Author Topic: Edibles that grow in the wild  (Read 12180 times)

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Offline AdironDoc

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Edibles that grow in the wild
« on: June 27, 2012, 12:40:40 PM »
I've noticed a great many clusters of small green leafy plants in my woods and have been told by locals to be on the lookout for wild onions/ramps. They look like they should in photos I've seen but don't really smell at all like onion. My fear is that they also look like Lily of Valley, which as I recall, could spoil your day if eaten. I don't yet dare try until someone shows me in person.

I've not been up to the camp in 3 weeks, but this should be wild strawberry season if I recall last year. Much sweeter than store bought but smaller too. Great for jamming with pectin. Missed the season for strawberries and blueberries last year but did turn out 6 jars of blackberry jam. Gosh it tastes good when you know it was your effort picking, cleaning, steaming and jarring. Actually, as they were the ground creeping variety, it's better I call them dewberries.




Not sure what this is..pin cherry or choke cherry maybe. Not sure I want to taste them to find out!





Anyone enjoying anything delicious and growing in the wild this season?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 01:57:05 PM by AdironDoc »

Offline AdironDoc

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2012, 12:57:24 PM »
Oh yeah, forgot to mention that we shaved the green wood from just beneath the bark of the yellow birch I cut. Put it in water with wildflower honey and refrigerated it for a week. I charged it with my CO2 soda-maker and turned out a nice birch-soda. It's a bit different than the Coke I'm so used to having, but thinking only with my taste-buds, it turned out real nice. I wish I knew how to turn it into something adults would enjoy!  ;)

Maybe adding a bit of rum would be nice...


Offline Squirl

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2012, 04:09:42 AM »
I like the birch soda idea.

Slightly south in Central NY, 4th of July was always a great Raspberry day.  I should have a ridge full of them, I have just been too busy to check.

If it were a little more wet, I would go for some oyster mushrooms.  There is a patch of trees down by the road next to a stream that I like.

Offline AdironDoc

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2012, 04:51:25 AM »
I like the birch soda idea.

Slightly south in Central NY, 4th of July was always a great Raspberry day.  I should have a ridge full of them, I have just been too busy to check.

If it were a little more wet, I would go for some oyster mushrooms.  There is a patch of trees down by the road next to a stream that I like.

Seems I recall the name "Adirondack" translates to a derogatory term meaning, "eaters of bark". The natives would shave the tender green wood, rich in starches, and roast them on the fire. I'm gonna try that some day with a little salt. I'm imagining they taste like potato chips, in reality they probably taste like something else..  ;D

Mushrooms I don't know anything about and stay far from them. Haven't seen any around anyway. I know the bracket fungus the Chinese call wood ears is growing all over the sides of my trees. Again, I can't tell one from the other, so won't try to eat them. They sure do taste good in my Chinese twice cooked pork though.

Like you, I'm a fan of rasberries and planted a few bushes last year. They're spreading nicely. Down on Long Island, my gosh-darned rasberry bushes are growing like wildfire , popping out of the ground in every direction. It's all I can do to keep up in pulling them out. If only they grew up in Herkimer as fast.

Would love to try some canned fruit combos..like a two berry mix, etc.

Offline considerations

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2012, 05:01:24 AM »
Right now it is salmon berry season, they look similar to black berries, except are golden until ripe, then become an orange-red. Red huckleberries are next, then thimble berries.  I pick them all, freeze, then make wild "bumble berry" jam with them all combined, as none of them are terribly prolific. 

Salal berries make a good syrup. Next is the wild blackberries, not the big Himalayan that most people think of, but the little vines that creep along the ground and grab your ankles. By September the Himalayans and elderberries are ready.  Spring was nettle season, good for soups and pesto.

Sword fern fiddleheads are a locally popular cooked vegetable.

The mushroom around here is morels, but they are few and far between on my patch.  There is some competition for them, the flying squirrels will come out of the trees to get them.

My neighbors have a patch of miner's lettuce, but I don't have any here. I don't think it is native.

I've planted about 20 purple huckleberry plants here, but they normally live at higher elevations, the jury is out on how they will do.

Clamming for anything from manilas to goeducks and crabbing season windows come and go as quotas get filled and red tides bloom. The fishing here is great, there seems to always be something available, salmon, halibut, cod, and trout mostly.

Fall and winter bring deer and elk seasons, I don't hunt, but hone my bartering skills for this time of year.  I do, however, keep my property deer friendly, so I have a walking larder of fresh meat coming through every day. It is a deliberate plan, in the event of a regional disaster, like an earthquake.  If cut off from amenities long enough I think it would come in handy.  I am accurate at modest distances, and the deer are familiar with my presence.

The north Olympic peninsula is teaming with good food, just add patience and hard work.  It would be hard to starve.

Offline AdironDoc

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 05:11:26 AM »
Right now it is salmon berry season.

Sword fern fiddleheads are a locally popular cooked vegetable.

The north Olympic peninsula is teaming with good food, just add patience and hard work.  It would be hard to starve.

