Tag Archives: NB foraging

For ages

2 Apr

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It has been awhile since I’ve entered any post on foraging, so I decided to show a couple photos to explain my absence. The above photo is from my front step looking out across the street at 6.30 AM this morning. With all the beautiful snow around I’ve had a great opportunity to plan which new wild foods to try this year and I’ve become quite interested in gathering some of the edible grasses and sedges in my local area in coming months.

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Here is a photo of one of the few grasses still visible from last years growth and I collected these along the edge of a highway a few days ago just to check out which member of the Phragmites family they were.  Phragmites is the largest grass in Canada’s maritime provinces and these grass stems here were sticking out a few feet above a 4 ft bank of snow. Now I have these culms stuck in the snow beside my shed to remind me of the ground cozily blanketed below my feet and the many wonders preparing to soon arise. ciao

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Mushrooms, Today’s frosty 5

19 Oct

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As usual things did not turn out as planned and the mushroom I was most interested in finding is not out yet as it will probably take a few more rains and frosty nights. Nevertheless here are a few good wild edibles which were making an appearance today. In the photo there are over a hundred Grayling mushrooms from the bottom of the photo to the basket, sometimes things are hard to see even when they are right under your feet..

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Grayling, Cantharellula umbonata

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Catathelasma ventricosum

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Wood Blewit, Lepista nuda

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Meadow waxycap, Hygrocybe pratensis

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Lactarius deterrimus

http://nbharbinger.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/what-really-happened-in-rexton/

Click above If you are interested in interbeing, here is a peek at some current events taking place in New Brunswick at this time. 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

White Matsutake grounds

20 Sep

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Yes it’s that time of the year, time to check my favorite White Matsutake grounds. I noticed some newly emerging Suillus cavipes as I started onto the path which made me suspect I was a little to early especially since it was dry this week, but there they were a few nice smaller Matsutakes and at least one group of the larger ones.

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Most of the mushrooms were in needle duff very close to conifer tree  trunks.

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Here is the above mushroom lifted from the duff, they were more difficult to remove intact today due to the dryness.

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Another one deep in the duff.

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This one’s stem is thicker and still it needed lots of wiggling to lift it without snapping the stem.

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Large mushrooms with wetter caps and stems in moss.

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This was a nice start to the White Matsutake season in my area. I’m going to do a couple small post on some other mushroom I found in these woods as well tonight as they were at their best. ciao

Goosetongue (Plantago maritima)

15 Jun

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This very edible seaside plant is common in salt marshes and many other coastal environments included the clay banks rising from sandy beaches as shown below. The perennial goosetonge grows all the way up these salt spayed banks and a short distance into the field, if one is present.

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Goosetongue can be added fresh to salads or cooked for 10 to 15 minutes and served as you would green beans. It is one of the most popular foraged greens in Atlantic Canada known by a few different names such as seaside plantain, goosetongue and passé-pierre.

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Here is one from back in the salt marsh. ciao

Sea Rocket

14 Jun

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Sea-rocket (Cakile edentula), this member of the mustard family is one of my favourite wild plants  for summer salads and stir-fry.  It is best to dice the fleshy sea-rocket leaves up into small pieces as they have a horseradish flavour only milder and saltier. This plant needs to be experimented with a bit as I see few recipes around for it and it seems a natural for fresh salsa and possibly as a pesto ingredient.

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Sea-rocket often grows in patches well out onto sandy beaches, usually being the closest plant to the high tide line so it is very salt tolerant.

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A healthy patch of Sea-rocket. This plant grows on both the east and west coast of N.A and also in some areas along the Great Lakes

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Here are some (un-tasty) sea-rocket seed sprouts, I suspect only one sprout will likely survive here packed this close together, but luckily for many of these seedlings they will be coming home with me to be potted to produce seeds. These sprouts are from the bottom half of a 2 part seed pod as they remained attached to the parent plant and become buried in the shifting sand over the winter,  the upper pods on these plants are somewhat rocket shaped and often separate from the parent plant and are transported from the beach to  shores possibly great distances away. Oddly the sprouts and older leaves of this annual are not near as enjoyable to eat as the leaves in between these 2 stages of growth.

