Tag Archives: forage

Wood nettles

I went out to pick nettles today.

I found a huge patch of Wood Nettles a couple days ago. They come up earlier then the type of stinging nettle I usually pick. It is so early the jewelweed I use to kill the sting when I mess up is still tiny and a little hard to see. I picked a good bag full of nettle. I ended up blanching and freezing half and drying half for tea. I am going to to make nettle and ramp soup also depending on time try brewing some nettle beer. If you have never had stinging nettle its a spinach substitute maybe a little sweeter and less slimy. Has a ton of medical uses also, but I just got it to eat and use for tea. It’s my favorite herd tea if you add a little lemon and honey.. I also grabbed fiddle heads.

Notes:

You can use baking soda past on your skin to stop a nettle sting if there is no jewelweed. I think jewelweed works better. Also both only seem to work if you get it fast enough.

Cooking or drying kills the sting, but take care till then.

You can use a burdock leaf as a glove if you forgot yours.

Take young plants 12in and smaller or just the tops.

Check for bugs or spray down, unless you like to eat bugs or need protein 😉

Honey mushrooms

Todays walk,
Found a bunch of honey mushrooms and one bears head tooth. Oooooh so yummy.

The honey mushroom is the larges living organism on the planet and can literally be a thousands of years old. This mushroom is just the fruit, but the mycelium can cover miles. They also can be bioluminescent, one of a number of mushrooms responsible for fox fire. They are good though not one my favorite, and they need to be well cooked or they can make you sick. Still eating the fruit of a thousand year old organism is cool

River Grapes

River grapes

Just saw a post on wild grapes and realized I have not collected them in years. So I never posted pictures on them. These are really really old picture and this is good excuse to post them.

I have always loved wild grapes. They are abundant, fun to pick and stay more or less pest free. I grow grapes now and do not spray, so I loose a lot to mold, bugs, etc. Not the case with wild grapes they often are clean and beautiful. They are not as sweet, not as big, and contain larger amounts tartrate. So you need to gather more, sweeten more, and give the juice time to let the tartrate crystals drop out. In my case I would take the family out picking in the early fall freeze the grapes and process them in the winter. Freezing helps break down the fruit. I have made both wine and jam. Do not bother with wine, mostly because the jam is really good. You will loose 2 to 5 on your juice volume to tartrate. That is to say, if you want 5 cups of good juice you need 7 cups of raw, at least around here. To separate the tartrate leave the juice in the refrigerator for a couple days and it will fall to the bottom. Other then that you just process it like standard jam. One other thing if you take your kids remember Virginia Creeper looks like wild grapes and can grow in with them. Find some and show your kids so they do not mix them up. No picture show them the actual plant.