Tag Archives: foraging NB

Tragopogon, Grass Rooting

20 Nov

During July I seen a large area of Tragopogon pratensis which seemed suitable for gathering this plant if I can recall the location for next spring, this post should help:) Often this plant grows very well along roads and railways, the type of places you (do not) want to gather food from. Occasionally T prantensis will also grow in grassy areas along brooks & rivers which can provide for some safe gatherings depending on what is upstream. So since I’m right here right now actually searching for another plant of course lets see if I can find some T pratensis plants amongst the grasses.

If you look at the green plant leaves to the left of the center of the photo you will see the most dominant plant here which is a grass I can’t identify and to the right of center is a Tragopogon with very similar looking leaves though they are more numerous and you can circle them with your hand and follow them back to root.

Usually my main edible interest in this plant are the early spring growth of stems and leaves, today well into November with the temperature near 0 C the greens are less appealing to me so I think it will be time to dig a little deeper and see what the late fall roots look like. The more numerous and larger leaves should point to the largest roots.

These roots were a lot easier to remove from the soil than I expected. Many of these roots the size of a medium carrot. The leaves still are edible and nutritious but are most tender towards the root.

These are one of the better tasting wild roots, as good as most garden vegetables. Like Jerusalem Artichoke and Burdock, Tragopogon pratensis is a member of the Asteraceae family and it also contains inulin in its roots so many may get windy after a good feed of them. Tragopogon pratensis roots boiled for 5 to 7 minutes are very tender, I added butter and a little lemon juice, salt and pepper, very good.

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Fall Foraging and Photos

13 Nov

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November in New Brunswick Canada can present you with some interesting wild food opportunities. Recently I revisited this field I gathered a variety of wild greens in during June and returned here for tubers and the hope of maybe some winter annual greens. In the photo’s bottom left corner we see a wild radish plant and the rest of the photo features mostly the brown remains of the mint family member Stachys palustris with a few straight beggars tick stems which I attempted to slalom around to avoid getting coated in seeds.

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Here we see what was just under the soil below the old Stachys palustris plants. Some fine tubers you can eat fresh or cooked or dried and powdered into flour.

 

Of the greens available it was by far the wild radish stealing the show.

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Most the new fall growth were on old mature blown down stems from summer. These greens were in suitable shape for cooking and drying with even a few plants with new pods and flower buds. Good chance if a warm spell appears in Dec there will be plenty of other mustard family members available for Maritime foragers to gather:)

Maritime Lobster Mushrooms

14 Aug

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Lobster Mushrooms are out in good numbers in the Maritimes now, so check out my catch of the day.

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This one is rather smooth with not much sign of gill ridges.

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I find most of my Lobster Mushroom usually near mature Eastern White Pine and an area with mixed woods with large Poplar trees can be prime spots to have a look also.

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These 3 photos show the weight divisions Lobster Mushrooms often fall into with the 1st photo 1/4 lb, 2nd 1/2 lb and last one weighed 1lb.

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The closest Lobster Mushrooms appears slightly over mature but look around as often there will be plenty of good ones near by, the white powder visible on the gill surface is not mold it is actually spores so this is not a sign the mushroom is not still good to eat. Two things to check concerning whether a Lobster Mushroom is still in good shape for eating is a light to slightly darker orange color, nothing in the red to purple range and when you squeeze the stem at ground level it is very firm. If there are soft spots or brown colored areas somewhere on the mushroom above the firm stem just cut them out and you should still have plenty of choice mushroom left.

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Here is what was in a 25 foot area of the above photo.

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Back home with a basketful of goodies which will soon be processed into a yummy Lobster Mushroom marinate thanks to Hank Shaw’s website honest-food.net › 2016 › July › 18

Ciao

Awaken to a Chanterelle dream

27 Jul

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This photo was so magically hazy I had to find away to place it in the post. A few hundred chanterelle on this steep hillside made for some pleasant shady picking. Click on the photo to see all the little orange ones all over the place.

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A closer Chanterelle look but still a little groggy.

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Now in this Maritime dreamland there are more than just Chanterelles as here we see a bolete in the King Bolete clan.

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Check the bottom of the stem to see if it is still solid and no significant worm holes and this one as you can see is in good shape for eating.

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I’ve found this mushrooms conifer cousin before on mature eastern hemlock but here is my first run in with Chicken of the Woods, Laetiporus sulphureus which you will only find on hardwoods, usually the uncommon red oak in my area, unfortunately.

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Some may have a reaction to Laetiporus so start with a small amount the first time out. This is day 2 for me with this mushroom as an edible and really enjoyed it cooked in butter then made into a sandwich with lettuce and mayo, the initial try was a piece the size of a dried apricot sliced in 1/4″ strips and fried in olive oil for 10 minutes which was over cooked but I could see potential. So concludes this dreamy Maritime mushroomy post. ciao

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 – Lathyrus japonicus.

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Not far away where there is visible sand we see some Silverweed – Potentilla 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

 

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

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.

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

Tricholoma dulciolens

11 Oct

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A few pics of T dulciolens which was my long skinny version of Matsutake for many a year.

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Currently there is a question on whether these mushrooms have been exported from one of the Nordic countries to Japan as a Matsutake type produce, as Henrik in his comments below and other sources point out Tricholoma dulciolens is very rare in Scandinavia and probably in Finland as well so still curious on the link I added in comments below which makes the claim of T dulciolens being an imported item in Japan. I guess the good news for us folks here in the Maritimes is our mature spruce in a few different soil types usually in our near wetlands do produce some of these mushrooms, though here as well they seem a mushroom which would not be near common enough for a commercial harvest at least from what I have investigated thus far.

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Usually when gathering you will only see the caps and then it is time to gently lift in agreement with the stem’s underground angle, notice a few are left as they are, very unwise to attempt to take all of anything.

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In the deep moss there may be some of these and also the Matsutake below the green surface so walk soft, don’t walk directly to the mushroom you see, plan a path of least disturbance, all foods deserve our respect and this group almost seem to demand all your senses be fully awake and in tune.

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Added photos of rare Maritime Lyophyllum  _____? in spruce forest