Archive | July, 2012

Beach woods gathering, wild raspberries

31 Jul

I found this bountiful wild raspberry patch recently and gathered up a few.

The flavor of these berries raw or prepared into a juice is extremely tasty.

Here we have a photo of a small bowl of raspberry juice with some honey added and also some wild raspberry & yogurt Popsicle which have become a very popular refreshment around here. The berry juice added to herb tea is pleasant as well and at this moment I’m enjoying an iced Chaga & raspberry tea.

Here is one more local Maritime refreshment though the water is pretty warm at often between 70 to 75 degrees from mid July to mid August, it is within a half hour from our place so often we drop by for a swim, the sand bars continue for long distances so it’s a good walk through the water to reach a spot deep enough to swim. It is crowded if you’re a sunbather, but in the water you’ll have plenty of room. ciao

Hopniss days are here again

27 Jul

Yes the daylily flowering is coming to a close in our yard, but Hopniss still fills the air. Groundnut, Hopniss, (Apios americana) was a valuable food for many humans in the central & eastern half of North America for thousands of years when the N.A. population numbered in the 10s of millions. This plants little tubers still are pretty tasty in my opinion and I find its timing to climb and blossom over these daylilies couldn’t be better. If you click on the photo you will notice the blossoms just starting to expand and I’ll show them again in a week or so, as they are quite interesting to see up close and though you can not smell them, they are uniquely sweet though one neighbor refers to their scent as horsey .

Click on and notice the vines are in the process of turning from green to red and the leaves are pointing straight up. I collected a few tubers from the St John river floodplain a few years ago and they have grown best amongst the daylilies here in the yard, they survive but struggle in the Jerusalem artichoke patch. I’ve read somewhere that they will even grow in boggy areas and grow quite large tubers under elderberries, though in my area I’ve only found wild tubers dangling from the washed out bank of a St John river and a few rivers in Nova Scotia in tall grasses and amongst plants near Elm trees. I’m quite close to the northern limits of this plant in its eastern range. Plants for a future (PFAF) plant database — has listed Apios americana as one of its top ranked wild plants in the world especially for taste.  Check out (PFAF top 20) and www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Apios%20americana     

This guy has been hanging around these sunchoke leaves for a few hours now, seems to be a friendly little cuss though. ciao

Tis the season of surprises

25 Jul

A few blueberries and I couldn’t resist adding the only teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens) I seen tonight as these are usually gone in June.  This teaberry would be the fruit of a blossom from the  summer of 2011.

Here are new blossoms which will produce spring of 2013 teaberries if things go well. I’m  somewhat fascinated by these plants that over-winter as an early developing berry and continue on in the late spring in their ripening.

This was a bit of  a surprise as well this late in July,—-It is some spring oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus populinus) on a down popular trunk. Well it is getting dark and I’ve seen enough surprises. ciao

Wild thyme time

19 Jul

I noticed some flowering wild thyme made up a good portion of a lawn at a property in an industrial park and happened to know of an area a few minutes away where I  could gather some clean ones along the edge of a field of bedstraw.

It appears to be wild blueberry time as well, so I enjoyed a nice taste of them while collecting the wild thyme. I may try some wild thyme honey this year. ciao

U-pick thicket festival

17 Jul

Here are a few wild berries growing in a thicket outside Sackville New Brunswick.

Close up of Moxie-plum (Gaultheria hispidula), the fruit are a nice nibble treat and the leaves make a very good wintergreen tea. I always enjoy finding these little delights.

Amelanchier berries are my favorite for fruit cookies and scones so here are a few photos.

This one is Red-berried elder (Sambucus racemosa or  pubens) which is a fruit I have been reluctant to try due to not being able to find anyone who has admitted to making a jelly or juice or wine, though I  see plenty of mention of it as both poisonous and also edible when fully ripe and then cooked as used many years ago by the Gitxsan people in northwest BC Canada. I will prepare a small amount of boiled juice to very cautiously experiment with it in coming weeks, once I’m sure the berries are fully ripe and then I’ll boil a few with some water and strain the juice, also of note all parts of this plant are claimed to be poisonous when raw. This is a very naturally occurring abundant fruit in my area and this is my main reason to taste it sparingly to explore this mystery. The is one of the last wild fruit in my area for me to sample, though it has been on my list for decades. I guess another reason for the delay is no one has claimed it taste good either, so no wonder it would be on the bottom of the list eh.

