Tag Archives: caraway

Wild Caraway and kin

20 Jul

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Caraway seeds are now ready to be gathered in the Maritime provinces as Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata) is in full bloom. In the photo we see a group of already cut Caraway stems laying on the ground. Most places Caraway grows (including here in the high marsh) a dangerous relative or 2 is most likely close by so get to know this family well before you start gathering this or any wild edible carrot relative for food.

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Here we see some young green Caraway  leaves laying on top of the mature Caraway stems. This plant has edible roots, leaves and seeds. I like to chew the seeds and grow and eat the young shoot leaves.  Caraway (Carum carvi) was a popular plant in southern Europe and Asia for thousands of years and does also grow very well in the north as it has become quite popular in Germany and England in more recent centuries.

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Water Hemlock and Caraway are both members of the carrot (Umbelliferae) family and luckily they flower and mature at different times. Here we see the mature brown stems and seeds of Caraway in the bottom half of the photo with the poisonous Water Hemlock with white flowers in the top half of the photo.

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A closer look at the upper parts on a Caraway stem with seeds and the taller poisonous Water Hemlock still flowering in the windy background.

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Another carrot family member a few miles down the road side, the common vegetable Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) in its second year flowering stage. Water Hemlock is again growing right beside its cousin Parsnip only this time it is the smaller plant of the family.

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Parsnip is quite noticeable with its yellow flowers though Dill another family member has yellow flowers,  I should also mention you will need to wear gloves if you want to collect Parsnip seeds at the end of the summer due to potential strong contact dermatitis with Parsnip’s toxic leaf sap.

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Farther down the road Queen Anne’s Lace AKA Wild Carrot (Daucus carota), the direct ancestor of our orange colored carrot of today.

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A few more miles to the dykes edge where we see another Umbelliferae has like Caraway already gone to seed, the difficult to see here Scotch Lovage (Ligusticum scothicum)

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Back home, the last of the carrot family to be shown today, Cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) which I believed was (Myrrhis odorata) for several years, this plant is rare to find in the wild in N.B. except here in my yard where it roams quite freely. There are lots more Umbelliferae family members you see on a regular bases along roads, in flower and vegetable gardens, at the grocery store and restaurants. ciao

A family resemblance

4 May

I’m in my driveway and over against the apartment building 15 feet away is one of my favorite wild edible plants standing taller and nestled amongst another very wholesome edible and medicinal plant. (Yellow goatsbeard with some Dandelions) Since the location they are appearing in is one from which I have no interest in gathering from I thought it best to at least get a few photos to share with you before my neighbour clips these plants. If you’re a person who enjoys gathering wild food it is a valuable asset to know your plants in all their stages of development, as often you will find unexpected plants while searching for other plants and mushrooms and may choose to gather some seeds or roots for introducing in other locations.

Yellow goatsbeard (Tragopogon pratensis) is also very similar to the vegetable Salsify and although the roots are alike I personally prefer to eat only the early shoots leaving the roots to produce another stem which will also produce flowers and seeds  during the early fall. Below is a photo of one from a harvestable area and in good condition for eating. So now you can see this plant in 2 different stages the shoot stage (below) and the flowering stage advanced by the sunny apartment foundation (above).

The taste of Yellow goatsbeard either raw or cooked is very mild, something like green beans. There are many other possible ways to enjoy eating this lovely plant, which in my area is common along river meadows and in semi tall grassy places and I’ve noticed they tend to grow along the edge of blueberry fields and roads, of course don’t collect in areas where you suspect potential toxins. Beyond eating the shoots you could sprout the seeds, roast the roots for coffee, cook the roots like (Salsify also known as Oyster plant), eat the flowers and cut up leaves in salads and they along with being tasty are also nutritious like their little brother Dandelion.

Last photo is of young caraway greens, I usually dry my caraway seeds I collect from the wild in my shed so now I have plenty of caraway plants surrounding my indicator garden  and they made their way over just a few feet from the yellow goatsbeard plants in this post, all kinds of goodies around. ciao

The yard will never be the same

23 Mar

The yard, always in transition though not one atom ever separated from true nature. All in one.

wild rose,  vitamin C rich rose hips, ripe seeds, rested roots will soon spring new growth on these stems.

Live forever or Orpine, this plant’s leaves are a good salad green from May through August when growing in shady river intervals, these ones are tiny once you notice the maple seed in this photo, these resemble miniature cabbage, they are located near our patio.

Stinging Nettle, covered by some silver maple leaves in my indicator garden, nettles seem to make every one around them a little healthier.

Caraway, is a very self sufficient character around here, it is our rabbits favorite treat next to raisins.

Sweet cicely, also does very well. I’m adding 2 photos to my (image page) tonight, if you like colorful mushrooms check them out they are called Blewit (Lepista nuda) and I’ve introduced them to my indicator garden last fall, so they may appear here next Oct.

You all come back now you here.