I've never tasted salmon berries but they certainly look familiar. I'm going to order a jar of them and give them a try. The fiddleheads abound here too, and I know many people eat them, even going so far as to travel to upscale markets in the city where they are sold to those without a patch of ground to call their own. I did read a medical article lately that a number of people have become quite ill having eaten them. Several areas of the country, different times. The only common thread was that they had all eaten foods containing fiddleheads, mostly steamed or sauteed. No bacterial origin was found, so the question was unresolved. Recommendations were to boil them well to leach out any occuring toxins and eat in reasonable quantity.

I have fond memories of the pacific northwest and get hungry thinking about the seafood I've enjoyed up at the harborside in Seattle. Certainly hard to starve unless you're resistant to getting off the sofa.  :P

Enjoy your berry harvest,
Doc

Offline considerations

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2012, 07:36:45 AM »
"I did read a medical article lately that a number of people have become quite ill having eaten them. Several areas of the country, different times. The only common thread was that they had all eaten foods containing fiddleheads, mostly steamed or sauteed."

Yep, like mushrooms, if one is not sure, go to the grocery store.  Bracken is a no no and fully cooked is imperative.  Other than that, used like asparagus, they are very tasty.

Offline Tinga

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2012, 08:27:07 AM »
Oh yeah, forgot to mention that we shaved the green wood from just beneath the bark of the yellow birch I cut. Put it in water with wildflower honey and refrigerated it for a week. I charged it with my CO2 soda-maker and turned out a nice birch-soda. It's a bit different than the Coke I'm so used to having, but thinking only with my taste-buds, it turned out real nice. I wish I knew how to turn it into something adults would enjoy!  ;)

Maybe adding a bit of rum would be nice...


Little bit of sugar, some yeast and couple of days in a glass jar should do it. Won't even have to use your C02 thingy to carbonate it.
DH and I brew everything from mead to beer. Made a mead one time, didn't check the label on my yeast. Thought I grabbed champagne yeast, but instead grabbed next one over that was "spirit" yeast  d*
BOY HOWDY! I haven't ever had honey liqueur but whoo, it'd warm you up if you put it into some warm tea on a cold evening lol

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2012, 11:59:51 AM »
Beauty pix, Doc.  I will have to get a few pix of the edibles around here to add to this thread.  Very interesting stuff. :)

I made some beer in the past, Tinga but quit as my ex-FIL kept drinking it al and missing work.  I had one batch in particular that, if you drank one bottle of it you would go to sleep for three hours.  Maybe the hops?  I don't know.  [noidea'
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Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2012, 12:50:14 PM »
Got one here with my mobile.



Wow. Wanted to try that and it was so easy.   :)

My mobile actually works with copy paste. Got the PhotoBucket link and put it here.

This is the cone of the Gray Pine or Bull pine.  The native Americans used it for food and beads around here.
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Offline NM_Shooter

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2012, 07:42:54 PM »
We have learned a few mushrooms to pick and stay with what we know.  The easiest one to spot is a grand boletus (sp?) which can be as big as a football and has a weird green sponge on the underside.  You can slice them up and grill them like steak.  Hawkswing or chocolate chip are easy too. 

The best are Chanterelles, awesome flavor.  They are scattered on the forest floor and the top looks like a cross between cheetos and monkey brains.  Whatever a monkey brain looks like.  Don't pick them if they are clustered on a stump, as that is more likely jack o lanterns.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boletus_edulis

http://www.google.com/search?q=hawks+wing+mushroom&hl=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=rTPtT8b1HIeC2AXX0K3DCg&ved=0CF4QsAQ&biw=1366&bih=664

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chanterelle

Don't eat these.... they screw with your DNA : http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Mushrooms.Folder/Jack%20O'Lantern.html

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Offline CjAl

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2012, 10:57:43 AM »
i love mushrooms but there is way too much risk of making a mistake if you dont know what your doing

Offline Squirl

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2012, 11:24:03 AM »
That is why I love oyster mushrooms.  All known like kinds in the U.S. are edible.  Also my understanding, is that in this part of North America, there are no known poisonous shelf mushrooms (same kind as oyster)  Plenty of woody inedible ones, but not poisonous.  For those reasons, it is usually the first one to learn when identifying wild mushrooms.



Also morels are pretty unique, and not easily mistaken, but rare.

« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 11:56:25 AM by Squirl »

Offline rick91351

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2012, 01:39:53 PM »
One trip we made into northern China we at a banquet feasted on some the oyster shelf type mushrooms.  My wife still raves about them.  Early in the spring when the sun is chasing back the snow and the drifts the morels are fairly plentiful here and over in the Blue Mountains of Oregon.   
 [hungry] [hungry] [hungry]
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Offline Pine Cone

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2012, 06:51:43 PM »
While I'm a big fan of mushrooms, today is the opening day of a whole new sort of wild edibles... Dungeness crab!

