Wild plums and elderberries

Wild plums and elderberries

The season is almost over, but there remains a few survivors out there. As many of you know, I am a portrait photographer by trade, and last Saturday I was photographing a family in a local park. After the session, my son, Josiah, and I went searching for some wild things to eat. Here’s what we found! These are blue elderberries and wild plums. We came away with about a dozen of the plums and hands-full of the elderberries, which we enjoyed on the drive home and in our oatmeal the next morning!

So, there are still some things out there, but probably only for a few more days (or until I get to them! 🙂

-Tracy

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Man Eating Bugs?? Check it out on 8/21 at 6:30 at Bear Creek Nature Center

Man Eating Bugs?? Check it out on 8/21 at 6:30 at Bear Creek Nature Center

This Friday, August 21, at 6:30pm, there will be a great Wild Edibles class at Bear Creek Nature Center.

There will be 3 of us teaching that night. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about edible plants, mushrooms, and bugs. Yes, you read that right. I said BUGS!

Plus, you’ll get to sample some treats from each category.

Before you start grossing out about eating bugs, remember that there are many cultures and civilizations on almost every continent which eats bugs, either alive or cooked. I’m certainly not saying that I enjoy eating bugs, but I have done it at this class.

So, if you’re adventurous, or you just really like unique gastronimic experiences, then head out to Bear Creek Nature Center this Friday and join us for the class. I’ll be bringing a salad mixed with some wild plants and some “lemonade” made with a very tart berry which grows abundantly at BCNC. Ken will be bringing some mushrooms cooked to perfection, and Todd is the man with the bugs!

Hope to see you there.

-Tracy

Here’s our 3 year-old weed-eater!

Jonathan is sampling (with much gusto) his first taste of lamb’s quarter. This ubiquitous yard and garden pest is one of our favorites to find. The best part is that you can find this just about anywhere the soil has been disturbed. Stories abound of people using this as a survival food during the Depression.

It’s very similar to spinach in its taste and texture. We like to use it raw in salads, but it can be used cooked too. I even found a YouTube video describing how to make quiche with it (real wild-food-eating-men don’t make quiche out of the weeds they find – yuck!).

In fact, as I point out in my classes, foods like this commonly have more nutrients in them than do their cultivated counter-parts, which makes them very good to be harvested and consumed.

REMINDER!

The last class of 2009 is coming up on Monday, June 8. Here is a list of people that I show as being registered for this one.

  • Monument homeschool group (26)
  • Winstead family (6)
  • Gipson family (2)

We’re a little over-populated for this class, so plan for it to take a little longer than normal. We’ll try to be back to the pond area by about noon for lunch.

To get all the details on what to bring, where to go, and when to be there, read this post.

-Tracy

At the class yesterday, we found someone’s water bottle and a child’s plastic drinking cup. If it’s yours, give me a call or Email me.

Well, we didn’t get any positive responses from the Pine Tea sampling yesterday. Here are some more reactions!

-Tracy

Monday, May 18, is our next scheduled class. Below, you will find: 1) a list of families which are registered for this class, 2) a list of things you need to bring on Monday, and 3) the details of where to go and and when to be there.

First, WHO:

  • Harmon family
  • Ward family
  • Mrs. Johnson
  • Leeper family
  • Dontanville family
  • Stuart family
  • Barrell family
  • Biddy kids

Next, WHAT:

Here’s a list of what to bring…

  • drinking water
  • hat
  • notebook
  • camera
  • lunch (with a salad to put your harvest in)
  • ziploc bag (to collect your harvest)
  • plates & utensils
  • cup (so you can sample the pine tea!)

Lastly, you can visit this blog post to get the WHEN and WHERE.

Thanks!

We’ll see you on Monday!!

-Tracy

Pasque flower - don't eat!

Pasque flower - don't eat!

In the class last Monday, I mentioned some of the area’s poisonous plants. There were none of the common ones to RLR sprouted or bloomed for our observation, so I mentioned that I would post some photos and comments on this blog.

The photo is of a Pasque flower. These are blossoming right now. They’re beautiful plants, but don’t eat any part of it. It is known to slow the heart when ingested. This characteristic is useful in medicinal uses, but leave that to the experts.

Though there are some flowers that are edible (nasturtiums, violets), if you find flowers in the wild, don’t harvest them. That’s how the plant propagates itself. It’s just not worth devastating a plant species to eat the flowering part of the plant. Stick to the cultivated flowers for that. It’s all part of ethical harvesting.

-Tracy

Rhubarb - does anyone have some to share?

Rhubarb - does anyone have some to share?

Hi, everyone.

On the way home from yesterday’s field trip, my sons and I stopped at my favorite place to pick rhubarb. Actually, it’s the only place I know to pick rhubarb. It’s not wild, but is an “escapee.”

But, we would really like to have this plant in our own garden. Does anyone have, or know of anyone else who has some rhubarb that they would like to share?

Just post a comment here, or send me Email if you have a source for rhubarb.

Thanks!!

-Tracy