Sunday, April 18, 2010

Foraging Report 04/18/2010

Another good week for some spring edibles here in Connecticut. The weather has turned much cooler, and a bit damp, so we have held off on the letterboxing. We need to get down to Hamonasset this week to check our Foraging Rosehips box, there have been 2 reports of it missing. We are also driving around at all times with 5 complete boxes in the car, ready to plant if the opportunity presents itself. Something new from us: bonuses with the boxes!

The dandelions are going strong, and Robert picked 2 buckets of flowers and buds this week. He is trying a pickle with the buds, and we pulled out the yellow petals of the flowers for a small batch of wine.

We returned to our favorite ramps patch to dig some ramps bulbs. The bulbs are small right now, since the plant is using all of it's stored energy to make the leaves and produce a flower later in the season. The bucket of bulbs was washed, trimmed, and made into pickles, and the leaves added to soup, quiche, and frozen.

The one letterbox we went out to find is the Box of the Month at Szegda Farm in Columbia, CT. It has been a recurring box, and it is great to see the seasonal changes taking place in this environment every month. Today we went out, and as I walked into the open field, I was amazed to see that 90% of the field is covered in stinging nettles. What a wonderful forager's find! We gathered a full paper bag, and have already made soup, more recipes and info to follow. I suppose we had better get carving the stamp for the future Foraging Nettles box!

Finally, while out walking at Salmon River State Park, we saw plenty of fishermen on opening day, and lots of edibles and signs of future edibles. Lots of yarrow to be found here, along with wild strawberries. We dug up a few young wild carrots for Gillian to nibble. The autumn olive bushes are making their flowers already, but the sumacs still are not showing any signs of life. We saw lots of second-year garlic mustard, but were looking for first-year growth to dig some roots. Lots to look forward to this season!

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