Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Garlic Mustard Video

Here Russ Cohen will talk about Garlic Mustard

Friday, November 19, 2010

Japanese Knotweed Video

We had a nice late fall walk with Russ Cohen in Massachusetts
Here is a small educational video about Japanese knotweed with Russ Cohen.

Friday, October 15, 2010


We have started our education on mushrooms. It is difficult to find someone to teach us, so we sign up for all foraging tours with our local educators, Wildman Steve Brill and Russ Cohen. We have purchased several books on mushrooms. We hike the woods and find mushrooms, bring them home, and use some techniques we have learned to try to identify them. Robert takes many photos of the tops, bottoms, stalks, and bases, cuts them open to test for bruising and color changes, and spore prints them. We then get help from David Fischer's website to verify the mushrooms. Rarely, we eat them.

A good mushroom we are comfortable with is the sulfur shelf (Laetiporus sulphureus), or chicken mushroom. We were very fortunate to find a very young specimen in September that yielded about 40 pounds of usable mushroom. The flesh has a very firm texture like chicken. We ate it fresh in many dishes, dehydrated some, and froze some more to use later.

We have also come across many honey mushrooms (Armillaria mellea), including a colony in our own back yard. These are good in soups, as they get a bit slimy when sautéed.

Pear shaped puffballs (Lycoperdon pyriforme) are also another good one for us to search for. They can be very small, but are usually found in great quantities on a dead log. They cook up nicely, holding their shape and texture. We have also come across some giant puffballs (Langermannia gigantea) that fry up like a filet.

Foraging Walks

Over the past month, we have been fortunate enough to take walks with 2 foraging experts. First was with Wildman Steve Brill in Redding, CT on a parcel of private land. The habitat included some open, disturbed areas and some mixed forest. In the open area, we spotted some bay laurel, fox grass, wood sorrell, black birch, and garlic mustard. Steve Brill discussed acorns, including differences between white and red oaks, and how to process the nuts into something edible. There were also some hickory trees, but no nuts this year. We headed into the woods to seek out some mushrooms, but the dry weather was working against us. We came across a few parasol and honey mushrooms, along with a log-full of pear-shaped puffballs. At a second location, we dug some ramp bulbs. Robert, Gillian and I stopped at one more location on our own to gather some winecaps, bear's head tooth, pear-shaped puffballs, and sulfur shelf mushrooms.

For a Last Green Valley Walktober event, we met Russ Cohen in Southbridge, MA for another walk. It took place at Westville Lake Recreation area, and covered a lot of habitats, including riverside, wood's edge, forest, and open grassy areas. Russ Cohen covered autumn olives, grapes, mulberries, hen of the woods mushroom, sumac, pokeweed, day lily, burdock, garlic mustard, and many others. We ended up bartering some jellies for a wonderful hen of the woods mushroom.

Letterboxing Events

We have been very happy to attend some letterboxing events this autumn. It is always so nice to see old friends, new faces, and the fantastic weather makes it even more fun.

We attended A Mystical event in Mystic, CT in mid-September hosted by Maire's Facets. It was an event intended to introduce some elderly residents and their families to letterboxing. The event was held at Academy Point, a former school overlooking the Mystic River. The food was catered and yummy. The carves were fantastic! Afterwards, a group of us including MMACJ, Rocklun, and Misplaced Manatee headed to the nearby Peace Sanctuary for some hiking. Then we drove over to B F Clyde's Cider Mill for cider, and finally off to Ender's Island for another box. Great day, 22 finds.

In October, we headed to Hopkinton, MA for T2's Boxing Birthday Blitz hosted by Travelers 4 and Choi. My broken toe is still bothering me, so I stayed behind to socialize with Gillian while Robert hiked the boxes with Automan01440. There were so many fantastic series planted here, including some using Dartmoor style triangulation. The day netted some new faces for me, and 60 finds. We brought some fox grass seed polenta topped with ramps cream cheese spread and purslane for the potluck.

