quite steep on the edge of the marsh.
A patch of the controversal and somewhat edible Seaside Arrowgrass (Triglochin maritima), there are way to many factors involved to promote Seaside Arrowgrass as a wild edible plant to get out and forage for on the east coast of N.A., It is though a pleasant dark green to see out here today and it is in flower so have a look, but study this one well before you every consider trying its few edible parts as the green leaves and flower stems are possibly toxic.
Here is a view of some Seaside Arrowgrass flower stems.
This plant above is a popular edible salt marsh green known locally as Goose tongue and also Passe-pierre (Plantago maritima), notice the flat fleshy leaves with the sunken central ridge, it has a similar flowering stem to Seaside Arrowgrass though the stem is usually smaller and appears much later in the summer. It is wise to know these 2 plants apart ( Triglochin maritima and Plantago maritima).
Almost back to the dyke and here as expected are some Sow-thistles (Sonchus arvensis) which were popular and healthy greens in Europe for thousands of years before being introduced into N.A. around 1810, hey that’s when my kin folk arrived over here, I wonder?
Think I’ll make a soup and maybe do a sow-thistle ferment, in coming weeks again I’ll return to the salt marsh as there are quite a few very good wild edibles coming up soon out here. ciao for now and then