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Maritime Roseroot

6 Jun

At the edge of the sea shore you sure see how water tends to make things well rounded.

Here you may also see some Maritime cliff hangers. The one with yellow flowers is Rhodiola rosea a small sedum well known in Northern areas as roseroot which can be used as a edible and medicinal plant. Impressive to see greens finding their own special places to grow.

Clintonia borealis

12 May

Clintonia borealis has the common name of Bluebead lily, take a moment to look at these striking plant standing above and also if you zoom closer you can see some smaller plants poking through the snow with narrow green points. This wild plant’s leaves taste similar to cucumber when fresh, I’m not fond of this plant cooked as a pot herb though.

Bluebead lily can be a very common plant in some eastern forest. I collected a tiny fraction of what was in this area with the thought of finding some new uses for these spring shoots besides cutting the fresh leaves up in salads, so time to go home for some culinary adventuring.ūü¶Č

We’re Back

7 May

It has been over 18 months since my last post on wild foods so yes we are back as I found the sight of these peeled Japanese Knotweed shoots to pleasant not to share with you.

In my view and even with my phone camera pics these shoots appear quite appealing even unpeeled. My first experience with J K shoots goes back about 40 years with a not so tasty pie which inspired many years of little use of this abundantly available spring edible. Today peeled, blanched and then soaked and later on cooked with 3 apples into an applesauce it has suddenly become a wonderful food as well as a photogenic spring shoot, a big thank you from me has to go out to those experimential folks sharing info on wild foods at this time. Japanese Knotweed is probably also quite nutritious as well with at least some resveratrol but not near as much as it has in this plants fall roots. if you shied away from J K shoots it may be time to give them another try says eye. ūü¶Č

Water Pennywort

18 Aug

Over the winter I remember reading about the interesting medicinal and edible Asian plant Gotu kola and was hopeful of taking some time this year to find our close Maritime relative Hydrocotyle americana. One pleasant thing about foraging is being reminded of little projects while foraging for other things as wild mushrooms are my main focus today.

Here we have Water Pennywort on the ground with the mint family member Bugleweed towering above. I can’t give any info from my own experience on eating or beverages made from Hydrocotyle americana so I must leave this as just another interesting little plant not well known to share as the more familiar we become with these types of plants, (this one was found on an old woods road in Kent county NB) the more we will be willing to protect them from human over indulgence in our surroundings. We can be conscious of our own gatherings and be aware the impact of some of the other ones going on around us.

Inland from the sea sand

4 Jul

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The ocean’s voice accompanied by shorebirds can still be heard as I leave the beach and head into a flat marshy area to forage where¬†a wide variety of plants¬†can be¬†gathered¬†for food¬†and medicinal usage. Just in the above photo we see a few different mustards, peas and Goosefoot family members which are excellent tasting nutritional foods, some though need to be eaten in moderation and require special preparation. Today I’ll just mention a¬†few of my favorites.

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Here is a view above the bank showing a large bed of Beach pea РLathyrus japonicus.

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Not far away where there is visible sand we see some Silverweed РPotentilla anserina.

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Seabeach Sandwort – Honkenya peploides is a nice edible which can be eaten raw cut into bite size pieces and also stir fried with other veggies. This plant usually grounds close to shore or where there is bare sand often in small mounds 3 to 4 feet across, it belongs to the Pink Family which also includes Chickweed. If you are lucky enough to find the earliest stems you will taste a salty¬†& juicy morsel which looks like giant bean sprouts, once the straight stem sections turn yellowish brown the stems will be to woody and dry to eat, the ones in photos haven’t flowered yet and with some rain would remain edible for several weeks.

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Sea Rocket – Cakile edentula also goes well in salads when cut in tiny pieces, larger pieces for stir fries, it is a bold salty mustard. This plant is often dominate in flat sandy areas along the coast.

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I’ll leave you with this photo which showcase the wide openness of this type of foraging¬†area which are very pleasant to be in on a breezy summer day. ciao

 

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.

Not to very sunny flowers

2 Oct

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Usually I’m showing the Sunchoke’s tubers which grow below these plants, but¬†now is the time to¬†see up close¬†their often not noticed fall flowers and to enter a pic in my wild flower page.

