Tag Archives: sow-thistle

The Tide says hi

21 Jul

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Mostly I seem to arrive here on the salt marsh during low tide when lots of marsh mud is in view, but today it is truly full.

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Low tide view.

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Again my 2 crow friends flew over to visit as I noticed a nice close shadow and raised up to watch them circle around me while I was gathering some Sow-thistle leaves. No photo of them as they seem to prefer it this way, though I will show the fresh Sow-thistle leaves which were very tender for late July.

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Back on the ridge above the marsh a few berries are ripe. Here on hand we have Blue, Amelanchier and Northern fly-honeysuckle berries.

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Raspberries to. ciao

Don’t slip in the mud

7 Jun

DSC05525 I’ll work my way from the edge of the salt marsh back to the main dyke focusing on a few plants along the way, actually I’m standing here on what remains of a very old dyke and I can’t judge its possible age, though they were being constructed out here as early as the 1670s. If you click to enlarge the photo below you will notice the muddy banks are quite steep on the edge of the marsh.

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A patch of the controversal and somewhat edible Seaside Arrowgrass (Triglochin maritima), there are way to many factors involved to promote Seaside Arrowgrass as a wild edible plant to get out and forage for on the east coast of N.A., It is though a pleasant dark green to see out here today and it is in flower so have a look, but study this one well before you every consider trying its few edible parts as the green leaves and flower stems are possibly toxic.

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Here is a view of some Seaside Arrowgrass flower stems.

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This plant above is a popular edible salt marsh green known locally as Goose tongue and also Passe-pierre (Plantago maritima), notice the flat fleshy leaves with the sunken central ridge, it has a similar flowering stem to Seaside Arrowgrass though the stem is usually smaller and appears much later in the summer. It is wise to know these 2 plants apart ( Triglochin maritima and Plantago maritima).

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Almost back to the dyke and here as expected are some Sow-thistles (Sonchus arvensis) which were popular and healthy greens in Europe for thousands of years before being introduced into N.A. around 1810, hey that’s when my kin folk arrived over here, I wonder?

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Think I’ll make a soup and maybe do a sow-thistle ferment, in coming weeks again I’ll return to the salt marsh as there are quite a few very good wild edibles coming up soon out here. ciao for now and then

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.