Next: OMG Halloween in Portsmouth, NH. The hotel room is booked, we are ready!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Autumn Olives

Autumn Olive berries are a favorite in our house, and we introduce this invasive edible to everyone we know in hopes that they will also enjoy and gather lots of them. Our invasive plant book, "Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species" by Sylvan and Wallace Kaufman lists pros and cons of the autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata) bush. Autumn olive is also listed on the USDA National Invasive Species website. Problems associated with the plant include it's tendency to grow densely and outcompete all other native plants in an area, and the plant's ability to fix nitrogen in the soil, therefore changing soil composition. One benefit is the fruit, which can stay on the bush into the wintertime, and another is the cover provided for wildlife. We do often see roadsides or old fields completely filled with the silvery autumn olive foliage. The plant was introduced in 1830 from China, Korea, and Japan as an ornamental plant. It reproduces easily because it makes an incredibly large amount of single-seeded berries, and can survive well in poor soil.

In spring, the plant produces it's silvery leaves very early, one of the first shrubs in our area of southeast Connecticut to show green. The leaves are arranged alternately along the speckled stem, shaped like long ovals, and are toothless and leathery. The undersides of the leaves are distinctly silvery, allowing you to identify autumn olives from a distance. In mid-spring the plant produces an abundance of flower clusters hanging from the leaf axils. The flowers have four petals that join at the base to form a tube, are light yellow or white, and fragrant. After the flowers die, tiny, dark green berries will start to form.

It takes all summer, and sometimes part of the autumn for the berries to ripen to red. I have read some accounts of how the ripening season has become earlier and earlier for the berries, and we have found an occasional, odd bush fully ripe in early August. These bushes all have seem to have distinct personalities, and each bush has it's own taste, ripening time, and amount of berries produced. Most bushes ripen in late September, and berries on a bush will taste sweeter later in the autumn. Inside each berry is a single, soft, oval seed that can be eaten without any ill effects, or spit out.

The taste of this silver-speckled red berry is sometimes hard to describe. Kids always love it because of the sourness, and if adults give it a chance, they like it too. The initial flavor is sometimes mouth-puckeringly astringent, then you get the fruity burst reminiscent of currants or peaches. Autumn olive berries contain up to 17 times the lycopene, an anti-oxidant, commonly found in tomatoes. They also contain vitamins A, C, and E. The berries are very easy to pick, and often grow in stunning quantities on a single shrub.

We use the berries to make jam and fruit leather, and the whole berries freeze surprisingly well for use in wintertime oatmeal breakfasts. We have also made a peasant wine from the berries. We have observed some odd characteristics of the berries while processing them. If sent through the food mill to remove seeds while raw, the sweet, red pulp will separate from a translucent, sour, pink juice. Robert made a jelly from the juice, and used the unsweetened pulp to make fruit leather.

More Photos Of Autumn Olive Click Here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Chicken Mushroom Recipe - "Chicken" Pot Pie

Let me just start by saying that this was quite a treat for us. We were walking in a familiar area when Robert noticed a bit of bright orange on a tree. We are not very familiar or comfortable with mushrooms, but still like to look at them and take pictures for future identifications. This mushroom, however, he recognized as a chicken mushroom, or sulfur shelf (Laetiporus sulphureus), or chicken mushroom. Last year we had found a few that were too old to eat, and we researched them in hopes of recognizing a fresh one in the future. We still took precautions and spore printed the mushroom and asked that it be verified by David Fischer before we tried to eat it.

Sulfur shelf grows in shelf-like clusters on trees, stumps or logs, and it is important to know what kind of wood it is growing on. Although there are no poisonous look-alikes, some trees like Eucalyptus, hemlock, or honey locust will produce harmful sulfur shelf mushrooms. There is no stalk or stem. The top of the mushroom is bright orange and the underside is yellow. The underside is covered with tiny pores that will make a white spore print. The outer edges are thinner than the base attached to the wood, and wrinkled. When fresh like this specimen was, the mushroom will drip moisture when cut into.

Robert and Gillian gathered the few low clusters from the dead deciduous tree, but when he walked around the backside, we were stunned to find an enormous cluster. Overall, we got about 40 pounds of moist, young mushroom off this tree. Chicken mushroom tends to fruit again in the same place for a few years, so we will be back often to look for more.

