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September Forage Share

Grapes (Vitis) -  the uncultivated relative of common grapes, these fruits are smaller, tarter, and seedier. Great for snacking or jam.

Wild Apples (Malus domestica) - a seriously wild relative of cultivated apples, these (mostly tart) varieties come from a mature forest where they grow in the understory and edges. They may have escaped from an abandoned orchard down the road many many years ago. In the journey back to the wild, they've become tiny and russeted, best used as cooking apples. Excellent in pies, juice, sauce, etc...

Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) - A highly nutritious cooking green that loses its stinging quality when exposed to heat. Great in soup, steamed+sauteed, pestoed, or as a pizza topping. Recipes:

Autumn Olives (Elaeagnus umbellata) - a juicy and tart invasive (and therefore abundant) berry. Great for snacking and preserves. The soft pit can be eaten or not. If making jam, pie, etc, strain the berries through a food mill or cheese cloth first to de-pit.

Nannyberries (Viburnum lengato) - a nutritious and tasty trail snack

Spicebush berries (Lindera benzoin) - a great local substitute for allspice or cinnamon

Queen Anne's Lace seeds (Daucus carota) - a peppery, carroty, un-sweet flavoring. Use in place of caraway seeds in recipes. Great for flavoring soups, sauces, and breads.

Juniper berries (Juniperus virginiana) - an aromatic, piney seasoning for marinades, ferments, and gin.

Hopniss tubers (Apios americana) - an important Native American staple food. Use just like a potato for a side dish of wild starch

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August Forage Share

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Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana) - good raw or cooked into jam/pie/syrup, although raw is a unique and for some, acquired, taste. Be sure to discard the seeds though - like a lot of stone fruit, the pits contain cyanide and are toxic.

Milkweed Pods (Asclepias syriaca) - another wild edible from the prolific milkweed! pods can be eaten whole, or saved just for the inner core, which turns a cheesy texture when cooked.

Wood Sorrel (Oxalis acetosella): This tender, sour green is a favorite among the youngest foragers. Best eaten raw in a salad, but also makes fantastic pesto or lemonade.

Wild Thyme (Thymus)- use like any cultivated thyme: leaves and flowers as a fresh, savory seasoning; or dry and save for winter flavor

Wild Apples (Malus domestica) - a seriously wild relative of cultivated apples, this super tart variety comes from a mature forest where it grows in the understory and edges. It may have escaped from an abandoned orchard down the road many many years ago. In its journey back to the wild, it's become tiny and tart, thought it's best used as a cooking apple. Excellent in pies, juice, sauce, etc...

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)- great for salad, but can also be sauteed. Purslane is one of those super healthy greens, containing lots of Omega-3s, Vitamin E, beta carotene, VItamin C, magnesium, riboflavin, potassium, and phosphorus. Phew. 

Nettle seeds (Urdica dioica) - a super superfood. Nettle seeds aren't very memorable in taste (vaguely reminiscent of seaweed) but make up for it in their magic health powers.

Elderberries (Sambucus canadensis) - are delicious and highly medicinal (great immunity booster) but must be cooked before enjoying! 

Hopniss/American Groundnut (Apios americana) - a staple of North American indigenous diets, hopniss is a vine that produces edible beans, tubers, and flowers. The flowers taste like peas and can be eaten raw or lightly cooked. They are slightly sweet and floral and would fit well into both sweet and savory dishes. There isn't much available by way of recipes for flowers, but here's more info on the plant itself:

 

 

 

 

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July Forage Share

 

Garlic Mustard seeds (Alliaria petiolata) - use just like mustard seeds to make mustard or as a seasoning (but, if you don't use them for some reason, boil before discarding - garlic mustard is an invasive plant, so let's enable it further).

Black cap berries (Rubus occidentalis) - are just like raspberries. Also, they are really just placeholders for Wine berries in this month's share. Wine berries are superior, in my opinion, and I'd like to share them with you - so I'll be in touch later this month when they are ripe.

  • No recipes needed! Great for snacking or used as you would any other raspberry.

Sumac (Rhus typhina) - seen all around our landscapes, sumac is tart and flavorful, great for drinks or as a seasoning. 

Black Trumpet mushrooms (Craterellus cornucopioides)- are one of the many amazing wild mushrooms that can be found in our woods right now. They are related to chanterelles and, in my opinion, are best used in the simplest way: fried with butter and salt. If you wanted to preserve them, sun dry, and then grind into a powder to use as a seasoning (using them this way is said to concentrate flavor). 

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)- great for salad, but can also be sauteed. Purslane is one of those super healthy greens, containing lots of Omega-3s, Vitamin E, beta carotene, VItamin C, magnesium, riboflavin, potassium, and phosphorus. Phew. 

Mayapples (Podophyllum) - a very special and hard to come by woodland fruit. All parts of the Mayapple other than the fruit itself are toxic. The fruit itself should only be eaten ripe: wait till it's soft and yellow (this may take a week or more) then taste this lemony/custardy treat and don't swallow the seeds. 