Got these two this afternoon with the help of my kayak and a crab pot.  Trying to get more exercise, and today it certainly worked.  Getting a 3-foot crab pot on top of a small kayak might not be the most sensible thing I've done, but today's proof-of-concept test worked well enough to get me two dinners.  Need to work out the details of how and where to store the crab pot and the 5-gallon bucket for crabs a little better than how I had it today, but I didn't capsize and I did come home with dinner. 







While I might not have wild ramps like John does at Redoverfarm, I do have a few things to eat out in my front yard.  Looking forward to more crab thoughout the summer, and then salmon out of the same bay in the fall.

Back to Rick's oyster mushrooms... I first learned about them in my Forest Pathology class.  Might be good to eat, but not so good for the trees it grows on/in.  Haven't seen any around here, but we get lots of chanterelles here during deer season.  I always manage to collect some while I am out hunting.

Offline Sassy

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2012, 08:32:53 PM »
Beautiful front yard  :)  Nice crabs!  Used to take the crab pots out to the end of the pier at Blaine, WA when I lived near there - good eating!  Also went commercial salmon fishing a few times...  we had so much salmon, I'd can, freeze, give away, eat...  just now able to really enjoy eating salmon again...
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Offline Pine Cone

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2012, 09:12:52 PM »
Beautiful front yard  :)  Nice crabs!  Used to take the crab pots out to the end of the pier at Blaine, WA when I lived near there - good eating!  Also went commercial salmon fishing a few times...  we had so much salmon, I'd can, freeze, give away, eat...  just now able to really enjoy eating salmon again...

Thanks!  I've been gone from California so long now that I miss gray pines and the smell of mixed-conifer forests in the warm summer months.  Around here everything smells like Douglas-fir and western red-cedar.  I miss the smell of ponderosa pines, incense-cedar, and white firs.

When I used to collect conifer cones for seed I used to sneak a few sugar pine seeds to eat on the side.  Never got the chance to eat gray pine, although I have grown some from seed when I lived in the Redding area.

Funny how it's so hard to appreciate the common things we have around us until they are gone.  It is just so easy to dis-respect the things closest to us until we are far away from that time and place.  Ask me about my mom, fruitcakes and living in New Zealand around Christmas... what was once a joke became a precious memory.  Hope all is going well at the underground palace!

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2012, 04:50:52 AM »
A lot of people here put down the Gray Pine, but it is a survivalist growing where it is just too hot, dry and rough for the other pine trees.  Myself, I like the crooked little rascal.  :)  There is a 100 to 150 year old barn not far from here built completely out of it according to it's owner.

Crabs... I used to get them when I lived on the Oregon Coast.  :)
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Offline Alasdair

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2012, 12:36:56 PM »
AdironDoc - In your first post those are indeed choke cherries - they are pretty awful to taste but if you pop a couple of cups into a bottle of gin with some sugar they make an excellent liqueur.  :) Only tricky bit is waiting the three or so months for it to mature!  :-\
Al

Offline AdironDoc

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2012, 11:51:25 AM »
AdironDoc - In your first post those are indeed choke cherries - they are pretty awful to taste but if you pop a couple of cups into a bottle of gin with some sugar they make an excellent liqueur.  :) Only tricky bit is waiting the three or so months for it to mature!  :-\
Al

Wow Al, thanks for that tip! Never been much for gin, but I may try that one. Maybe also in vodka like those new fancy seasoned brands. Not sure I have the patience to wait three months, though!  d*

Offline UK4X4

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2012, 02:17:57 PM »
Crabs... I used to get them when I lived on the Oregon Coast. 

i used to get them in the UK too....only not quite the same species   ::);D
and way of the thread subject !

grew up picking cider apples and blackcurrants from the brambles mum used to cook up a mean jam, and dad the forbidden fruits of the cider apple nicely fermented

Others specialised in making gorse wine and beer, made out of the yellow flowers of that b#stard bush of my youth

You could easily note the local common pickers by the cuts, scratches and plastic bowls or buckets full of goodies wandering one of the last common lands behind my childhood house


Offline AdironDoc

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2012, 05:59:11 AM »
Plenty of crayfish in my creek, though a bit smaller than those I've eaten while in new Orleans. I'm not sure how to eat these little guys, there doesn't seem to be much to them. Maybe I'll throw a dozen in a pot with tomatoes and garlic and see what happens  :-\ anyone got any experience with these little crays?

Offline kenhill

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2012, 07:41:25 AM »
I have only feed them to small mouth bass....

Offline considerations

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2012, 05:24:11 PM »
"anyone got any experience with these little crays?"

We used to fish them out of the river with bits of bacon tied to a string.  Once we had enough, we'd bring them to Mom and she would get a big skillet of water boiling, put them all in at once (bit of a rodeo), get the lid on, boil them till they turned pink.  Break off the tail, shuck it and eat the meat dipped in shrimp sauce.  We discarded the rest.

There are some who eat more of a crawdad than that, but not us.

Offline considerations

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Re: Edibles that grow in the wild
« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2012, 05:29:05 PM »
"Need to work out the details of how and where to store the crab pot and the 5-gallon bucket for crabs"

Can you tow an inner tube? We loves Dungeness crab.  Very NICE!

 

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