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Tragopogon, Grass Rooting

20 Nov

During July I seen a large area of Tragopogon pratensis which seemed suitable for gathering this plant if I can recall the location for next spring, this post should help:) Often this plant grows very well along roads and railways, the type of places you (do not) want to gather food from. Occasionally T prantensis will also grow in grassy areas along brooks & rivers which can provide for some safe gatherings depending on what is upstream. So since I’m right here right now actually searching for another plant of course lets see if I can find some T pratensis plants amongst the grasses.

If you look at the green plant leaves to the left of the center of the photo you will see the most dominant plant here which is a grass I can’t identify and to the right of center is a Tragopogon with very similar looking leaves though they are more numerous and you can circle them with your hand and follow them back to root.

Usually my main edible interest in this plant are the early spring growth of stems and leaves, today well into November with the temperature near 0 C the greens are less appealing to me so I think it will be time to dig a little deeper and see what the late fall roots look like. The more numerous and larger leaves should point to the largest roots.

These roots were a lot easier to remove from the soil than I expected. Many of these roots the size of a medium carrot. The leaves still are edible and nutritious but are most tender towards the root.

These are one of the better tasting wild roots, as good as most garden vegetables. Like Jerusalem Artichoke and Burdock, Tragopogon pratensis is a member of the Asteraceae family and it also contains inulin in its roots so many may get windy after a good feed of them. Tragopogon pratensis roots boiled for 5 to 7 minutes are very tender, I added butter and a little lemon juice, salt and pepper, very good.

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Fall Foraging and Photos

13 Nov

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November in New Brunswick Canada can present you with some interesting wild food opportunities. Recently I revisited this field I gathered a variety of wild greens in during June and returned here for tubers and the hope of maybe some winter annual greens. In the photo’s bottom left corner we see a wild radish plant and the rest of the photo features mostly the brown remains of the mint family member Stachys palustris with a few straight beggars tick stems which I attempted to slalom around to avoid getting coated in seeds.

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Here we see what was just under the soil below the old Stachys palustris plants. Some fine tubers you can eat fresh or cooked or dried and powdered into flour.

 

Of the greens available it was by far the wild radish stealing the show.

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Most the new fall growth were on old mature blown down stems from summer. These greens were in suitable shape for cooking and drying with even a few plants with new pods and flower buds. Good chance if a warm spell appears in Dec there will be plenty of other mustard family members available for Maritime foragers to gather:)

Chokecherries

18 Aug

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Trying a few new food things with chokecherries which I’ll probably post on down the road. Here is a phone photo trailer for you which seems to nicely capture a forager’s view of this abundant wild Maritime fruit. Ciao

 

 

 

 

Lowbush Blueberries

29 Jul

Super short post on a Maritime wild food favorite, low bush blueberries which tend to grow well in sandy acidic soils, usually dry ones.

Often around this time of the year wild mushrooms are my focus, but with a very dry July in my neck of the woods blueberries came through as a nice alternative which will be much appreciated this winter in many ways. Blueberries are great in desserts and are surprisingly attractive and tasty good in soups, casseroles, etc.

I claimed it was a super short post so I’ll end with the above photo which stirred the stream of thoughts of these lucky blueberries enjoying some lovely shade under a canopy of pleasant scented sweet fern, at a restful blueberry resort right here in New Brunswick ūüôā

Umbrella polypore

13 Jul

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Short post on my first gathering of Polyporus umbellatus which is a rare and quite unusual wild edible mushroom here the Maritime provinces. This Umbrella polypore is the size of a loaf of bread and has a scent of toffee. Umbrella polypore is also aka the medicinal mushroom Zhu Ling which makes use of the large woody sclerotia underground the fruiting mushroom. These sclerotia left as is should produce fruiting mushrooms for decades, so I shall return next year to check this out. Zhu Ling is best known for its results for folks with lung cancer and has a long history of usage in China. As for ¬†tastiness of this above ground mushroom, I’ll add a comment later on after I fry some up. This mushroom was found near birch, poplar and young beech so keep your eyes open my fellow Maritime foragers.

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Maritime Lobster Mushrooms

14 Aug

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Lobster Mushrooms are out in good numbers in the Maritimes now, so check out my catch of the day.

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This one is rather smooth with not much sign of gill ridges.

