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Foraging on your own property

Foraging on your own property
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  • Foraging on your own property

    Post #1 - July 8th, 2008, 2:47 pm
    Post #1 - July 8th, 2008, 2:47 pm Post #1 - July 8th, 2008, 2:47 pm
    We discovered soon after we moved out here from the madness of the Naperville area(we both still work in the suburbs close to Chicago) that we were lucky enough to have many wild black raspberry plants growing at the back of our wooded property amongst the poison ivy, poison, oak, and poison sumac. A true treasure amongst these other nuisance plants. The first couple of years I would wait and wait to attempt to harvest the crop all at once to make some tasty desert, however each year I waited to long, and the birds, and other scavengers would beat me to my crop, and all I was left with was bare bushes. This year however I got a jump on them, and have been picking the black raspberries every other day as they ripen from red to black/blue. My 1-1/2 year old daughter loves these fresh picked treats, and we have to watch her closely as she is quick to pluck the berries ripe or not and shovel them in her mouth. Tonight, weather permitting we will be out back picking the next batch.

    Other than these berries I have some other items I could "forage" from my property(wild turkeys, and deer), but I am not a hunter so they are just eye candy.

    As a child growing up in Naperville we had some wild rhubarb bushes wew could not get rid of no matter how we expanded the garden. I always loved the home-made rhubarb pie these plants yielded.

    Anyone else have any wild treats growing on their property they are able to pick & eat?
    Last edited by jimswside on December 19th, 2013, 9:38 am, edited 5 times in total.
  • Post #2 - July 8th, 2008, 3:03 pm
    Post #2 - July 8th, 2008, 3:03 pm Post #2 - July 8th, 2008, 3:03 pm
    I am one of the few lovers of mulberries I know; but they're easy forage in the City. I don't take them home and do anything, Sparky and I just eat 'em right off the tree...
  • Post #3 - July 8th, 2008, 3:05 pm
    Post #3 - July 8th, 2008, 3:05 pm Post #3 - July 8th, 2008, 3:05 pm
    Mhays wrote:I am one of the few lovers of mulberries I know; but they're easy forage in the City. I don't take them home and do anything, Sparky and I just eat 'em right off the tree...



    they seem to taste better right off the tree/bush for some reason. :)
  • Post #4 - July 8th, 2008, 3:44 pm
    Post #4 - July 8th, 2008, 3:44 pm Post #4 - July 8th, 2008, 3:44 pm
    the Blueberrys are starting to ripen below our second floor deck
    Image
  • Post #5 - July 8th, 2008, 4:23 pm
    Post #5 - July 8th, 2008, 4:23 pm Post #5 - July 8th, 2008, 4:23 pm
    I think I have a bunch of purslane growing in the pot with my basil. I'm wondering if I can eat it...
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #6 - July 8th, 2008, 4:50 pm
    Post #6 - July 8th, 2008, 4:50 pm Post #6 - July 8th, 2008, 4:50 pm
    Purslane is great! I frequently get it when I see it in the farmers' market. From what I've read, it has the highest Omega-3 content of any vegetable. If you're sure that it's purslane, go for it.

    You might want to get some at your local farmers' market, and compare it to what's in your garden. But I don't think there are many similar, fleshy plants that are common in this region.
    Last edited by nr706 on July 8th, 2008, 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #7 - July 8th, 2008, 8:21 pm
    Post #7 - July 8th, 2008, 8:21 pm Post #7 - July 8th, 2008, 8:21 pm
    nr706 wrote:Purslane is great! I frequently get it when I see it in the farmers' market. From what I've read, it has the highest Omega-3 content of any vegetable. If you're that it's purslane, go for it.


    I just realized recently that the tuberous "weed" I'd been pulling from my garden is probably purslane (an oddly widespread "invasive" plant found in Asia, the US, Europe and even Australia). On the off-chance that it wasn't toxic, I ate a little and found it quite mild. I will confirm the identity of this plant before eating more, but I could easily see cooking it up with some wild garlic (also foraged from my backyard) and maybe some backyard-foraged arugula and mustard green flowers (viewtopic.php?f=35&t=20117).
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #8 - July 8th, 2008, 9:50 pm
    Post #8 - July 8th, 2008, 9:50 pm Post #8 - July 8th, 2008, 9:50 pm
    David,

    I would check any wild plant for edibility before I ate it. You can taste, though you have to spit it out. To speculatively taste and swallow is where you can get into trouble.

    I would rather you were hail and hearty instead of me running around with a get-well card collecting signatures.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #9 - July 8th, 2008, 10:38 pm
    Post #9 - July 8th, 2008, 10:38 pm Post #9 - July 8th, 2008, 10:38 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:I would check any wild plant for edibility before I ate it.


