Sunday, August 31, 2008

It's raining food in Mt. Pleasant

If you look around the neighbourhood, the last few weeks have been full of edible goodies on trees, shrubs, and vines, and it's not over yet. Fruit I have personally eaten in the last two weeks grown VERY locally includes apples, blackberries, plums, raspberries, and salal. I've been looking up to see if Mahonia (a.k.a. Oregon grape) is edible. It can be somewhat toxic unless fully ripe, from what I see here. Best to wait until after a frost or two.

While you're looking for wild food, note that the fall crop of dandelion leaves are very tender and only mildly bitter. I have added them and also the pretty abundant chickweed as ingredients in soup. There are also new, tender shoots of lemonbalm, which is a good tea or a nibble for your nervous system.

Mint is abundant, too, in places where runoff collects, but it's almost too strong this time of year. Nettle also loves damp places, and it's still around. Don't touch the green plant, harvest with gloves or tongs; then either cook it - makes a good soup green - or dry it in a paper bag and use for a nourishing tea throughout the year.

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