I went out foraging along the riverside. It’s a great place to find nettles. These particular nettles are are called woods nettles and they have a broader leaf than the standard stinging nettle. When young they have a good flavor and are extremely healthy. In the first picture, I have both nettle and jewelweed the juice of the jewelweed can remove the sting or burn of the nettle. If applied quickly. I pick nettles by hand grabbing the tips from the back and snapping them off. My fingers are calloused enough not to be affected but if yours are not just rub some jewelweed on from time to time to stop the sting. Cook them like you would spinach the heat will knock out the chemical that causes the sting.
Today’s walk was for lemon balm. I found a bunch of it growing wild last year. And transplanted some because it was pest free and very strong scented, but I have a very small patch so I walked back to get some. The new solar dehydrator makes drying large batches easy and free so it’s a bit of a motivator. The area is very brush filled and overgrown. But you can smell it from yards away. I included a shot of the area for context. I only harvest 3% more or less, just what I will use. I take just the tops and just the high plants, so the lower smaller ones get some sun. In case I come back. I avoid old plants, ones that are too large and ones with poor color or smell. When I get back I check the leaves over and get rid of any with spots. It’s probably just fine, but I think if you forage you should be more selective then if it’s from the garden. If I go back to pick for making tincture I will likely take a great deal more an be a little less picky.
While I was walking out to the patch I found a ton of wild strawberries, nice tart ones. They are not worth going out for, but nice to snack on if they turn up. Also found a mushroom.
Food from the forest
Purple gilled laccaria all over the back yard and Hericium. I cooked the Bear like crab even added some Old Bay it was great.