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I find most of my Lobster Mushroom usually near mature Eastern White Pine and an area with mixed woods with large Poplar trees can be prime spots to have a look also.

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These 3 photos show the weight divisions Lobster Mushrooms often fall into with the 1st photo 1/4 lb, 2nd 1/2 lb and last one weighed 1lb.

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The closest Lobster Mushrooms appears slightly over mature but look around as often there will be plenty of good ones near by, the white powder visible on the gill surface is not mold it is actually spores so this is not a sign the mushroom is not still good to eat. Two things to check concerning whether a Lobster Mushroom is still in good shape for eating is a light to slightly darker orange color, nothing in the red to purple range and when you squeeze the stem at ground level it is very firm. If there are soft spots or brown colored areas somewhere on the mushroom above the firm stem just cut them out and you should still have plenty of choice mushroom left.

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Here is what was in a 25 foot area of the above photo.

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Back home with a basketful of goodies which will soon be processed into a yummy Lobster Mushroom marinate thanks to Hank Shaw’s website honest-food.net¬†‚Äļ 2016¬†‚Äļ July¬†‚Äļ 18

Ciao

Good Green Tidings

5 Jun

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A view of a sluice with the tide on the rise, I’ll walk along the edge of the¬†salt marsh¬†till the waters sway me dykeward.

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Here is the plant I’d like to show you today, Ligusticum scoticum (Scotch Lovage). They are recently making somewhat of a comeback as a food of interest.

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These plants seem to like it midway up these small dykes, the salt water will almost reach them by the looks of things today.

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Another photo from where the view of the sluice took place, here the sluice only appears to be gone and soon it will only appear to back, it is amazing what can appear to happen when you pick a few greens by the shore. ciao

Jack Pine Pollen Cones

21 May

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This is a new wild edible to me, one I’m quite interested in using in small quantities on a regular bases if it is agreeable to my body. Pine pollen allergies are uncommon though any new food needs to be gently introduced.

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The first 2 photos are of very young male Jack Pine pollen cones, these were tiny with a red tint and I suspect a bit too young to gather.

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The next 2 photos have slightly larger green cones and I’ll likely gather some similar to these this long weekend. I tried a sample of 4 little green cone balls and found them quite pleasant today so good reason to pursue on in this pine pollen cone adventure.

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Once they turn more yellowish and become softer I’ll gather¬†a good supply¬†hopefully just prior to their pollen release.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzPedLPxwY8

Above¬†are 2 embedded¬†videos¬†showing some interesting info on Pine Pollen¬†by Arthur¬†Haines from Maine,¬†he chose Eastern White Pine for harvesting which is also available here in New Brunswick though¬†at this point I’m¬†finding Jack Pine even the young trees in open areas¬†have¬†ample easy¬†to gather cones so these will be my first choice of Pine trees to start out with. If you’re a pine pollen cone gatherer and have some tips to share, please do. ciao

Good Old Maritime Fiddleheads

15 May

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The early spring growth of Matteuccia struthiopteris (Ostrich Fern) is by far the Maritimes most famous green wild food and I’m decided today to share with you why I enjoy¬†seeing them in nature more than eating them at the table.¬†Click on the photos to visit up close where Ostrich Fern fiddleheads have grow most comfortably for thousands of years¬†here in Maritimes.

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ciao, off for more fiddling.

Marsh Woundwort

15 May

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Of course as the day began I had no intention of gathering a few of these very early to appear Stachys palustris (Marsh Woundwort) which I will transplant into my garden near some stinging nettle. The plants¬†will produce plenty of tubers similar to what you see here by this Fall. These were gathered by just poking my fingers into the soil and feeling for the tubers if they were close by, I was actual looking for wild mushrooms today though these and a few other plants stole the show as I walked in¬†the meadow and floodplain¬†along the river including burdock, yellow nut-sedge and¬† the Maritime wild food favorite fiddleheads which I’ll also display in another short post today.

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Here is a plant growing from a small tuber running flat a 1/2 inch under the soil, also the tubers can run straight down. I planted one of these Marsh Woundwort tubers in a large pot a few years back and was pleasantly surprised with the numbers of long thin tubers and also rhizomes it produced.

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Come the fall the new tubers can be eaten raw or cooked in numerous ways, a very tasty food not often gathered in most of its range.