Robert separated the clusters to clean the mushroom of a few bugs and debris, and proceeded to process this monster. He sliced up enough to fill the dehydrator completely. These slices will be used to make soups in winter. He chopped up enough to put 8 pint containers into the freezer for future recipes. Then we made a cheddar biscuit-topped pot pie, deep fried "chicken", and a coconut-mushroom soup this past week. The texture is very comparable to cooked chicken breast chunks, although the taste is mildly mushroomy.

"Chicken" Mushroom Pot Pie topped with Cheddar Biscuits
makes one 10"pie
5 Tbsp butter or oil
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
12 ramps bulbs, cleaned and chopped (or a small onion)
2 c. coarsely chopped sulfur shelf mushroom
4 Tbsp flour
up to 3 c. vegetable broth
salt and pepper
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1/4 c. chopped ramps greens (or scallions)
1. Heat the butter or oil in a large skillet. Sautée the ramps bulbs, carrot and celery until translucent. Add the chopped mushroom and cook until the juices have rendered.
2. Add the flour and cook 1 minute, until lightly browned.
3. Slowly add the broth, whisking to prevent lumps. Add enough broth to make a thick gravy, whisk in the Dijon mustard and sherry vinegar and then simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper, and gently stir in the ramps greens. Pour into a greased pie plate.
Cheddar Biscuits
2 1/2 c. flour
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
6 Tbsp cold butter
1 c. buttermilk
1. Heat the oven to 425°F.
2. Mix the dry ingredients with the cheddar cheese. Cut in the butter until small pieces remain.
3. Add the buttermilk and mix as little as possible. Fold the dough over itself twice in the bowl before turning it out onto a floured surface.
4. Roll the biscuit dough to 1/2" thick and cut out 2" rounds. Place the rounds around the edges of the pie plate, leaving a bit of the center exposed. There will be extra biscuit dough for some plain biscuits, so cut those out to cook on a separate sheetpan.
5. Bake for 12-17 minutes, until the biscuit topping is browned and the filling is bubbly.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Foraging Report 10/13/2010

We had a great weekend foraging, and are looking forward to some letterboxing once the foraging slows down. The weather has cooled down quite drastically, and it is very dry these past two months in New England. Many trees are losing their leaves prematurely due to dryness without turning color.
We did post a letterboxing event for next year, called Foraging for Letterboxes on September 17, 2011. It will hopefully take place at Day Pond in Colchester, CT. We are a bit disappointed with the selection of wild edibles in Day Pond, so we plan on bringing some examples with us to show people. There are some great hiking trails there, along with many really good letterboxes in the area and a fantastic pavilion with tables for stamping. We hope to make this a fun event for the kids, too since there is a pond for dipping toes and fishing, and we will try to provide some other diversions. We did some exploring of a remote site for a foraging walk for those interested, and this site also has some good letterboxes nearby.

While out this weekend, we wanted to find some more grapes for jam. There were some, but many of them are shrivelling into raisins on the vine due to lack of rain. We picked all that we could see on Friday before it got too dark. At the same site, we also got a pocketful of apples from a cluster of old trees growing at this old farmstead. Robert climbed a chestnut tree to try to reach some nuts, but this tree was very high. The spiky hulls are still closed, so we will return in a few weeks to try to shake down some nuts.

We went to another favorite site to gather some ramps bulbs to try in a recipe with the acorn flour that Robert made last week. The bulbs are large, but loose. They are still putting their energy into making the seed stalks, so it will be better to dig them in a few weeks. We found one of the last bushes of elderberries with berries still on it, and Robert snapped a few pictures. We also picked some autumn olives.

The find of the day were some enormous chicken mushrooms, or sulfur shelf. These chicken mushroom(Laetiporus sulphureus) were easily 40 pounds, and very young. It was difficult to make a spore print since the mushroom was so juicy still. We had it verified, and are trying to process this monster. Robert dried some in the dehydrator, cubed up a lot of it to freeze, and we have several recipes to try this week, like "Chicken" Paprikash, "Chicken" Pot Pie, fried"Chicken", and whatever else we can think of. This mushroom tends to return to the same place again, so we will watch for it next spring and autumn. It was quite a surprise to find such a large, young specimen in these conditions.

Robert is looking to collect some more acorns, as his flour turned out really nice. This morning he cooked up some of the rougher ground meal with some maple syrup and walnuts into a type of porridge. The color was very dark, the texture was good and substantial, and the taste was great, almost like indian pudding.

