Tag Archives: fireweed

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

Fiddleheads, fireweed and wintercress

18 May

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Back to a small stream I noticed some nice Chaga mushrooms near a few weeks ago and today the ostrich fern fiddleheads on the stream bank were  a good size for gathering.

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Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) is another plant which may be at its tastiest when it is just barely visible. If you are interested in this plant’s shoots and live in the Maritimes note the location of the large beds of showy flowers in July and much later return for the spring shoots usually in early May.

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In grassy areas these small Fireweed shoots are a good challenge to see.

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Here are a couple of Wintercress plants (Barbarea vulgaris), these leaves are a bit chewed up and probably survived under the snow from Dec to May. These plants look like they could bolt any second now and should be showing some yellow flowers on foot long stalks by early June. Some consider the stalk and unopened buds of wintercress its best edible parts.

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More healthy looking birch trees with prime chaga mushrooms around this small stream, another hot spot. ciao

Summer salad arrangements

14 Jul

DSC05662Here are a few wildflowers blooming in my area today.  The first one above is Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) which is only considered by a few foragers to have edible flowers, so do plenty of research before trying this one. Our native to this area Impatiens capensis is smaller with different colored flowers, both are known to have edible seeds which have exploding seed capsules which are a fun challenge to gather.

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Himalayan balsam is kind of rare to see growing in the wild here in my area, but is considered an invasive in the UK.

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Fireweed with flower buds, (Epilobium angustifolium) is a common plant in the Tantramar marsh.

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Here is Fireweed with some open flowers.

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Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

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Here we see the Evening primrose growing along the train tracks for a mile or so running through the marsh with a young groundhog using the rail as support while watching the traffic on the highway.

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On the way home a stop to gather some elder flowers, (Sambucus Canadensis) Elderberry is not a very common plant in my area.

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A look at an Elderberry bush, if you’re from the east coast of Canada and are just starting up an interest in Elderberry flowers you should  become familiar with the plant shown below.

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Here is a wet field of approximately 20 acres which is covered with the very poisonous Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata). It often grows quite close to Elderberry bushes and can grow to 6 feet in some sites, so learn the differences between these 2 plants before gathering Elderberry flowers for the first time in the Maritime provinces.

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A closer look at the typical 3+ foot Water Hemlock with white flowers to the left and behind the pink wild roses. ciao