Monday, May 09, 2011

Find Foods In The Forest Garden

 That's a lot of trash!

This morning we had to take our trash to the local landfill. It is only about five miles from our house. We have been doing a lot of cleaning up and had quite a load. Lots of metal and steel too. Cans and plastic containers. It is amazing how much you accumulate. We had our cans and plastic containers in the cellar due to snow so the last time we went I could not get to it as we still had snow in the way. This time we had a huge trash bag full of cans. Mostly cat and dog food cans. I wish I could feed my cats the cat food that comes in the pouches but I haven't seen any that is ground that comes like that. They will not eat pieces or shreds. Not my fussy fussy little girls! Since they are only open till noon on Mondays we always try to get there early. We were first! So we were in and out very quickly.

 The road from our house this morning!

On the way home I saw a lot of the Ostrich Ferns growing along Truck Trail, the road that goes to our house. I stopped to get some pictures.They are called "Fiddleheads" and is one of the edible wild plants you can eat in the spring.

 Ostrich Ferns

Fiddleheads are very popular with people who enjoy foraging for wild edible foods. They are one of the first to appear and seems to me about the first week of May is when they always appear here in New York state. I am not sure about other locations though.


Other countries have been consuming them for centuries. You steam or boil them and then eat them hot, like you would asparagus. They are comparable to asparagus. You need to remove the yellow brown skin, boil twice changing the water in between. Removing the water removes the bitterness, toxins and tannins. So just be sure to cook them thoroughly before eating. Most recipes I have seen have them being served with hollandaise sauce, butter or any kind of sauces you like. Cheese sauce would be good on them too. Here is a good site for recipes for the Fiddleheads you pick, Wild Harvest.

 See how the fern leaves are curled into the head.

Have fun gathering wild edible foods but be sure you use a guide book for safety reasons. There are some wild plants out there that are NOT safe to consume and some of them will kill you pretty fast. So be careful and use a book. Peterson Field Guides are good. Check out their Edible Wild Plants, which is the one I have and use.

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole

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