Forager’s Log – 1st Week of April, 2012
The mild winter and warm start to spring have resulted in a foraging bonanza: Some plants I would normally be harvesting in April, such as violets and redbud,
are blooming right alongside plants like poke shoots that are usually a May wild crop.
Garlic mustard is already at that most delicious, broccoli rabe-like, just-starting-to-flower stage.
I missed dandelion greens altogether this year. They turn bitter after the plants flower. Usually the main flush of dandelion bloom is about a month from now, but when I got back from my recent trip they were already flashing their sunny yellow hue.
Dandelion wine, dandelion flower fritters, dandelion root “coffee,” dandelion as herbal medicine – there’s still plenty to do with this plant ally. But I’m sorry to have missed the wild greens.
From the pics my fellow foragers are posting on Facebook, Japanese knotweed’s rhubarb-like stalks are ready for collecting, also ahead of the usual schedule.
Nettles are ready now, too. They lose their sting when cooked or dried and are one of the most nutritious and, in my opinion, tasty wild greens.
I’ll probably combine them with garlic mustard and toss that with some pasta for dinner tonight. Maybe throw in some of the tomatoes I dried last year, some herbs from the garden, olive oil, and grated cheese.
The Juneberry Ellen gave me is blooming, as are its cousins in the park. I just checked my foraging/garden log for past years, and usually it hasn’t bloomed in my garden until the 3rd week of April. So I guess maybe they’ll be “Mayberries” this year.
My next foraging tour is this Saturday. Want to join me?