I was a little amazed at the variety of plants, shrubs and trees in this thicket which was swampy to dry sand and shifting from one to the other frequently. Cranberries and blackberries were the dominant fruits, though they were flowering at this time, here are some cranberry blossoms with a small green fruit developing on the right side of the photo.

I did say it was a festival and in the thicket we do things  a bit differently. here we look down at a member of the ginseng family, bristly sarsaparilla (Aralia hispida) with its fire works like show. You can make a tea from the roots of bristly sarsaparilla. cheers

Some Chanterelle

16 Jul

A few early chanterelle.

I find most chanterelle under spruce trees, but for the start of the chanterelle season, pine trees and especially Jack pine tend to produce plenty  of these mushrooms.  Some indicator plants around the jack pines are blueberry and as shown in the above photo, sweet fern.  The chanterelles look very orange through the sweet fern leaves. You may need to click the photo to enlarge.

A few steps past the sweet fern and here are some tasty chanterelle, there were just a few other mushrooms in this area today including a handful of Blushers and a small Lobster mushroom and I will probably do something on Lobster mushrooms in August or into the fall, when a large fruiting occurs.

One thing there were plenty off today was horse-flies, they were my very constant companions while on the 2 or 3 miles of wood trails and they made themselves eagerly available for a photo or 2.

Back at the house and I didn’t get a chance to clean these before going on a trip, once I do clean these ones they should last close to a week in the fridge if not eaten before then.. ciao

To daylily is yester daylily’s tomorrow

7 Jul

Rain or shine the longer flower buds in this picture numbering around 50 of them will look a lot like the open flowers in the basket below by tomorrow morning.

Here is a photo of today’s flowers before they were placed in the basket. I gathered these in a few minutes in between the many thunder showers today.

More flower sections for drying tonight. A few more days of 50 flowers per day in this patch and then by next week the flowering should be completed. The dried flower aroma reminds me of dried rugosa rose hips, should be fun to compare the 2 in September. ciao

A smidgen of a rainy daylily evening

5 Jul

Yes a light rain most of the day, so something a little different for the ready to close daylily flowers tonight. A few petals in my salad was nice, taste like a crisp sweet lettuce. The still damp sections of flowers will go into the dehydrator for a few hours and will be used in soups and I’ll try a tea with them as well. Ciao

Lonicera villosa, where are you?

4 Jul

If you don’t already know this wild berry let me introduce you to Mountain fly honeysuckle or if you prefer Northern fly honeysuckle. These in the photo have a pleasant taste of lemony blueberries though some of this plants cousins developed over in Russia & Japan which have fruit 6 times the size of my wild berries are said to have a flavor between raspberry and blueberry and are known as Haskap and also Honeyberry and some folks are now growing these Asian developed bushes here in North America.

The batteries passed out in my camera so we will have to settle for a blurry shot on these berries.

Here is a photo of an early May bumblebee hanging in there doing her thing to help these blooms become the berries above.

A patch of Mountain fly honeysuckle in mid-May.  It is extremely difficult to notice these berries on the plants when they are ripe due to the berries being covered very well by the leaves, so if you live in the northern part of the USA or Canada start looking under the leaves in late June to early July, but first get acquainted with the berry patch in early May when this plant is one of the first to have green leaves and early blooms before most of the blueberries and Aronias. Once the other plants in the area green-up Lonicera villosa is hard to find as its name is to remember. Look for the plants in peaty or wet rocky areas. Hope you get a chance to try these little treats, you’ll probably be the first in your neighborhood to do so. ciao

Happy Canada Day

1 Jul

This Daylily flower blossomed just in time for the Canada Day celebration and will wither out to tonight  like the evening fireworks festivities and should become the first member of my dried golden needles collection for 2012 to be enjoyed in soups this winter.

As you can see there are many buds preparing for their day of glory to come soon. Daylilies are native to Eurasia and the fresh buds are also edible though I recommend you check out Green Deane (Eat the weeds) website before you try any of the edible parts of our North American daylilies for the first time.

Here is a daylily flower stalk with an interesting guest climbing it, you will need to click on twice to have a good look at this plants twining nature, this  is a native plant that many folks in North America have been gratefully eating this member of the pea family’s potato like tubers for at least 15,000 years, so that means about 15,000 years before there was a country called Canada or even a word day that meant day. To commemorate this historic sustainer here at my house once this plants lovely flowers bloom, I will then celebrate Apios americana Day, also known as groundnut and hopniss. Lots of reasons to celebrate right here, where ever you are. Have a great Daylily with lots of hopniss. ciao