Tag Archives: herb tea

Tree of Lite, Eastern Hemlock

14 Jun

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Some of my favorite summer and fall mushrooms grow on or under this sometimes large and long living conifer known as Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis). Today as I walked along this country road I was taken by the light of the freshly emerging needle tips at end of all the Hemlock twigs in this dark forest.

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The new needle growth are actually close to an inch long at this point and are a very light green in color. Time to gather a few tips to bring home for tea as Eastern Hemlock is another one of the conifer trees with leaf needles rich in vitamin C though I can’t recall the taste of this one.

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Well as you can see the heaping tablespoon of crushed needles for this tea doesn’t look much different from the boiling cup of water it was steeped in for 15 minutes and the flavour is subtly pleasant and the aroma is of a slight citrusyness. I didn’t add any sweetener or other herb today as I wanted to experience this tea on its own. I liked this tea enough to start the pursue on how other folks are preparing and storing it. cheers

 

Solidago and Suaeda

1 Sep

I haven’t posted any photos or talked about any seaside or salt marsh plants in my blog, but that will all changes tonight as I just transplanted a couple of plants from an isolated beach with a nice salt marsh tucked in behind it.

Seaside goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens) which I’ve never used as an edible plant, though I’ve often admired its healthy green-ness while gathering other seaside greens. It turns out the Monarch butterfly is also attracted to this plant and frequently visit its flowers for nourishment. I’ve recently  become more interested in the goldenrod family and will start making some teas in the near further from seaside goldenrod and a few other goldenrod members.

This Seablite (Suaeda americana) looks like I haven’t been very nice to it, but the truth is it was just as sprawling where I gathered it from as it is now. I may experiment with growing Seablite sprouts this winter. Seablite is another plant I haven’t paid much attention to over the years as the more popular maritime greens like goosetongues, glassworts, seabeach sandwort and sea-rocket were the ones I was gathering for use as vegetables or they were going in the salad bowl. Great fun to stop and get better aquainted with these plants I’ve been kinda just nodding to on my way by for plenty of decades now. ciao

huckleberry grinn

26 Aug

No mushrooms in the mountains today on the forest floor. So moving from the vegetable to the fresh fruit section.

I noticed these huckleberry plants while gathering ripe low bush blueberries a month ago, so I stopped in for a look in this Jack pine area on the way home and the huckleberries are ready. I also chose to bring a few leaves to help in identification as the backside of the leaves are supposed to glitter when exposed to sunlight due to small yellow colored oil glands, I notice the sparkle though I’ll need a lens to see the yellow glands. I may also try a huckleberry leaf tea as well.

There appears to be 2 different types of huckleberries in the above and below photos, or they both may be Gaylussacia baccata, both fruits contain the crunchy small seeds which  informs the berry picker he is gathering something other than blueberries.

I have tons of low bush blueberry experience in both eating and picking beginning way back as a pre-schooler in the early 1960s. Huckleberries are new to me though, yet I can tell by tasting these berries this morning we are in for some frosty good huckleberry popsicles this afternoon. ciao

Not all they’re cracked up to be

30 Jun

The folks on my street should back me up on this one, I do not mow the lawn very often, but today I gave it a whirl. What my neighbors don’t know and I hope you’ll keep my secret is, I avoided cutting the so-called weeds in the sidewalk cracks.

This is a bit of an eye test so you may choose to click on to enlarge the photos, but in this one shot we have from left to right (1) yellow wood sorrel, (2) dandelion greens, (3)  plantain, (4) pineapple weed and (5) sheperd’s purse, so a nice group of edible and medicinal plants which I won’t recommend you using from a site this close to a street, but these are potential collecting locations for seeds to be grown inside or in gardens or wild gardens.

Here are the same plants from a different angle. Sidewalks and gravelly train tracks have been generous providers of plant seeds from plants that are rare this far north such as milkweed and purslane. So I think I’ll collect some yellow sorrel and pineapple weed from a patch I have at the edge of my garden, which I didn’t mow today as well and try them combined in an ice tea as it’s 90 plus here. Wishing you a very weedy weekend. ciao

Lost brook cave

10 Jun

This was my first trip to the Lost brook valley which features some gypsum and limestone caves where many thousands of bats hibernate for the winter, unfortunately some campers a few miles from the caves mentioned possibly all the bats died inside the different caves this year due to the white-nose fungus. So I followed a path as the campers directed and took a few photos near one of the caves. When I returned home I checked for info on the white-nose fungus and the campers were quite accurate in their figures as researchers did say 100% death rate in the caves was their estimate, normally around 6,000 bats enter the caves and the fungus was initially detected in this area 2 years ago.

This area has some plants species which are rare south of the arctic though today I will just show a few common ones to most rivers of the maritime provinces in Canada.

The second year stage of evening primrose, (Oenothera biennis), a fine medicinal and edible plant. This healthy one in the photo could easily reach 7 feet high near the end of summer.

I have not gathered or used this plant before, Purple avens (Geum rivale) though I may try it this year as its roots when boiled are supposed to have a flavor similar to hot chocolate once sugar and milk are added.

The light green leaves in the center of the picture are Orpine (Sedum telephium) which soon I will do a whole post on, as this plant I suspect will be of interest to some of you.

Good old Yellow goatsbeard, has these petals hauled in like a rain hat, I must admit I could have made good use of one today as well. rain for now

gill over the ground

14 May

I gathered a nice collection of yellow goatsbeard tonight which I will share some photos with you later on, but for tonight here are a few pics of a member of the mint family which was appearing very radiantly amongst the many greens this evening.

Glechoma hederacea is  very commonly described as a troublesome lawn weed, others have called it a fine medicinal  and herb tea plant.

There are always different points of view, click on to enlarge the photos, maybe there is a whole lot more than gill-over-the-ground going on here.

more ground-ivy, it also goes by that name.

and in the last photo we can easily notice a certain bee-ing is present, though it looks different than what we expected. ciao for now

Old friends and beautiful strangers

31 Mar

Here is a small hill approximately 3 acres in size in the middle of the marsh which is home to some interesting inhabitants. The hill-side is rather dry so I was surprised to see Labrador-tea growing here as I have gathered berries here for decades and these old friends never drew my attention. Notice the brown woolly underside of the leaves. These leaves can be collected year round to make a very unique tea.

I’ve seen somebody on the web selling the dried leaves for tea and also a jelly which could be quite good. Labrador-tea’s taste is hard to describe, though I always look forward to a cup of it.

The buds appearing at the top of the stems will produce around 5 inches of new stem growth with around 8 new woolly white leaves in June with a group of 6 to 12 white flowers which also can be used to make a tea.

Some dried Aronia berries from last year.

A photo of some Aronia berries I’m thawing out for muffins. There has been some buzz in North America in recent years concerning this healthful berry. Some folks in Iowa are showing an interest in this plant which has already been popular in Poland for a number of years, of course 10,000 years ago humans and other creatures were quite fond of them in N.A. as this is Aronia’s natural home.

Here are some Fox berry plants also known as Lingonberry.

Since we did just see Fox berry plants and also by the size of this hole I suspect this is a fox den, there were 4 other holes within 30 ft of this one. I was surprised to see so many exits.

I do not know my lichens and mosses by name though I wanted to show you a few photos of these just the same. click on these pics, I find they are nice thought stoppers. I could look up the names, no lets keep it a mystery.

Nature is always in season long before the berries are ripe. Have a great weekend and relax and enjoy the true nature you are always presently seeing.