Foraging

KeeperAtTheHomestead

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We love dandelions!! I make jam from the flowers. So yummy!

I'm afraid that's as far as I've ventured into the foraging world, but plan to change that this year. This year I'm looking to expand into foraging for chickweed, sweet gum (for a tincture), wild onion, oyster mushrooms, clovers, and cattails. I know where some honeysuckles grow, so I'll be seeking those as well. Oh, and I know where a pecan tree is!! I'm so looking forward to a foraged pecan pie for Thanksgiving.
 

Britesea

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Elderberries- I make a tincture for the flu. I've also used them in pies and muffins. I hope to eventually get my act together and collect the flowers to make elderflower syrup and/or champagne.
Chokecherries- I've tried juicing them and was underwhelmed. Maybe I'll try jelly this year.
wild plums- tons of them here. I've made plum wine, plum cordial, plum jam, plum syrup, and dried them.
Crabapples- jams and spiced crabapples, and cordial
Comfrey- I make a salve with this
Nettles- teas and as a soup. I've been thinking of trying it as a pesto too.
Shepherd's Purse - dry it for a blood-stopper
Willow- I haven't done it yet, but last year I found the directions to make willow-bark tea for pain relief. Interestingly, although store-bought aspirin can give you tummy trouble if it isn't buffered, natural willow does not.
Quack Grass - when I pull this stuff up, I save and dry the roots; it's good for UTI's
Pine - The nuts are really small on our trees, so not worth the trouble of harvesting, unless we were desperate. Pine needle tea is good. This year I plan to harvest some sap and make candles. I haven't tried the bark, but I hear it's quite good if prepared properly.
Dandelions - salads, dandelion lemonade, I'd like to make the famous wine but I'm too lazy to harvest that many flowers... same with dandelion jelly.
Roses - the entire back line of our property is covered with the single pink wild roses (eglantine? I'm not sure). The hips are tiny but very flavorful, and I've made rose petal jelly- beautiful pale pink and it tastes the way roses smell.

We also have cattails and I know you can eat almost the entire plant at different times of the year, as well as use the strap-like leaves to make baskets. I haven't done any of it yet...
We found a wild blackberry nearby a couple of years ago... it's still not really big enough to forage yet...
And finally, I just read in the local paper that there is a determined effort to save wocus from the brink of extinction
( https://www.klcc.org/post/bringing-back-wocus-one-plant-time )
 

KeeperAtTheHomestead

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Elderberries- I make a tincture for the flu. I've also used them in pies and muffins. I hope to eventually get my act together and collect the flowers to make elderflower syrup and/or champagne.
Chokecherries- I've tried juicing them and was underwhelmed. Maybe I'll try jelly this year.
wild plums- tons of them here. I've made plum wine, plum cordial, plum jam, plum syrup, and dried them.
Crabapples- jams and spiced crabapples, and cordial
Comfrey- I make a salve with this
Nettles- teas and as a soup. I've been thinking of trying it as a pesto too.
Shepherd's Purse - dry it for a blood-stopper
Willow- I haven't done it yet, but last year I found the directions to make willow-bark tea for pain relief. Interestingly, although store-bought aspirin can give you tummy trouble if it isn't buffered, natural willow does not.
Quack Grass - when I pull this stuff up, I save and dry the roots; it's good for UTI's
Pine - The nuts are really small on our trees, so not worth the trouble of harvesting, unless we were desperate. Pine needle tea is good. This year I plan to harvest some sap and make candles. I haven't tried the bark, but I hear it's quite good if prepared properly.
Dandelions - salads, dandelion lemonade, I'd like to make the famous wine but I'm too lazy to harvest that many flowers... same with dandelion jelly.
Roses - the entire back line of our property is covered with the single pink wild roses (eglantine? I'm not sure). The hips are tiny but very flavorful, and I've made rose petal jelly- beautiful pale pink and it tastes the way roses smell.

We also have cattails and I know you can eat almost the entire plant at different times of the year, as well as use the strap-like leaves to make baskets. I haven't done any of it yet...
We found a wild blackberry nearby a couple of years ago... it's still not really big enough to forage yet...
And finally, I just read in the local paper that there is a determined effort to save wocus from the brink of extinction
( https://www.klcc.org/post/bringing-back-wocus-one-plant-time )


Pine sap is also good for applying straight to a cut.

I make the kids pick the millions of flowers needed for dandelion jam!:lol:
 

Hinotori

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Oh see, I forgot the Pacific crabapples. They are native and we treat them as fruit trees. Hubby loves jelly from them. They taste different than European crabapples and are super tiny.
 

Lazy Gardener

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Lambs quarters. Invasive garden weed. I get my revenge by picking it for salads, and it can also be cooked and used just as you would use spinach.
 

Britesea

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I tried some lambquarters one year; they were very bitter. Did I wait too long to harvest them?
 

Hinotori

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What I was taught was lambsquarter is like slightly salty tasting spinich. We also had what was called pigweed (a type of wild amaranth) that was a bit bitter and not eaten because of that.

Lambsquarter is often called pigweed as well.

Therein lies the issue with common names. Totally different plants can have the same common name. When buying plants I always make sure of species, sub species, and cultivar if needed.

Most people are idiots at garden centers. I cant tell you how many times Ive asked of they had lemon verbena and they took me to actual verbenas because none of them were plant knowledgeable. Lemon verbena is not a verbena. Common names suck.
 

Lazy Gardener

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Agreed. It's important to know the latin name, and know what the plant is supposed to look like! And, yes, many garden center employees are simply warm bodies that drag hoses around. They know NOTHING about plant species, plant care, or how to assess a plant.
 

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