Archive | June, 2014

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