Spring Foraging

torey
torey ModeratorPosts: 4,297 admin

I'm sure it is long past this time for many of you, but here in Central BC, it is time for the early spring greens. Dandelions are just flowering and the greens are excellent.

I went for a drive into the mountains yesterday on a search for fiddleheads. As there is still nearly 3 feet of snow in parts of the area we were looking, it was a bit early but we were rewarded with a few fiddleheads and some False Solomon's Seal shoots (Maianthemum racemosum, not Polygonatum).

We are thinking another week and we should get a good harvest. Long drive on expensive gas, though. But it was very good to get out into the mountains after a long winter.

If its early spring in your area, what are you foraging?

Comments

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Moderator Posts: 4,584 admin

    THe mustard is beginning to flower here, so it is time to spot the plants and return for the seeds. Prepared mustard from wild mustard is VERY hot and flavorful!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 5,875 admin

    We are looking for stinging nettle & mint. It should be peeking up, but we will wait a bit yet.

    My jewelweed is growing!

  • jowitt.europe
    jowitt.europe Moderator Posts: 1,067 admin

    @torey are fiddleheads from fern? Never thought of trying them!

    my favourite part of cooking is making salad with all kinds of spring herbs. I always add very young leaves of yarrow, ground elder, dandelion leaves, tops of galium and horse radish and ends of hops shoots, a few daisies…

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Moderator Posts: 3,217 admin
    edited May 15

    @jowitt.europe Fiddleheads are delicious! And your greens sound wonderful.

    Right now foraging is at prime peak. I have tons of flowers, violet, apple, linden to harvest and of course dandelion is at its peak. I picked slender nettle (the same as stinging nettle without the major sting) to cook and dry yesterday.

    @judsoncarroll4 thanks for the tip on mustard seed.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 5,875 admin

    I will be adding elm seeds to this list, but I think that it will be a little while yet before they appear.

  • marjstratton
    marjstratton Posts: 816 ✭✭✭✭

    My first batch of dandelion flowers are past, but there will be more. Calendula is going strong. I need to take a drive up to the mountains soon as our maple flowers are past, but will soon be coming on strong up in the mountains.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Moderator Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 1,309 admin

    @torey i'm not familiar with either of the plants you mention. what are your plans for each & why, please?

  • torey
    torey Moderator Posts: 4,297 admin

    @JodieDownUnder The Solomon's Seal shoots are just like asparagus, both in taste and how to prepare them. The Fiddleheads are baby, unfurled ferns. They get a quick blanch (about a minute) in two changes of boiling water, then you can continue cooking by pan frying or steaming. Either way they are delicious, particularly with some garlic butter. They are considered a speciality ingredient in upscale restaurants as they have a limited season and don't really freeze that well.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 972 ✭✭✭✭

    I've just been observing and taking notes about what we are seeing around the property for now.

    Some dandelion, mullein, mustard, lovage (I think I'll need to confirm next time), burdock, chickweed, cleavers, violets, and I know there must be a few others I'm forgetting. But the fact that all of this growing here already is so exciting. 😁

    The elderberry that was here already too is starting to flower so that's exciting because the cuttings I took from our old house aren't doing so hot here. Praying they make it.

  • torey
    torey Moderator Posts: 4,297 admin

    I should go check one of my stinging nettle patches today and see how they are doing. Thanks for the reminder @RustBeltCowgirl.

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Moderator Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 1,309 admin

    @RustBeltCowgirl when you say whacking/whacked in regard to weeds, what is it you mean exactly please?

  • torey
    torey Moderator Posts: 4,297 admin

    @JodieDownUnder I think they might be called whipper-snippers in Australia.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 972 ✭✭✭✭

    Oh, there is also blackberry and raspberry starting to bloom here now.

    So excited about the raspberry, they are my favorite.😁 I hope to one day have some black raspberry plants too.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 1,392 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Basically, it's just another term for being cut down. Weed whacking is typically done (here in the US) with a string trimmer. Or scythe if you go non-electric).

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Moderator Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 1,309 admin

    @RustBeltCowgirl thank you. down here its called a whipper snipper or brush cutter(steel blade) Using a scythe takes a special knack & a sharp scythe!

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Moderator Posts: 3,217 admin

    I have more slender nettle top harvest today. Its really growing well. My friend wanted some. She uses it to weaves with and its so pretty.

    I also need to pick fresh small pine tree tips. Its are just at the right size.

  • RustBeltCowgirl
    RustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 1,392 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just a few pics from the barn featuring forageable stuff.

    Nettles alongside one of the turn-out paddocks.

    Cleavers by the flag pole.

    Didn't get pictures of all the violets...chickweed...lilac.

  • gardneto76
    gardneto76 Posts: 444 ✭✭✭

    My spring foraging is over close to the house. I am taking a drive up to my nieces this weekend, so hopefully I can find some cool stuff at her place. My other options are to go up to the mountains. I don’t have a trip planned there until July when we will be camping for a week.

  • torey
    torey Moderator Posts: 4,297 admin

    Dandelion greens and chickweed have been in my salads this week. Its a really good crop of dandelions this year.

    I discovered my stinging nettle patch has been ravaged by a herd of cattle. :( I will have to check other locations.

    I found flower buds on a few Arnica so I think it will only be a week or so until they are ready for harvest.

    No sign of spruce tips yet.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 5,875 admin

    Our wild mint is not white tall rough to forage yet. We are waiting just a touch longer.

    Some of our patches of stinging nettle got eaten by the cows last year. We will look for more. Nobody told them about the foraging ratio. There has got to be more nettles somewhere.

    The dandelions are certainly up & growing. The chickweed will still be a while. I found a little bit of cleavers. We never have much.

    I need to check by the jewelweed to see if anything else is identifiable there yet.

    ...And we had some snow today, belueve it or not, but the ground is warm enough that it melted quickly. It didn't get much above freezing. By Tuesday, we should hit 26°C for the high. That's pretty hot after just having snow! I'm sure we'll see a lot more growth to forage after that.

  • torey
    torey Moderator Posts: 4,297 admin

    @LaurieLovesLearning Someone should give the cows a lesson about sharing and the foraging ratio.🤣

    I was speaking with someone who lives about an hour east of me, day before yesterday and she woke up to snow on the ground, too. Melted pretty quickly but still, we are having a very cold spring.

    I found a huge patch of coltsfoot but didn't harvest any as it was right beside the road. It must be a good year for it. I just got an e-mail from a colleague who also found coltsfoot in a place where it had never been before.

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