Another edible we found a bit of this week was the spicebush(Lindera benzoin). I like the scent of the twigs, which is more lemony-cardamomy than the berries which is a stronger peppery-allspice. We picked a few red berries to bring home to cook with apples, and some twigs and leaves to try fresh in tea.

I have also been collecting a lot of edibles for a display I will be placing in the Otis Library here in Norwich, CT for the month of November. They have 2 glass cases in the entryway that people can fill with their interests and hobbies, and in the past there have been some nice displays of decorated eggs, senior art, and shipwrecked treasures. I hope to have enough plant material, products, photos and descriptions to fill both cases, so I need to get busy gathering things now when they are available!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Foraging Report 09/08/10

Autumn is my favorite time of year, with cooler, drier days and delightful evenings. Nuts and roots will become more important, and longer lasting fruits like apples can be gathered now. We got our puffball mushrooms from last week confirmed, and ate them simply sautéed with salt and pepper. Some people say that puffball is bland, but these ones were delicious. Hopefully this weekend we can find some more mushrooms when we take another walking tour with "Wildman" Steve Brill in Redding. This will be our first walk with him this season, we usually do 3-4 a year, but we have been busier than usual. In October, we plan on taking another tour with Russ Cohen in Southbridge, Massachusetts. We can always learn more, and enjoy their different teaching styles and personalities.

We continue to find wild grapes by smell, and the jam making has gone well. Autumn olives are also ripening for jams, fruit leather, and another batch of wine. We will also freeze some whole autumn olives to eat in oatmeal over the winter.

Robert gathered a bucket of white oak acorns this past week, and spent one morning shelling them. He would like to invest in a special nut cracker that costs $150 to shell these and other nuts much faster. Although they were only slightly bitter, he has proceeded with a week-long cold water leaching to remove any remaining tannins. He ground the hulled acorn nuts, soaked them in several changes of cold water, and will now dry the ground nuts to use in recipes.

On the Saturday after the weak hurricane, we headed to Horseneck Beach in Westport, Massachusetts to look for some more beach plums. The wind was still pretty fierce, and access was restricted to one area of the shore, with no water entry due to the high surf. We did find a few small, stunted trees with the tiny plums, but there was simply too much sand blowing in the wind to explore the area. The high surf threw hundreds of Atlantic surf clams up onto the beach near the high tide mark, and we gathered about a dozen to take home and cook up into chowder. They were tasty, but needed a lot of rinsing to clear the sand. There were also 2 different varieties of rosehips present on the beach, Rosa rugosa and a smaller, less thorny rosehip species. Some of the Rugosa roses exhibited white and pink flowers on the same bush. We also found some very sweet beach peas, just the right size to nibble upon.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Foraging Report 08/29/2010

Walking along a lake today, we smelled grapes. Grapes? In August? You bet, and I picked 4 gallons of them, purplish-black, large, and yeasty smelling. We came home and made 2 batches of jam immediately. This season is so early, since we do not usually see grapes until late September or early October around here.

Another super early fruit is the autumn olive. There is great variability between bushes, almost like they each have their own personality. Ripening times and taste vary between bushes, even ones right next to each other. We have managed to pick enough already for one batch of jam and some fruit leather. Today we introduced the bush to someone who was chatting with us while we picked grapes, and then we gave him his own bag to gather some. The fully ripe and sweet bush was right alongside many totally green-berried bushes.

Robert manged to grab 3 very large puffball mushrooms, and we are going to try to have them confirmed by David Fischer. We have his book "Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America" and he will personally answer emails about mushrooms. We upload pictures and spore print photos to him, and find his website very useful http://americanmushrooms.com/

Robert went out to pick some more elderberries for another batch of elderberry-sumac jam made with sumac juice. Smooth sumac is wonderfully acidic, and easy to spot with it's bright red berries. The color of the sumac-ade is not quite as red with the smooth sumac as with the staghorn sumac, it is a bit more orange. We always have a container of the sumac-ade chilling in the fridge. Robert also tried a jelly made from the sumac with a sassafras infusion. The result is a amber colored, spicy, tart jelly that he and Gillian love.

