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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A foraging we will go...

One of the 'side effects' of reading Michael Pollan's books, especially The Ominvore's Dilemma, is that I have this new-found obsession with trying to forage edibles from my yard/property.  So, last week, armed with my rainsuit-clad son and my camera, I went on a walkabout in my yard to see what I could 'rustle' up for dinner...

Now, it must first be said that I have little to no knowledge of which wild species of plants/fungi are edible.  I did some research yesterday (for like about 2 minutes) looking up photos of some species that grow/live here in Alberta, but that's it.  Given my lack of knowledge, I decided that on my first foraging adventure, I would take only my camera and take photos of those plants/fungi which I though might be edible and look them up when I get home (after all, no one needs to get sick, or worse, even die from my efforts to 'find' my dinner). 

Here is what I found within a stone's throw of my house - and we are talking a girly-girl's throw!
  • 2 different kind of mushrooms
  • Wild chives - which I am totally going to put in tonight's dinner!
  • Rosehips
  • A few patches of wild strawberries which aren't yet producing berries, but look like they will be soon
  • More dandelion greens than I could ever hope (or want) to consume
And that is just the stuff that I could identify!!! 

I am also super fortunate to live on a huge chunk of land which is partially forested and I know that many, many more edibles are dwelling in there, just waiting to be picked, eaten, or... photographed.  There are a ton of wild raspberry bushes for example, and Trent told me last night that his mom used to forage for Morales in those woods as well...  I think a foraging lesson from my dear mother-in-law might be in order very soon!

One more thing - I am super interested in finding edible greens, and I read that Lamb's Quarters are super nutritious and plentiful (aka a weed)... but, I am just not familiar with this plant... and I can't seem to 'find' any out here... does anyone have some pictures of this plant that you could send me?

Well, that's all for now - happy foraging!

Marebare xoxo

3 comments:

  1. You are very lucky to live on such a large area of land--I am jealous!! One tip about wild mushrooms coming from someone who used to pick them with my Dad. Even though certain ones are safe and edible, different people react differently to them. My Dad can eat black morels, (which are a delicacy) but they make my mom quite sick. Wild mushrooms can be like that, so before eating a lot of them, or feeding them to your little guy, I would try a small amount first! Best of luck with your foraging!!

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  2. Hmmm... that plant doesn't exactly look like lambsquarters to me... they're usually a little more blue green in color.

    Which reminds me... this is totally off the topic, but I fear my margarita is setting in... anyhow, when I started to do graphic design I discovered that there were about a zillion more shades of green than any other color. I did some research and discovered that the human eye can actually see more shades of green than any other color.

    If you've spent much time in a garden trying to find the beans/peas/cucumbers etc. amongst the leaves one starts to develop a keen appreciation for this ability.

    I'll try to take some photos of the lambsquarters in my garden and send them to you.

    xoxoxo
    Rebecca

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  3. Hi Jaime,

    Good call on the 'caution' about the foraging... don't worry, I have been and will continue to be extremely cautious! I feel like I need a 'foraging mentor' - do you know anyone? Oh, and you are more than welcome to bring your girls out for a run in the fields (and a cup of coffee for you) whenever you feel like it - just drop me a line, it would be great to re-connect with you!

    Rebecca,

    Good call about the shades of green! (How appropriate, coming from the Greeniac herself!)
    Do you actually grow the lambsquarters in there on purpose or are they 'weeds'?

    All the best you two, and sorry about the huge delay in response!

    xoxo Maren

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