Apios, the riverbank dangler

29 Jun

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I’ve shown photos of the flowers of Apios americana from my backyard many times on the blog though the tubers rarely have been given a chance to shine so with the floods waters gone and the riverbank visible here we see the easiest way to locate where groundnuts usually grow in good numbers though they rarely flower or have much leaf growth.

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Often there will be many strung together on a line.

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More a few feet a way.

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Apios americana is known to grow larger tubers where it can mingle amongst other roots in moist soil. I find it both flowers and tubers well with daylilies. A photo of flowers in August and today a fresh tuber the size of a medium potato. Groundnut was a popular food for thousands of years in Eastern North American, there are many online sites which can tell you about its history, nutrition value and other interesting stuff. One thing I find interesting is it is a food you can gather anytime the ground isn’t frozen or you may even gather them then if the riverbank still has some danglers.

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Here is what I may gather soon unless I stumble upon something else that draws my attention. Here we see elderberry very close to flowering and also wild radish pods, these little ones here tasted quite good. 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.

Chaga in a winter hinterland

1 Jan

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Way back in the last days of 2015 I decided to go and harvest my winter chaga before the snow became to deep on a cool -12 C afternoon. It has been cold enough lately so all the main medicinal properties should be locked in tight in this chaga mushroom. With only 5 inches of snow on the ground this was quite easy walking through thick mostly conifers only 100 meters off a path to this paper birch tree which I found in the summer, at that time this tree was able to produce leaves in some of the top branches so the medicinal flow through the tree trunk is still fresh.

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Summer view (July 24/2015) of same chaga mushroom.

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A photo capturing some of the snowiness of the day.

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Something new as I made a phone video which I thought I could upload directly here at wordpress but that turned into quite an adventure ending with me joining Yahoo-Flickr to stage any clips I’d like to embed here on this blog. I learnt a few little things along the way, like how to hold the phone on my next attempt, anyway a glitch or 2 in uploading but not to bad for a first try. ciao

Cold fresh Oyster Mushrooms

13 Dec

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Here in the Maritimes we’ve had a few days lately with the temps above zero at least during the afternoons and most of the snow has melted so as you can see in the pic this does occasionally produce some surprises.

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Even into early January you may run into a sugar maple tree adorned with some fine wild oyster mushrooms if the temps are on the plus side for a few days, never found them in the Maritimes during the month of February yet, soups on the stove. ciao

Mountain Ash

9 Dec

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I haven’t tried making anything with Mountain Ash berries for several years now, last attempt was a marmalade which I didn’t enjoy much. Seeing this snow covered tree has kind of rekindled my interest in these berries and this photo will be entered in my wild fruit page with a summer view of another type of Mountain Ash as we have many different types here in the Maritimes and to be fair to this fruit I really should start tasting the (cooked) fruits from several varieties as some of our friends in NFLD found out long ago when they discovered a sweet one they favor for gathering.

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Maybe I’ll try making a beverage with ginger this time around as I’ve seen recipes for jams with ginger and citrus fruit combos, ideally an early harvest would provide a less mushy berry, but now is always the right time if you missed the best time. he he

A litter of Cats

18 Oct

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Only found one small area of Catathelasma ventricosum today which was more than OK as I was on another mission, but with bright caps up to 20 cm across these mushrooms certainly stand out from a distance as you may notice above.

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This was an unexpected find of Cats which will send me asap to some of my more familiar haunts of this large fall mushroom which I had already given up on this year as only a few appeared several weeks ago.

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Although I usually dry most of what I gather of this mushroom, this has been the year of the pickle for me and these mushroom should be excellent for that process.

 

Sweet Home Tricholoma

17 Oct

 

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Interesting den like structure which should provide sleeping space for 3 appears on this steep decline, the opening is facing straight up and shortly beyond it seems the hill drops straight down a few hundred feet, even though many conifers have managed to hang in there, not to far away on flat lowlands amongst the conifers I start to see some of my favorite Tricholoma mushrooms again, though unfortunately their season is coming to an end soon, maybe if all goes well some of these areas will not fall to a clear cut before my next visit in 2016.

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Have a look at another mushroom which may be mistaken for a Matsutake, this one is Tricholoma focale which is not rated very highly as an edible in most countries, though I have seem claim that it is pretty good when preserved in certain ways, ( I’ll get back to you on this one shhh), I usually only see these in disturbed soils or thin moss, commonly seen here near the coast at a small size of 5 cm, though here are some big ones with 15 cm caps.

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A few Maritime Matsutake ( Tricholoma magnivelare ) possibly to be renamed down the road.

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and the long and slim one, Tricholoma dulciolens, well this is probably it for me and these Tricholoma mushrooms for this year, next up should be Honeys, Oysters and as usual, plenty of surprises. ciao