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Old 11-13-2013, 07:44 PM   #1
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Default The official foraging thread

OK, so here it is - the official foraging thread. I bet this will be the first thread on the forum to reach 1 million posts!

Here where I live, we have so called "everyman's right" - people can not stop you from going on their property to pick berries and mushrooms, or even just to camp and walk around. There are lots of blueberries and porcini mushrooms. Many other types of mushrooms as well. Nettles, dandelions, and some other things I don't know how to translate into english. We even have lots of wild hops growing around here (about 100 years ago, it used to be mandatory for everyone to grow them).

What do you forage for in your neck of the woods?

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Old 11-13-2013, 11:06 PM   #2
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I have wild raspberries that grow on my lawn, and am always on the lookout for other berries when I am on trails. Also, I live near the ocean and love collecting mussels to steam.

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Old 11-13-2013, 11:13 PM   #3
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We own some property, and we have hundreds of thousands of acres (actually, a couple of million of acres counting state and federal lands) of public land around us.

This year, we have found oyster mushrooms, native grapes, apples, crabapples, chokecherries, blackberries, plums, elderberries, leeks, and of course our own yard with cherries, raspberries, rhubarb and our garden. We also hunt (venison, mostly, but some others) and fish. We see wild hops everywhere, but don't harvest them.

We don't eat food out of a package as a rule.

I make wine out of much of the fruit, but we also use venison nearly daily. Last week I made a wonderful venison and oyster mushroom dish with a brandy sauce.

When we are in Texas, we fish and harvest shellfish, but in the winter we don't see any fruited plants.

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Old 11-13-2013, 11:14 PM   #4
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Earlier this year I collected grapes from the woods around work to make jelly.

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Old 11-14-2013, 12:24 PM   #5
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I've been meaning to have a foraging day feast for a while but never have done it. The object is to go around collecting ingredients for the day's meals from the wild. I have a friend who was quite good at knowing plants and things. He has a great recipe for wild leek potato soup with pepper bread. I think it would be fun to try this, but alas, life has gotten in the way. I wish I lived closer to a whole bunch of state and federal land!

Around here most people get upset if you trespass on their property and they can file against you for taking what's growing on their land. Even the right of way strip along the highways are only public for the purpose of transportation. You can walk through there, but you can't take the stuff! I've heard of a county sheriff being caught taking some asparagus along the ditch area.

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Old 11-14-2013, 12:53 PM   #6
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I gather dandelions & common plantain out of the yard all spring & summer, I have foraged in the forest for morel mushrooms & huckleberries; I've also foraged for pine nuts, but it's a bit of a drive to find the pinon pines. I fish for trout often throughout the year & sometimes I'll set a crawfish trap. I usually hunt deer in autumn. I used to pop a few squirrels now & then. When I was a kid & living back east, I used to eat nettles (gotta get 'em young!) and wild raspberries. I used to get clams out of the river too. We used to gather poke weed (gotta get it young!) & eat it with scrambled eggs. We used to go frog gigging at night on the weekends & have a nice little feast of frog legs.
Regards, GF.

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Old 11-14-2013, 01:15 PM   #7
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Wild grapes grow everywhere here, and they are awesome! The wild ones are called bullosk, not muscadines or scuppernongs, those are the cultivated ones but they look and taste about the same. My parents say that my bullosk wine is better than any commercial muscadine wine they've had. Another thing I'm on the lookout for is blackberries, but they can be extremely bitter if not perfectly ripe. I recently learned that dandelion leaves make a good bitter salad green.

I'm looking forward to learning a lot from this thread!

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Old 11-14-2013, 01:25 PM   #8
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I used to do a lot more foraging and got out of it. We lived in Italy for a couple of years and it is more common over there. I used to walk the hills and pick wild figs (far better than anything cultivated), blackberries, asparagus, and tons of other good stuff. Now back in the States, it seems that the squirrels get everything just before it is ripe. Still have venison and squirrel but rely on my own garden, rabbits and chickens for the rest. Hoping to get some inspiration from this thread to get back into wildcrafting. I hate to buy anything from the grocery, but certainly don't buy anything packaged.

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Old 11-14-2013, 07:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
I've been meaning to have a foraging day feast for a while but never have done it. The object is to go around collecting ingredients for the day's meals from the wild. I have a friend who was quite good at knowing plants and things. He has a great recipe for wild leek potato soup with pepper bread. I think it would be fun to try this, but alas, life has gotten in the way. I wish I lived closer to a whole bunch of state and federal land!

Around here most people get upset if you trespass on their property and they can file against you for taking what's growing on their land. Even the right of way strip along the highways are only public for the purpose of transportation. You can walk through there, but you can't take the stuff! I've heard of a county sheriff being caught taking some asparagus along the ditch area.
I forgot about asparagus! We found an enormous plot of asparagus a few years ago, on public land. It must have been an old farmstead as there were old foundations, and many apple trees. I don't think anybody else goes there to harvest it, and it's a big patch. We ate so much asparagus this year that I swear my grandson was turning green. We love it!
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:30 PM   #10
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Dandelion greens are better before they flower,less bitter. Plus the light green lil buds in the crown of the plant are like baby brussel sprouts. That is,if you can get enough of them. Great cooked with rice. I used to have wild grapes growing on the fence at the old house,& a few types of apples. Good stuff. The green part of wild onions can't be cooked tender,but are great for flavoring the water to cook rice in. Kinda like a light asparagus flavor. Dandelion flowers are great in a light colored wine.

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