Tag Archives: foraging Moncton

Corn Lily

18 May

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Corn Lily – (Blue bead lily) – Clintonia borealis – doesn’t stay tasty long, often by the time you recognize the plant it is to bitterly late, unless you have located areas of large beds in previous years and are familiar with its early growth.

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This is a plant I haven’t gathered much as I never found any spots with a large enough population of plants, but today there are 10s of thousands in this area so I’ll gather a few as I would like to try a recipe with them.

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In this collecting area south of Moncton this cucumber tasting plant is kind of distinct with its early start, size & up right curved around leaves so this isn’t a problem to identify here, though in other areas there may be a poisonous Lily member look-alike so study this one very well before gathering it for food these early growth edibles can be tricky and even in my province just 50 miles away along the St John River grows the toxic Veratrum viride which is larger but somewhat similar in early growth so be thorough with your Lily family identification. Off topic for a second – have a look at the single leaf in the bottom right, this is a Trout Lily leaf growing from a new young bulb, this will take possibly up to 5 more years before the bulb is mature enough to produce flowering, at this location the Corn Lilies and Trout Lilies seem to colonize their own separate densely populated villages throughout these hardwoods of mostly Betula cordifolia mountain birch, surprised  to see very little Chaga mushroom up here.

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Here is a Corn Lily in flower in early June, the leaves are much to bitter to eat at this stage. ciao

Trout Lily

16 May

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I’m going to add a new page tonight on wild flowers and first up on board will be one that is quite edible from bulb to pod which is the Trout Lily —  Erythronium americanum

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Trout Lily is one of our earliest bloomers after the snow melts and today in this area of mountain birch they are starting to shine,100 yards up the road in the conifers the snow is still a foot deep. These plants are only common in a few habitats in my area being usually river floodplains and some hardwood forest.

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Here is just a flower.

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This photo shows you why the name Trout Lily was chosen for this plant due to the purplish brown and green mottled leaves which resembles a trout’s sides.

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The parts of the Trout Lily I choose to eat are the stem & unopened flower buds and also the young seed pods, the bulbs are by far the most popular edible part but I prefer not to dig them up. Some Trout Lily beds can be several hundred feet in area and can be near a hundred years old with new bulbs spreading out from the parents and taking many years before they can produce flowers and also seeds on occasion can start up new areas often planted by ants due to something tasty attached to their seeds, check out elaiosome.

Oyster Ms and baby Chantys

17 Jul

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I was a bit surprised to see these spring Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus populinus) in such good shape as usually this mushroom is eaten up very quickly by a type of small beetle when growing in spring and early summer on our poplar trees here in eastern Canada. These ones had no trace of beetles, a few weeks ago the beetles were chewing the tiniest oyster mushroom it seems even before they appeared, possible the warm days leading into the recent rains has encouraged a vacation somewhere else.

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This particular variety of oyster mushroom has a very nice aroma which fades away in a few hours after gathering.

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It has rained a good amount lately and these small brightly colored baby Chanterelle mushrooms are popping up in great numbers in mixed and conifer woods.

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These small mushrooms tend to remain in a firm edible state on the ground for a much longer period of time than most of the choice edible mushrooms I gather so I feel no urgency to gather these at this point. If no further rain was to appear for a week to 10 days these little ones would dry out and not recover to expand out, though a new bunch may grow in the same area with future summer and fall rains especially if they continue for  a few days. Small Chanterelle are often consider the best to eat though these ones to me need at least one more rain.

Maritime early risers

10 May

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I often show orpine here on the blog, it is one of the first edibles available in my area and seems very common around fresh water streams, fields and thickets.DSC06658

 

Lots of snow and rain this year made for some flooding and in fact the road I travelled here on is washed out a mile south and closed for repair for several weeks now. Here we see why Orpine is aka Live Forever as the soil usually around its tubers is completely gone, yet the green growth on these plants looks as good as the ones in soil, the tubers are softening and drying out though.

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This seems like a good opportunity to reach down and pick up a few more young Orpine plants to bring home to my garden as it is a great salad plant and I would like to try Orpine tubers in the fall and winter in a few different ways this year, this collection will help me recall the tubers later on. Orpine is a survivor and will grow a new plant even from a small piece of stem placed in soil and this is the usual way I move these plants to new areas, today the tubers were presented to me in a way I most generously accept.

 

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Here below the blackberry canes we see one of our first spring wild flowering plants the Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum), I haven’t eaten this plant very often over the decades due mainly to my believe I maybe harming the population by digging the well buried bulbs which is considered by many to be the best edible part.

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Trout Lily is also very common along streams and in some hard wood areas. This year I’ve decided like most other years to leave the bulbs and leaves be, though I will gather some of the flower buds, flowers with stems to eat raw, cooked and also try fermented. Click on the photo to noticed patterns on the leaves which do resemble a trout’s sides.

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Lastly, here is a little Maritime beaver art for you, another resemblance this freshly chomped piece looks somewhat similar to the large conifer burl not far away, nicely done beaver. ciao for now

Maritime spring colors

4 May

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small round leafed salicornia sprouts and a few other salt marsh annuals under last year’s salicornia stems. You will need to click on the photo to notice the tiny salicornia sprouts

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Not much greenery around the Phragmites though tan and light brown look good as well.

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Way over my head in last summer’s Phragmites stems, some of these are 10 ft plus, this plant is one I  will be visiting a few times this spring and summer to explore its edible parts.

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Leaving the marsh for higher ground a groundhog appears cooperative for a photo.

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Inland a few miles along a small stream we see a few ostrich fern fiddleheads taking off their copper colored spring coats on this warm day.

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Orpine is also popping up on the stream’s floodplain.

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A small trip to remember especially with this huge chaga mushroom and pleasant view on the way back through the forest.  This chaga looks to be around 8 lbs and the birch tree it is on is still in good shape with plenty of new buds on its branches, this mushroom is one I may return for in a winter or 2. ciao

 

 

 

 

 

Enough Hedgehogery

26 Sep

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Yah, I’ve been bombarding you with these Hydnum repandum lately though this will be the last post this year on this choice edible mushroom.

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A good look at the teeth on the underside of the cap.

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Some more large half pounders.

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These mushrooms are great fresh and also make a nice powdered mushroom once dried. ciao