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dankphishin

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usually, i like to rip off a chunk of birch and chew on that. morels, puffballs, and mushrooms like that are good also. wild onions, wild raspberries, are all great. i'd be interested to hear about what you guys find when you're hiking about.

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I'm afraid to eat most of the things I see.

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I love to forage. I grew up learning about the many benefits and somehow the fun never disappeared. :smile:

Here is a eG foraging adventure I shared in response to a recent opportunity I had to return to my beloved Sitka, along with some extras, here.

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I'm a city boy, but I did go on nature walks when I was in camp in upstate New York years ago, and I know how to recognize wood sorrel really easily. It has a nice bracingly sour taste. Of course, wild strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are nice, too.

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My children were veggi-phobic--they thought if anything green passed their lips, their heads would certainly fall off.

However, on a walk thru the woods, they were more than happy to munch on tender young catbrier shoots, violet leaves and flowers, sassafrass and spicebush twigs, peppercress seed pods, oxalis (wild sorrel) leaves and pods and anything else I could find from my Peterson's guide to wild foods, or Euell Gibbons' books.

We called it browsing.

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i'm a wild raspberry fanatic. blackberrys too. and i absolutely adore the taste of wild strawberries.


Edited by tryska (log)

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"Indian cucumber" is really good. We used to find it and eat it on occasion when I was at Boy Scout camp in the Adirondacks. It grows under pine trees in shady areas and is a small carrot shaped root vegetable - about the length of a baby carrot or a bit onger but much skinnier. It's white in color and has a nice mellow taste and a good texture - more subtle than regular carrots and not at all like cucumber.

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i'm a wild raspberry fanatic. blackberrys too.  and i absolutely adore the taste of wild strawberries.

Tryska;

Amen to all, and especially the wild blackberries. Every year we go to the Outer Banks with friends, and my wife and I graze the wild blackberries along the roadsides. Absolutely delicious, and from appearances, few of the other folks know about them. Probably I should just keep my mouth shut :raz:. They are sooo good on homemade ice cream :laugh:.

THW

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hwilson - this thread is reminding me of summers hiking the hills behind my house in Upstate New York with my sister and our friends.

Literally 500 feet from my backyard there were raspberry brambles and I guess blackberries? (they looked like blackberries, but on straight singular stalks?) wild grapes, wild apples and pears.

what saddens me now is that that area is now a housing tract and all the foliage (along with the deer, rabbits and pheasants) is probably long gone.

on a side note - i remember being insanely jealous that a friend of mine had wild strawberries growing all over her backyard!

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hwilson - this thread is reminding me of summers hiking the hills behind my house in Upstate New York with my sister and our friends.

Literally 500 feet from my backyard there were raspberry brambles and I guess blackberries?  (they looked like blackberries, but on straight singular stalks?) wild grapes, wild apples and pears. 

what saddens me now is that that area is now a housing tract and all the foliage (along with the deer, rabbits and pheasants) is probably long gone.

on a side note - i remember being insanely jealous that a friend of mine had wild strawberries growing all over her backyard!

Tryska;

I'm certainly no botanical expert, but the blackberry bushes on the Outer Banks are very thorny, and convoluted, like wild greenbriar, except even worse. Not sure what the ones with upright stalks would be, but I don't think they are blackberries.

THW

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hmm...strange. I have no idea what those bushes were. the fruit looked like blackberries (or at least the blackberries that you get in stores) but there were also brambles (like raspberry) that turned black as opposed to red when they were ripe.

these berries are so confusing. *lol*

oh i forgot - down here in georgia i've foraged for berries as well as muscadine grapes.

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when japanese eat "burdock" root, is this burdock plant the same as the one that has the spiny balls growing on it that stick to your clothes, or is it a different variety?

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In Tuscany, I have tons of things growing around wild.. this week I made a salad with violets ( thanks for the note I can also eat the leaves) and wild borage, leaves julieened and the lovely blue flowers left whole..

We also have elderberries....and the wild asparagus should be showing up soon!

I am planning on following the little farm ladies around with their plastic bags and knifes..I see wild dandelions.. sorrel... and there are many other greens that I will have to learn the latin names instead of the Italian dialect.. so I can look them up!