Day Lily (Hemerocallis fulva)- use just like squash blossoms. Opened flowers can be eaten fresh or stuffed and baked; the unopened buds can be lightly sauteed or battered and fried. 

Bee Balm (Monarda)- there are two kinds of bee balm, or wild oregano, in this month's share. The petals of both blooms are spicy and a little sweet - great for sprinkling over salads or adding to cocktails. The lavender colored ones also have spicy leaves that make a good oregano substitute.

Pineapple Weed (Matricaria discoidea)- like a more aromatic version of chamomile, Pineapple Weed makes great tea, fresh or dried, sweet infusions, or even cut up fine in a salad. 

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June Forage Share

Field Garlic and Onions (Allium vineale): At this time of year, field garlic and onions are going to seed. The immature seed cloves (shaped like a globe at the top of a scape) can be used like seasoning, just like garlic or onions.

Lamb's Quarters (Chenopodium berlandieri): A delicious, prolific, and nutritious spinach substitute.

Spicebush twigs and leaves (Lindera) : the twigs and leaves of this fragrant bush make excellent tea. Just don't dry them out  - they'll lose their flavor.

Wood Sorrel (Oxalis acetosella): This tender, sour green is a favorite among the youngest foragers. Best eaten raw in a salad, but also makes fantastic pesto or lemonade.

Mulberries (Morus): a sweet, early berry that colors our city streets in purple splotches. Great for snacking on raw, or adding to ice cream, smoothies or granola. Also makes a great pie.

Sweet Cicely/Anise Root (Osmorhiza): a native root that smells and tastes like licorice when injured. Great in any dish or drink that would benefit from some anise-like flavors:

Elderberry flowers (Sambucus): elder flowers, which precede the berries, are fragrant and delicate in taste - great for desserts and drinks. 

Cattail hearts (Typha): a versatile and delicious wild vegetable. At this time of year, the edible parts are the tender centers or hearts of new shoots. Eat them raw or lightly cooked - they taste like a mix of cucumber and squash.

Grape leaves and tails (Vitis): the leaves are great for preserving and stuffing - like dolmas - and the little curly tails the grapes use to climb make a great tart snack or salad addition. 

Common Mallow (Malva neglecta): a very common invasive with edible leaves, flowers, seed pods (called cheeses) and roots. Mallow is nutty and nutritious and acts a bit like okra when cooked (a thickener).

Milkweed buds (Asclepias syriaca) : blanch or steam first to get rid of the bitter latex. Then, treat like you would a broccoli or pickle as a great caper substitute!

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May Forage Share Take Two

Field Garlic (Allium vineale): At this time of year, the most delectable field garlic parts are the scape and bulb (the middle 'chive' section is too tough). Use in place of green garlic. Scapes are especially great grilled, pickled, or pestoed. 

American Groundnut (Apios americana): Starchy tuber that must be cooked. Best peeled, but not a necessary step, especially with the tiny tubers. They also tend to burst open once boiled, making it easy to discard the skin.

Japanese Knotweed - see below

OR Milkweed Shoots (Asciepisa syriaca):

All about Milkweed

Lamb's Quarters (Chenopodium berlandieri): A delicious, prolific, and nutritious spinach substitute.

Garlic Mustard leaves (Alliaria petiolata): The leaves included in this share are extra large and especially great for stuffing like grape leaves. 

Spruce tips - see below

Dame's Rocket flowers (Hesperis matronalis): This pretty, invasive, spicy flower makes a great salad addition

Black Locust flowers (Robinia pseudoacacia): This super ephemeral jasmine-like flower makes amazing ice cream, mead, and so much more.

Stinging Nettles - see below

Monarda leaves - see below

Spicebush twigs and leaves (Lindera) : the twigs and leaves of this fragrant bush make excellent tea. Just don't dry them out  - they'll lose their flavor.

Wood Sorrel (Oxalis acetosella): This tender, sour green is a favorite among the youngest foragers. Best eaten raw in a salad, but also makes fantastic pesto or lemonade.

Chickweed - see below

 

 

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May Forage Share

In the share:

  • Wild Bee Balm (Monarda): Tasted like a spicier oregano. Use as a seasoning, fresh or dried, or grind up into extra potent pesto. Recipes:
  • Field Onions (Allium canadense): A year-round staple, field onions are abundant in just about any local landscape. They can get tough further into the year, but right now are tender and reminiscent of chives. Use green tops as you would chives, small bulbs as you would onions (great pickled), or grill the whole thing. Recipes:
  • Frozen maple sap (Acer saccharum): Tree juice! Maple sap flows in early spring and is most commonly turned into maple syrup. As is, it's mildly sweet and full of minerals, kind of like coconut water. Great as a refreshing summer drink on its own, as a cocktail base, or for making the best coffee. Recipes:

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