We also went out this past week to pick beach plums(Prunus maritima). We got 3 gallons, and made 35 jars of reddish-purple, pulpy jam filled with the tart skins. This is a very tasty jam, perhaps my new favorite flavor. There were lots of the small plums left over, so we made a black cherry-plum wine.

A few more edibles we noticed were spicebushes, with their bright red, peppery berries, and wintergreen. Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) berries taste like tart allspice, and can be chopped and ground and added to recipes. The twigs and leaves can be gathered fresh for teas. Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) berries are high in vitamin C and make a great breath refresher. The leaves can be used fresh or dried for an invigorating tea. Wintergreen contains methyl salicylate, which is a compound related to the active ingredient in aspirin, so chewing the berries or drinking the tea can help with minor pain.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Jelly Tally 08/21/2010

The growing season has been running a bit early this year, a few weeks for most wild edibles in our area of southeastern Connecticut. Berries have been very abundant, benefitting from the excessive rains in spring and oppressive heat of summer. Wild cherries and plums are also around in large numbers. We picked rosehips at the shore earlier than expected, and some autumn olives are already red and sweet. We missed the wild blueberry and huckleberry season completely since it was too hot to be outside picking berries, so maybe next year. Still to come: wild grapes and autumn olives, maybe some mint, and something with all of the apples we have found growing at old farmsteads. The jellies, jams and butters we make are usually jarred in 1c (8 oz) jars and 1/2c (4 oz) jars. The jellies are clear and firm. Our jams are cloudy and filled with fruit pulp and sometimes skins, but no seeds, and are firm. The rosehip butter contains no pectin, but is thick and spreadable like a soft butter. They will make wonderful gifts!

Jelly Tally 2010

Wineberry, seedless jam 8-1c 5-1/2c

Blackberry, seedless jam 15-1c 4-1/2c

Wineberry-Blackberry jam 12 1c 4-1/2c

Sour wild black cherry jam 5-1c 1-1/2c

Wild black cherry jam 6-1c 6-1/2c

Rosehip jelly 16-1c 10-1/2c

Rosehip butter 10-1c 8-1/2c

Elderberry-Sumac jam 6-1c

Mulberry jam 5-1c

Beach plum jam 20-1c 8-1/2c

Sassafras-Sumac jelly 9-1c 6-1/2c

Sassafras honey 3-1c
Violet jelly 2-1c 1-1/2c

Rosehips Recipe - Rosehips Jelly

The size of the red or orange ripened fruit (the rosehip) of rose plants varies according to species. Multiflora roses are highly abundant along fields, producing pretty clusters of white roses, but tiny, fleshless hips that are only good for the birds. Most cultivated roses produce beautiful, complex flowers that are not appropriate for eating due to pesticide and chemical applications. The roses and rosehips we search for are the Rosa rugosa species, also known as beach roses or wrinkled roses. The flowers usually have 5 petals and are pink or white, and are fragrant and edible in salads. It is the orange-red, large fleshy rosehip that we seek out in the late summer for jelly. The fruit tastes a bit like apricots, and is rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, malic and citric acid, fructose, and zinc.

The Rugosa rose is an invasive species, originally from Japan. It grows well along sandy dunes on the east coast from southern Canada to North Carolina and west to Wisconsin and the Great Lakes. It can be useful to prevent dune erosion on beaches, and makes good cover for wildlife with its many prickers and dense foliage. We found some beautiful ripe rosehips along the Westerly, Rhode Island beaches much sooner than we expected to. It seems they are following the trend this year of ripening earlier than usual. We had placed a Foraging Rosehips letterbox at Hamonassett Beach in Madison, Connecticut, but it went missing this spring.

The dark green serrated leaflets are heavily veined, or wrinkled, and there are 5 to 9 leaflets on each leaf. The stems are covered with straight, grey prickles, although younger stems are more hairy than prickery. The flowers are large and usually occur singly in summer. They have a whorl of 5 pink or white petals with yellow stamens in the centers. The rosehip forms under the flower in the late summer, turning from green to reddish-orange when ripe. The hips are filled with many seeds and fine hairs that we remove before working with the remaining fruit. We find that the hairs are a serious skin irritant, so we recommend using gloves when scooping out the innards of the rosehip.