I don't do mushrooms..as there are too many that look like porcini that are poisonous..

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tryska,

Your blackberries do sound like blackberries to me, just on young plants. Especially in heavily shaded areas, the plants tend to be much sparser, and never seem to get the great bushy effect that they do out in the sun.

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In DC, we have many kinds of tasty mushrooms growing in the woods near creeks in West Virginia. At an overnight camp one summer, we took a "survival trip" where we had only a bag of trail mix to go on for four days, and one expert botanist, who chanced upon a massive grove of chanterelle mushrooms. We ate nothing but chanterelles and sunfish for four days, but the saddest thing happened (too much of a good thing, I suppose): some of us couldn't stomach the mushrooms again for four or five years afterwards. Luckily we've all recovered. :) Berries here often grow near powerlines, which makes one a little nervous about pesticides. But can't be worse than, say, farmed salmon, for suspicious mineral content ...

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"Indian cucumber" is really good. We used to find it and eat it on occasion when I was at Boy Scout camp in the Adirondacks. It grows under pine trees in shady areas and is a small carrot shaped root vegetable - about the length of a baby carrot or a bit onger but much skinnier. It's white in color and has a nice mellow taste and a good texture - more subtle than regular carrots and not at all like cucumber.

Wow, this one brings back a lot of memories. Do you have any tips on identifying the plant? My memory from summer camp days is that it's anywhere from 1 to 3 feet high with leaves that look like maple leaves (it's even perhaps a recently sprouted maple of some sort?) Is that even close?

-michael

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thanks donk! when i have time i'm going to research and verify.

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"Indian cucumber" is really good. We used to find it and eat it on occasion when I was at Boy Scout camp in the Adirondacks. It grows under pine trees in shady areas and is a small carrot shaped root vegetable - about the length of a baby carrot or a bit onger but much skinnier. It's white in color and has a nice mellow taste and a good texture - more subtle than regular carrots and not at all like cucumber.

Wow, this one brings back a lot of memories. Do you have any tips on identifying the plant? My memory from summer camp days is that it's anywhere from 1 to 3 feet high with leaves that look like maple leaves (it's even perhaps a recently sprouted maple of some sort?) Is that even close?

-michael

Here's an

Indian Cucumber photo

from the state of North Carolina web site. It's odd that none of the links I could find showed the edible portion, which is the root. I did see one mention that it was used as a food by native Aemrican peoples but in certain quantities can act as a diuretic and even as a purgative (las if we cared when I was in Boy Scouts - heck, we were just thrilled to eat something that we dug up ourselves in the woods and could never find more than a few at a time).

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"Indian cucumber" is really good. We used to find it and eat it on occasion when I was at Boy Scout camp in the Adirondacks. It grows under pine trees in shady areas and is a small carrot shaped root vegetable - about the length of a baby carrot or a bit onger but much skinnier. It's white in color and has a nice mellow taste and a good texture - more subtle than regular carrots and not at all like cucumber.

Wow, this one brings back a lot of memories. Do you have any tips on identifying the plant? My memory from summer camp days is that it's anywhere from 1 to 3 feet high with leaves that look like maple leaves (it's even perhaps a recently sprouted maple of some sort?) Is that even close?

-michael

Here's an

Indian Cucumber photo

from the state of North Carolina web site. It's odd that none of the links I could find showed the edible portion, which is the root. I did see one mention that it was used as a food by native Aemrican peoples but in certain quantities can act as a diuretic and even as a purgative (las if we cared when I was in Boy Scouts - heck, we were just thrilled to eat something that we dug up ourselves in the woods and could never find more than a few at a time).

Thanks. Very interesting. Either I've distorted things in my memory or I'm remembering a different plant with a similar root. This was in Muskoka, cottage country in Ontario. Maybe that explains why it's a maple leaf.

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Burdock root is edible, and the same plant the Japanese eat. I understand it is very difficult to dig up--lllooooonnnnnnggggg taproot. Look for one growing in loose soil, and bring a good shovel.

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For those of you who are so lucky to have them, is it too early for ramps yet? I tasted my first ramps last year and have been looking forward to them ever since.

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