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Jerusalem Artichoke is a plant which stands between 5 to 9 feet tall in patches along many Maritime brooks and rivers in the early fall season. Here is a look at a few bend down stems with flowers where you may start to see them in a slightly different light.

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If you are fortunate enough to find a spot –¬†even on an overcast day like this one where you can¬†shine down¬†on them¬†at the same angle as the somewhat clouded sun behind you- then something like this will be seen.

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I like this one the most for my (wild flower page), but a few folks in the house chose one of the other pics, which would you choose?

 

Salt Marsh Flowers

10 Jul

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Glaux maritima – sea milkwort is not real common in this salt marsh and is quite well hidden in the taller grasses,¬†I think¬†I’ll add this one to my wild flower page¬†as this little plant is a salt marsh favorite¬†of mine.

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Actually dropped in here for some more male cattail flower heads in the fresh water marsh, but with a salt marsh this close a small walk in seemed a good idea and here we see some Plantago maritima Рseaside plantain which I showed the long leaves of last week, now those plants have these newly emerging flower stems already starting to flower just at the bottom of the stem heads (click on for closer look), these unique little flowers are looking quite showy on this sunny afternoon. ciao

A couple of salt marsh edibles

2 Jul

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In the swamp this afternoon seeing how the cattails and a few others edibles are coming along and decided to continue over the dyke into the salt marsh. Here in the photo is a plant with tasty edible leaves known as Orache, this is the most common Atriplex in this marsh and its leaves will start to shrink as it stretches upwards in the warmer weather, so now is a good time to gather a few.

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Another look at its spear shaped leaf.

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Some other animal has been walking over the dyke and has found and nibbled on these nice tender seaside plantain (Plantago martima), known locally as goose-tongue and passé-pierre.

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In the marsh’s taller grass the seaside plantain had long slender succulent leaves over a foot long, harder to see and more difficult to graze as many other plants with similar leaves were well mixed in with them, I needed to check twice on some of them, here they are laying on some dried grass with a couple of orache sprouts in view. I think I’ll sit here for a bit and them home to steam some greens.

Ah, Wood Nettle a

20 Jun

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A typical foraging adventure where things just didn’t pan out as expected, a bit to early for the plant I had in mind though this new floodplain I’ve started exploring this year is turning up some interesting plants like this¬†Wood Nettle – (Laportea canadensis).

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The greenery has grown a couple feet since my last visit, now there¬†are many Wood Nettle peeking through the Sensitive Ferns and there are a few others like Poison Ivy I’m unfamiliar with and I’ve read it can¬†give you a few¬†different looks within¬†a same area¬†so I’ll have to be quite – rashional – in my approach so a few tools are in order like these gloves which I always carry with me anyway.

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This one I didn’t bring but it as a rule conveniently grows around plants which can irritate your skin so I’ll keep a few juicy stems of Jewelweed – (Impatiens capensis) around just in case things get uncomfortable. As it turned out¬†I didn’t run into problems though I did place the stem juice on my skin just to stay familiar with the smell and feel of this jewel of a weed, quite refreshing.

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A few sunny light green Wood Nettles and lots of  sunny light green Sensitive Fern.

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Probably 75% of the plants in this view are tall healthy Sensitive Ferns.

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A slightly drier area and we have some large Wood Nettle plants, none have any flower parts¬†opening up¬†yet also in view¬†are some Dryad Saddle mushrooms on an Elm tree straight ahead in the distance, you’ll need to click on the photo to see them.

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Now I’m a bit surprised that there a few areas on this floodplain with large colonies Wood Nettle covering several acres so I’ll gather a single leaf per plant and will have a year’s supply for tea, juices¬†and soups in just¬†a¬†few hours. Back home the plant appears to have much milder stinging irritants as compared to the Stinging Nettles in the Urtica group I already know well.¬† The raw leaves de-activated of the stingers¬†tasted¬†better than the raw Urticas but¬†raw and de-activated in fruit juice it didn’t have the same invigorating qualities as¬†the Uriticas. There are a few medications which interact unfavorably with both Wood¬†Nettle and Stinging Nettle so do your homework before using this food and medicinal.¬†ciao