Just to the right of the sea-rocket seedlings are a few (darker green) Orach plants which are another good seaside edible which I’ll do a post on later.

riding the winds

6 Jun

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Timothy grass and wild horseradish together on the ridge above the marsh, click on the photo to take notice of the plants and also you can see the windmills at the Nova Scotia border a few miles away. Wild Horseradish competes well in the wind and tall grass. The photo below is a 45 degree turn to the right which takes you to more wild Horseradish and out into the head of the Bay of Fundy.

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Salt marsh salad greens

5 Jun

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It’s low tide now though the muddy area which is approximately 40 ft  below the grassy salt marsh in the photo will be covered in salt water twice a day, everyday, here in the Bay of Fundy, home of the world’s highest tides. This salt marsh and the surrounding dykelands have provided me with numerous summer salad greens and pot herbs over the last 3 decades, so I’ll show you just 3 that are starting to make an appearance now.

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On the salt marsh side of the dyke’s bank, here is a common edible plant which grows throughout  much of N.A. and is known as Sow-thistle (Sonchus arvensis).

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This one is also on the dyke’s edge and is rarely foraged in the maritime provinces, it is a coastal plant in north-eastern N.A., though I’m going to introduce it inland into my garden this year, Scotch Lovage (Ligusticum scothicum).

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There are a few different varieties of Orache out here on the salt marsh and I’ll stick with the most common name used I suspect, Atriplex hastata. There are well over 10 other good edibles greens growing out in this area which I will show you this summer as they appear, many can go directly into salads un-cooked and also make excellent ingredients in stir-fry as well.

Catching the forager’s eye

2 Jun

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I had to come over and touch this tent caterpillar’s waterproof tent as  in the light rain it felt quite rubbery and solid, usually on a sunny day they appear fragile and soft,  odd I never noticed this change before. (click on for closer look)

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Choke-cherry shrub in full bloom, noticing areas with many blossoming bushes in spring, makes for easy picking later on.

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Dewberry (Rubus pubescens) was the dominant understory plant in a large poplar groove in which I was looking for Morel mushrooms. I’m quite fond of dewberries so I will return in a month as the fruit should be ready then.

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The Monarch butterfly’s best friend Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), these are young but still a little to mature to be good eating though again this sighting calls for a return visit in 3 weeks to gather some flower buds which are a very good wild food when prepared well.

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Only wild mushroom I noticed today was the Orange Peel (Aleuria aurantia). I blew into the cap of the Orange Peel to remove some conifer needles and 2 seconds later the mushroom discharged a buff of smoke-like spores. I tried to catch this in a picture but couldn’t time it right, to blow, bring the mushroom around in front of the camera and take the picture with the other hand just didn’t work out, though it was interesting to try. This type of triggering spore dispersal was pretty consistent with mature Orange Peel mushrooms today, I don’t know if this is commonly known that the Orange Peel will do this. Well that is enough of the wilds of New Brunswick for you today. ciao

Investigating new forageables

19 May

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On the floodplain of a small brook near Havelock NB I’m gathering a few edible and medicinal plants and its interesting to run into some new plants which call for some investigating. I gathered some of my favorites like the fiddleheads (above), stinging nettle and jewelweed.

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Jewelweed

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Jewelweed to be prepared to soothe insect bites, poison ivy rash or other skin irritations. (notice the water beading on the leaves)

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This plant in the center of the photo looks similar to stinging nettle which is in large patches all around here, but this plant’s leaves are much rounder and there are a few other differences so I’ll wait till it flowers in a month or 2 before I can with confidence verify this plant as Wood-nettle (Laportea canadensis) which is a plant I have some interest in.

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This plant from the carrot family is also new to me and its early growth resembles that of the very deadly poisonous Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata), but it is even more likely a new invasive plant to New Brunswick, Woodland Alexanders (Angelica sylvestris) which is edible. The jury will be out for a while on this one. I suppose I could have ruined the mystery by returning to my car to bring back a spade to check out the roots which should help in identifying though that would have been a long walk and I would prefer to identify this type of plant using only above ground field characteristics if possible, then at some point I will need to check out the root system when I have become comfortable with all the above ground field characteristics.

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Here is one of  last year’s stocks, some measured over 7 feet tall which doesn’t count either Water Hemlock or Woodland Alexanders out. I’ll be back to check these plants out as they grow, I love researching this stuff, but in the end you must be 100% certain without question before ever taking a bite of any new plant or mushroom. ciao