apple harvest in Colorado Springs

Round 2 of our apple harvest!

There are a couple of locations around town, one on the far north end, and one on the far west side, where I like to pick apples. They’re allllmost ready. They’re still a little green, but ready to pick before the birds, bears, and deer get to them.

If you find a good tree, you can just shake one of the main branches and the ready apples will fall off the stems.

Speaking of apples, you can also use the abundance of crabapples that are all over town. There are some on common areas which we’ve picked and no one has ever prevented us. The best kind are the large, purple ones. We still have several gallon-sized Ziploc bags full of them from last year’s harvest. They make great jam!

On our trip yesterday, we harvested about 40 pounds of apples in less than an hour. I was in the tree shaking branches while Beth and Havi were collecting. Jonathan had climbed up his own tree and was picking and eating! I’m sure more apples went into him than into our bucket.

 

Good grief! Where does the time go? I cannot believe that it’s May already!

If there’s interest in classes this year, they’ll be free again as in years past. I will be posting in the next couple days a schedule. If you don’t see one posted, feel free to send me a reminder!

I’ve started a new job as of this week, so I’m trying to learn about that, but I’ll still be free to do these classes!

-Tracy

watercress

Watercress is one of the earliest of local wild edibles

My daughter and I went out for a “date day” on Monday and were bicycling in the Air Force Academy when I found some watercress growing in the creek. Watercress is easy to pass by as it looks just like a weed growing in the water, however, it’s a great plant to find and use.

Related to broccoli, radishes, cauliflower, and other mustard-family plants, watercress offers you a spicy flavor to add to salads or sandwiches. It has 10 or more amino acids, and vitamins A , B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B17, C, D, E, K.  Here’s an interesting fact I got off of the website, Herbs Are Special:

Watercress contains more sulphur than any other vegetable, except horseradish. Sulphur rich foods play an important part in protein absorption, blood purifying, cell building and in healthy hair and skin.

Watercress is good as a food item and also medicinally (though I’ll always try to mention that medicinal uses are mostly anecdotal).

I’ll be posting a note in the next week or so about our 2011 class dates. Keep watching and let your friends know.

Thanks for reading.

-Tracy
The Colorado Springs photographer (and wild foods forager)

Wild edibles field trip

Join us for one of our many classes at Rock Ledge Ranch this season.

Below is the tentative schedule for our 2010 Wild Things You Can Eat classes. For those of you who may not know what these classes are all about, you can read the first blog post and learn why I graze the Front Range! 🙂

Once a class meets the minimum requirement for registrations, it will be on the calendar and will not be rescheduled. At that point, the only thing that will force us to reschedule would be the weather, or if I get really sick.

Currently, all classes are set to be done at Rock Ledge Ranch and the schedule will be:

  • 10am class begins
  • 11:45 class ends
  • noon – lunch! Enjoy some of what you have harvested

More details about the class and what you would want to bring with you will be posted in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned!

This class is best suited for students ages 10 and up. If a class doesn’t meet the minimum registrations, it will be canceled. Minimum number of students is 10. Maximum number of students is 30.

CLASS DATES

  • Monday, 5/3
  • Monday, 5/17
  • Monday, 6/7
  • Saturday, 6/19
  • Monday, 8/9
  • Saturday, 8/21
  • Monday, 8/30

This is our 5th season of offering these classes. We would really like to continue doing so, and we have gotten LOTS of positive comments about our class. Once again, we are offering these classes for free, but please consider donating to support this educational opportunity for you and your children. It would be greatly appreciated.

To register, please post a comment on this blog and let me know your name and how many people will be in your group. The classes are open to all homeschools, private schools, or public schools.

Thanks for reading!

-Tracy

Watch the video taken with a camera mounted on the back of the world's fastest bird, the Peregrine Falcon

Although this has *nothing* to do with eating wild things (other than the fact that these birds eat wild things…) this was so impressive, I wanted to share it, and it seemed like those who have an interest in wild edibles would also appreciate something like this.

It’s just one more piece of amazing evidence for the design and divine creation of our environment and universe.

By the way, we’ll be announcing class dates THIS WEEK, Lord willing. We’ll have a full schedule this year so we can accommodate many more people and groups. We might even be asked to do a full class for the County Parks Department this year. More info on that will be forthcoming.

-Tracy
Grazing the Front Range

Wild oregano adds a great flavor to many dishes

Last week, I dug out some of the dried wild oregano that I have stored in the pantry and made a couple of items that we’ve been enjoying and thought I would share one with you.

Wild Oregano Fajitas
This makes enough for our large family of 8. You might need to adjust for your family.

(Marinade)
1 cup Olive oil
2/3 – 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
4 teaspoon dried wild oregano
4 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoon garlic powder (or, I prefer fresh garlic – to taste)
2 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
(can also add some chopped wild onions in season!)

Mix all of these in a glass bowl, then pour over thinly sliced meat of your choice in a 13″ glass baking pan, then put in the fridge overnight. Then broil in a pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes. Serve with sides of lettuce, salsa, beans, guacamole, and other Mexican dishes!

Classes are coming soon!

Don’t forget that our 2010 classes will be kicking off in the next couple months. Our schedule will be posted soon, so be sure to keep checking here to get that information.

Thanks for reading.

-Tracy
The Wild Foods Forager and Colorado Springs Photographer

While unsuccessfully trying to find some 4-legged things we could eat last December, we discovered some “winterized” gooseberry “raisins” still clinging to the branches in a large stand of bushes. Benjamin availed himself of the many leftovers that were there.

I wanted to let everyone know that we will be putting together our schedule of classes for 2010 very soon and will be releasing that information here on the blog, so keep watching the posts here.

Thanks for reading.

Tracy
Grazing the Front Range… and Beyond!