Collecting wild edibles

How to Collect Jewelweed Seeds

If you have any jewelweed plants in your vicinity, this is the perfect time of year to harvest their seeds. If you’ve never tried these treats before (they taste very similar to sunflower or pumpkin seeds), you’re in for a surprise. In more ways than one. : )

By |2019-09-02T19:10:07-04:00September 2nd, 2019|Nature's Grocery Store|0 Comments

My First Pint of Homemade Maple Syrup

5 gallons of sap collected in 3 days

Strained out bits, bugs, and particles through cheesecloth

Boiled 85% down on our outdoor grill (Maybe next year, I’ll build a fire box…)

Finished the last on my stove so I could watch to make sure it didn’t burn or turn to candy.

This is what I’m left with.
Unbelievably yummy!

Pure joy.

 

By |2019-09-02T19:19:01-04:00March 21st, 2019|Nature's Grocery Store|0 Comments

How to Tap a Maple Tree in 5 Easy Steps

I’ve always wanted to try making my own maple syrup. From past reading, I knew it was easy to do, didn’t require a lot of paraphernalia, and was relatively idiot proof.

So I decided this was the year. I took a 1-hour class, bought my equipment and picked out two beautiful old Maple trees right off my deck. I’m not looking to go into business–I just want to make enough for my family, so two trees ought to be plenty.

All I had to do was wait for the daytime temps to get above freezing with nighttime temps still below freezing. (For most areas, that’s somewhere between February and March.)

bucket Tube spileStep 1: Clean […]

By |2019-09-02T19:19:14-04:00March 9th, 2019|Nature's Grocery Store|0 Comments

Two of Our Favorite Drinks

While I truly love growing things, I also really enjoy harvesting straight from nature. I’ve been a wild edible collector for almost as many years as I’ve been a gardener. This year, even Cait seems to have taken to foraging. All that was required was to have her taste the sweet nectar of these two drinks for herself to get her scurrying out the door for more.

This first drink is a tea that is delicious hot or cold. We collect enough of it to dry and have throughout the year, but it’s really good freshly made. Just collect a few red clover heads easily found in fields and along roadsides.

redclover.jpg

Add a […]

On the Menu

One of my great joys in life is heading out to the garden to collect food for dinner. Weather like this simply adds to the adventure.

rain1

I’m usually very thankful for rain, but with all the wet weather we’ve had, it’s really slowing down some of the crops.

As you can see, my selection still mainly rests with cool weather crops.  Here, we’ve got some snap peas, a variety of lettuces, a bowl of fresh-picked raspberries, and a bunch of wild mint and red clover flowers.

what's for dinner2

Two of my family’s favorite summer treats are made with some of the above ingredients.

When […]

Gifts and Guests

As much as anything, what I love about gardening are the nice surprises — what I call the “Gifts” and “Guests.”

The gifts come from seeds that I didn’t intentionally plant.  Since I use open-pollinated seeds, and I save my own seeds from year to year, I’m always allowing a few plants to reach the stage where they can set their own seeds.  Invariably, a few of the vegetables don’t get harvested and wind up composting on the ground.  When I work the ground to plant the following Spring, those seeds get disbursed around the garden.

For instance, below, in yellow, is what I intentionally planted in this bed.  The tomato plants, circled in blue, were gifts that sprouted from last year’s […]