Tag Archives: highbush cranberry

Forager’s Mobiles

14 Oct

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There are 3 different types of Highbush Cranberries in the province of New Brunswick and these ones we see dangling above my head are the best edible one in my vicinity being Viburnum trilobum which grows usually near streams and river floodplains. These berry clusters are extremely easy to gather in nature’s nursery though the processing into juice can seem lengthy unless you really enjoy getting to know your food. Each berry has one large seed and it is best to juice these berries raw after freezing them.

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Back to a view of these berries hanging gently in the sky above, what I’ll be doing with them once juiced isn’t quite clear just yet though an apple cider -Highbush cranberry mix sounds good and possibly a ginger bug Highbush soda, though these are just little thought clouds appearing amongst the clusters at this point. ciao

Foggy foraging

1 Sep

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This is my favorite forest for tree burls with several hundred mature conifers with impressive burls, on this foggy holiday some like this one provide quite an atmosphere to wander amongst.

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Since I’ve never gathered the White Matsutake mushroom this early in Sept or in this area this leaves me to suspect this must be my first sighting of a Catathelasma ventricosum mushroom this year.

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Yup, this is what we call in NA the Swollen Stalked Cat which is a good edible and is becoming more popular here in the west, though it has a long history of being used as a healthy food in areas like Tibet. Here it is often used in stews, soups, it can also be BBQ’ed and pickled. This one smells like cucumber.

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Oh, nearing a brook I see a shrub I often forget about in the fog of the busy mushroom season, though this is an ideal time to gather the ripe firm fruit of Highbush cranberries which can be frozen and then thawed to make it easier to obtain the juice by pressing raw. I chewed and sucked on a few of the crunchy berries and then removed the large seed from my mouth, these are tart and refreshing and vitamin C rich. Well I’ve shared enough interesting stuff for today. ciao

Berry good to see you

24 Aug

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I’m exploring a new area tonight with my main interest in the ripeness of the Chokecherries in this neck of the woods though there are a large number of Staghorn Sumac which have made me thirsty for some sumac-ade.

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Somewhat elegant for a name like Staghorn Sumac isn’t it. This small tree often grows in groups and in this area I see around 30 small trees ranging in heights from 4 to 10 feet.

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Here are enough Staghorn Sumac berry-heads to make a few litres of ade. This one is easy to gather and also prepare and  I am a bit surprised it isn’t more popular as a wild food. I’m tempted to gather some to dry for winter this year and experiment a little with it beyond the usual jellies and beverages, I’ll let you know how it goes.

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There are some more interesting berries around here, these are Highbush Cranberries (Viburnum trilobum).

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Here is a better look at the whole shrub, these berries are far from ripe at this time and are often gathered  in the fall after a few frost have hit them, they are hardy and are often on the bush when the snow is deep.

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Another Viburum this one is called Wild Raisin (Viburnum cassinoides), a few blue berries are already ripe and very sweet. Interesting how the berries will continue to ripen here and there on this shrub for many weeks, nice shrub for a small snack in the yard in late summer, the taste is something like dates, this berry has a large seed.

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You may want to click on to see this Wild Raisin shrub closer, lots of clusters on this one.

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The Chokecherries are not quite ripe enough, maybe in a week or so.

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The elderberries in this area probably will be killed by frost before they become ripe, it happens sometimes this far north, especially in shady areas like this one. You’ll need to click on to notice all the small green clusters of elderberries in this photo.

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These are not berries though for those who haven’t seen Milkweed in the seedpod stage let me introduce them to you. I know I was surprised the first time I seen this plant with their unusually large pods for plants in a cool climate. I’ll add this photo to my edible plant page after.

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Now for some Sumac-ade refreshment. cheers

Back in the thicket of things

6 Aug

I was thinking a pin cherry popsicle would taste pretty fine today, but it has been so dry in my area I suspect the birds could uses these pin cherries more than us. You’ll need to click on to notice the pin cherries in the Pin cherry trees in above photo. The wild raspberries were very ripe though with many falling to the ground and no evidence of bear visiting this area and when I was done gathering there, 99% of the ripe berries were still available for whoever pass by so once again some very pleasing raspberry juice and popsicle it is for this afternoon’s treat.

Here are photos of a couple of viburnum shrubs –highbush cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) in the photo above and some unripe wild raisins (Viburnum cassinoides) below. I’ll probably freeze some of these fruits in the fall as they are common around here.

Surrounded by thicket was a small area of less than 10 trees of young spruce, balsam fir and poplar with a few of the most common forest fruit in my area on the ground. Here below are some bunchberries ( Cornus canadensis). You may choose to click on to notice these fruit close up.

The surprise of the day was finding a choice wild edible mushroom in this dry weather and also being in this thicket location where summer edible wild mushrooms are not foraged for, so without further adieu here is a nice little 4 oz Lobster mushroom (Hypomyces lactifluorum). I noticed the orange color from 50 feet away and definitely thought Lobster mushroom though the location spoke of maybe some rolled up orange trail marking material.

This photo is interesting as you can still notice the original Russula mushroom gill ridges beneath the parasitic Lobster mushroom which when fully mature covers the white mushroom within it.

These mushroom don’t only looks a bit like cooked lobster, the scent of seafood is also present, the texture though has a pleasant crunch. I like to use lobster mushrooms pan-fried as the main ingredient in a toasted sandwich and also in soups, or dried and powdered to add a seafood flavor to a variety of other dishes.  ciao