    Foraging is not for the meek. :lol:

    You're correct, of course, but I'm pretty sure this was purslane. It has a fairly distinctive look. Though now that you mention it, I do feel a little dizzy...
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #10 - July 9th, 2008, 9:50 am
    Post #10 - July 9th, 2008, 9:50 am Post #10 - July 9th, 2008, 9:50 am
    Anyone with a mulberry tree is pretty lucky (or so thinks this olde winemaker : ) because you can make a nice wine from it. See Jack Keller's discussion:

    http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/request135.asp

    You can also make creme de mure, which beats creme de cassis all to pieces, IMHO.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #11 - July 10th, 2008, 9:59 am
    Post #11 - July 10th, 2008, 9:59 am Post #11 - July 10th, 2008, 9:59 am
    Geo wrote:Anyone with a mulberry tree is pretty lucky (or so thinks this olde winemaker : )


    I thought I was lucky when I purchased the house that I had this nice big old tree in my back yard to provide shade. Then, I discovered it was a mulberry tree. I still like the shade but I don't like having to deal with the fruit on the ground (slippery and stinky) and the birds hanging around crapping blue stains on everything.

    The tree is just too big to get to the berries before they hit the ground and I haven't come up with a solution to easily retrieve them as they fall off the tree.
  • Post #12 - September 2nd, 2008, 3:21 pm
    Post #12 - September 2nd, 2008, 3:21 pm Post #12 - September 2nd, 2008, 3:21 pm
    I went on an Urban Foraging walk led by Nance Klehm about a month ago, she led the walk around the Magic Hedge at Montrose Point. I work in the nature education world and used to do nature walks out there with kids, but I had no idea of all the crazy bounty right there. There are plum trees and even a few sad but not dead yet peach trees. There is a huge stand of very healthy elderberry bushes. I also learned you can eat the flowers and pods of the milkweed bush, you can boil the red heads of Sumac for lemonade-like drink . . . and much more!

    I think Nance is going to lead another urban foraging walk in a few weeks in Hyde Park. If I find out the actual date I will post the details.

    bjt
    "eating is an agricultural act" wendell berry
  • Post #13 - September 2nd, 2008, 8:20 pm
    Post #13 - September 2nd, 2008, 8:20 pm Post #13 - September 2nd, 2008, 8:20 pm
    Please do - we were just there on a very ill-fated fishing trip; I'd love to find other things to make it more worth while...
  • Post #14 - September 2nd, 2008, 8:45 pm
    Post #14 - September 2nd, 2008, 8:45 pm Post #14 - September 2nd, 2008, 8:45 pm
    Ill-fated Mhays? Sparky didn't get shut out, goose-egged, avoided by the fishies, did he??

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #15 - September 2nd, 2008, 11:23 pm
    Post #15 - September 2nd, 2008, 11:23 pm Post #15 - September 2nd, 2008, 11:23 pm
    I live in Wheaton and I have tiny wild strawberries in my yard but they are small and sour. I also have what appears to be grape vines entwined high up in some of the trees as my yard backs to a wild "wooded" area. I have been told grape vines grow wild in Illinois. I have always wondered if they could be used for stuffed grape leaves but I am afraid to eat them because who really knows what they are actually.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #16 - September 3rd, 2008, 7:45 am
    Post #16 - September 3rd, 2008, 7:45 am Post #16 - September 3rd, 2008, 7:45 am
    Chances are extremely good that they are grape vines. If you could post a picture of a leaf, I could tell you for sure. And yes, the leaves would work for dolmas. :)

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #17 - September 3rd, 2008, 2:20 pm
    Post #17 - September 3rd, 2008, 2:20 pm Post #17 - September 3rd, 2008, 2:20 pm
    Walnuts, hickory nuts, chestnuts (if the trees ever get big enough to bear nuts!).
  • Post #18 - September 3rd, 2008, 4:07 pm
    Post #18 - September 3rd, 2008, 4:07 pm Post #18 - September 3rd, 2008, 4:07 pm
    Thanks, Geo - we all got goose-egged, and Sparky got bored with the whole idea, but was at least able to spend some time chasing minnows (futilely) with a butterfly net.
  • Post #19 - June 29th, 2009, 6:30 am
    Post #19 - June 29th, 2009, 6:30 am Post #19 - June 29th, 2009, 6:30 am
    wild black raspberries growing at the back of my yard are yielding their sweet crop. Picked about a pint on Saturday, and Sunday. These wild bushes have spread, and I hope they continue to do so. If I can beat the birds and other wildlife to the punch I have at least as much as I picked last weekend left on the vines.
  • Post #20 - June 29th, 2009, 7:10 pm
    Post #20 - June 29th, 2009, 7:10 pm Post #20 - June 29th, 2009, 7:10 pm
    Picked my 24 cherries (hey it's 50% more than last year) and simmered them with a little sugar. Impromptu compote. With pits :)
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #21 - June 29th, 2009, 7:24 pm
    Post #21 - June 29th, 2009, 7:24 pm Post #21 - June 29th, 2009, 7:24 pm
    :D I guess Bill/SFNM won't have to send you an owl, now.