Once we clean the seeds and hairs from the rosehips, we can use the fruit for a few purposes. Robert likes to chop them in the food processor and dry them for tea. We also made some wonderful jelly-23 jars! After the rosehips are simmered, steeped, and hung in the jelly bag to extract the juice, I am left with a large quantity of soft fruit. I then purée that fruit to make rosehip butter-18 jars! Robert also dried some rosehip seeds to make a tea high in vitamin C. We ended up with so many rosehips from our day at the shore, we had enough to make a 3 gallon batch of rosehip wine that is still bubbling away on the counter.

Rosehip Jelly makes 6c.

8 c. cleaned and de-seeded rosehips
6 c. water
1/2 c. lemon juice
1 box Sure*Jell pectin
3 1/2 c. sugar

1. Clean the rosehips by removing the stems, the flower ends, the seeds, and inner hairs. Place the cleaned rosehips in a large pot with the water.

2. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook 1 hour until the rosehips are soft. Mash the rosehips and allow them to cool.

3. Hang the purée in a jelly bag and allow to drip for an hour. You will need 3 cups of rosehip juice.

4. Add lemon juice and pectin to the rosehip juice in another pot. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Add all of the sugar at once, and bring back to a hard boil for 1 minute.

5. Remove the hot jelly from the heat, skim the foam from the top. Place the hot jelly in jars and process.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A few observations about Maine letterboxing. . .

Mudflingin Fools were not joking when she told me the mosquito is the state bird.

Lots of boxes! Lovely views!

Creeping myrtle looks a lot like lowbush blueberries.

Camping at Thomas Point Beach is super fun. I need to sign up for next year's event.

Eating clams dug from the mud flats by Ford at 9PM with lots of melted butter= divine.

Letterboxers are a brave and generous bunch when it comes to trying our foraged fare. From the potluck food to our jams, I think everyone had a taste!

There are a lot of partridge berries in Maine. There are also a lot of chokecherry trees. Oddly, there are very few autumn olve bushes in Brunswick, making it difficult for me to describe what they are to curious people.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Foraging Report 08/04/2010

Still plenty of blackberries to harvest, so we get a bit every time we are in the area of the blackberry patch. The recent wet and warm weather has made some of the berries rot and some ferment on the canes, but there are still lots to pick. We also came across a nice patch of dewberries this week. Dewberries (Rubus eubatus) trail along the ground on a vine as opposed to growing on upright canes. They are also much smaller than most blackberries.

We finally came across some wintergreen while out letterboxing in the Salmon River State Forest. Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) has a very strong wintergreen odor in the leaves and the berry. The berries are still green, but will ripen to red in the autumn. Gillian really liked this small plant for it's minty taste.

Smooth sumac berries are ripening and getting wonderfully sour. We picked a bunch after the "lick-test" to determine which were ready. This requires us to lick each bunch before cutting it from the shrub. We added cold water and let the sumac sit for a few hours to make some sumac-ade. The staghorn sumac makes a deep red liquid, but the smooth sumac is much more abundant in this area. Dwarf sumac is still in the flower stage.

We visited Westerly, Rhode Island to scan the beaches for some Rosa rugosa rosehips, and were very happy to come away with about 12 pounds. They seem to be very early this year, and wonderfully worm-free. Robert cleaned out the seeds and inner hairs and I made one batch of jelly, and he is drying the rest for tea. The flavor of ripe, fresh rosehips is similar to apricots, fruity and tart.

We also came across an aberrant bush of autumn olive that was completely ripe. Most bushes still have hard, dark green, completely unripe berries at this time of year. We plan on making more jam later in the autumn, along with fruit leather.

Elderberries are ripening, and we tried a batch of jelly, but it failed. It has not jelled yet, so we can use it as an elderberry syrup. Robert also made some purslane pickles from the purslane growing in our tomato bed. He happily weeds out the grass, but leaves the purslane weeds to flourish along with the wood sorrel and orach.

We are leaving this weekend to go to New Brunswick, Maine for a letterboxing gathering. Party time! We are bringing some cattail pollen biscuits filled with wineberry jam, and ramps biscuits filled with roasted onion and ramp jam and kielbasa for the Friday night potluck. Yum! Robert is bringing some extra jams to sell, and if you hike with one of us, you can get a free and fun foraging lesson!