    As I'm in a jam kind of place, I've been thinking about Mulberry jam...there are so many unwanted fruiting mulberry trees in the area, and there are dozens of recipes on the web. Apparently, mulberry preserves over feta cheese on bread are a Turkish tradition - and now are something I've got to try. Kinda tips the whole economy scale of make-your-own-jam if you're on year two of the mason jars and the fruit is free.

    I might try crabapple jelly as well, they also abound and nobody wants the fruit - too bad they aren't simultaneous, as you can add crabapples instead of pectin.
  • Post #22 - June 29th, 2009, 9:39 pm
    Post #22 - June 29th, 2009, 9:39 pm Post #22 - June 29th, 2009, 9:39 pm
    M— mulberry jam, preserves, wine, etc. from undomesticated mulberry trees are a genuinely free bee. I've been known to soak them in vodka to make a French-ish sort of drink. Jump on it!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #23 - July 2nd, 2009, 6:02 pm
    Post #23 - July 2nd, 2009, 6:02 pm Post #23 - July 2nd, 2009, 6:02 pm
    some wild black raspberries at the back of my yard from last weekend.

    Image

    Image
  • Post #24 - July 13th, 2009, 9:44 pm
    Post #24 - July 13th, 2009, 9:44 pm Post #24 - July 13th, 2009, 9:44 pm
    Mhays wrote:I am one of the few lovers of mulberries I know; but they're easy forage in the City. I don't take them home and do anything, Sparky and I just eat 'em right off the tree...


    Agreed. Since I learned about foraging mulberries last summer, I have been a mulberry eating maniac. I find a lot in the forest preserves and the local parks in the 'burbs. The only downside is that the proof is on your hands! The best is to eat them right off the tree since they can turn into mush very quickly.
  • Post #25 - July 13th, 2009, 10:10 pm
    Post #25 - July 13th, 2009, 10:10 pm Post #25 - July 13th, 2009, 10:10 pm
    nr706 wrote:Purslane is great! I frequently get it when I see it in the farmers' market. From what I've read, it has the highest Omega-3 content of any vegetable. If you're sure that it's purslane, go for it.

    You might want to get some at your local farmers' market, and compare it to what's in your garden. But I don't think there are many similar, fleshy plants that are common in this region.


    If your farmers market doesn't have purslane, so you can confirm your find, check a Hispanic market. Very popular in Mexican cooking -- except they call it verdolagas.

    Take a handful with you, and someone there might be able to ID it for you.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #26 - July 14th, 2009, 9:30 am
    Post #26 - July 14th, 2009, 9:30 am Post #26 - July 14th, 2009, 9:30 am
    wild black raspberry season for the plants on my property has pretty much come to an end for the year. We got 4 good pickings on back to back to back weekends. The yield, an estimated 6+ pints of the sweet black raspberries.

    The plants spread this past year, and I am hoping they spread out even more.

    The one minor negative is the presence of some poison ivy(more like vines), & poison sumac in the general area. I just have to be carefull where I step, and I brush up against when picking... with that said a little itchy skin is worth the yield. :D
  • Post #27 - July 14th, 2009, 11:16 am
    Post #27 - July 14th, 2009, 11:16 am Post #27 - July 14th, 2009, 11:16 am
    na wrote:
    Mhays wrote:I am one of the few lovers of mulberries I know; but they're easy forage in the City. I don't take them home and do anything, Sparky and I just eat 'em right off the tree...


    Agreed. Since I learned about foraging mulberries last summer, I have been a mulberry eating maniac. I find a lot in the forest preserves and the local parks in the 'burbs. The only downside is that the proof is on your hands! The best is to eat them right off the tree since they can turn into mush very quickly.


    I remember as a child going to River Park and eating myself sick on Mulberrys. Talk about a shirt killer (that's another forum). I would come home completely purple from head to toe.

    There is Mulberry tree right along the street a couple of doors down from me, one in my neighbors yard and several down the street at the park. I always stop while walking the dog and have myself a snack. I've been wanting to just take a bucket and fill it and make a cobbler.
    Ms. Ingie
    Life is too short, why skip dessert?
  • Post #28 - August 30th, 2009, 7:04 pm
    Post #28 - August 30th, 2009, 7:04 pm Post #28 - August 30th, 2009, 7:04 pm
    I really need to acquire the taste for venison, a shot off my deck tonight, they always come out when I am grilling, or have the smoker going:

    Image

    Image
  • Post #29 - August 31st, 2009, 1:56 pm
    Post #29 - August 31st, 2009, 1:56 pm Post #29 - August 31st, 2009, 1:56 pm
    Hey Jim,

    POLISHMEAT (Martin) here from the SMF forums brotha!! Nice to see you on here man! Nice shots of the deer man. I'll come over with my Remington and we can make some venison.
  • Post #30 - August 31st, 2009, 2:17 pm
    Post #30 - August 31st, 2009, 2:17 pm Post #30 - August 31st, 2009, 2:17 pm
    Jim,

    Methinkx those deer are surplus. Moreover, since they always come out when you've got your grill or smoker going, perhaps It's Destiny. Sounds like that to me...

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)

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