WHY EAT WILD?

"In wildness is the preservation of the world." -H.D. Thoreau

Why eat from the wild? The answer is obvious to anyone who has felt the emotional uplift from the weight of a basket brimming with morel mushrooms, the earthy-sweet scent of digging Sassafras roots, or the heavy pulsing of a fish testing the limits of your fly rod.
There are a million reasons to eat wild, to get dirty, to taste fresh food. It is here where we connect to the Earth, our Ancestral past, immediate present and hope for a healthy future...

"Nothing else can build such awareness as surely and powerfully as practicing the ancient ecological art of humankind - foraging. It is not observation of, but rather participation in the phenomena of Nature that brings us to our greatest understanding of our place in the mosaic of life."
-Samuel Thayer The Forager's Harvest



Foraging in the Tip of the Mitten!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Wild Game Potluck

Wild Game Potluck 
Date and Time: Saturday, January 14th, 6pm
Location: Wagbo
Cost: FREE

Come out to the Martha Wagbo Farm and Education Center for our third annual wild game potluck! Join us at the Wagbo farmhouse at 6pm and share in the bounty of northern Michigan foods. Bring a dish of wild or local food to pass if you can, but it’s not required for attendance. Wagbo provides drinks and table service.

The potluck wraps up with a showing of the film The Complete Angler at 7pm. Set admist the beauty and tranquility of Irish and English waterways, this visual poem celebrates the joys of nature and literature, of solitude and beauty and the elegant art of fly fishing. Called "a visual journey for the fisherman's soul," this film reinforces the notion that fishing is more than recreation: it cleanses the soul and allows a simple reconnection to nature. 47 min.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Processing Autumnberries

Autumnberry harvest at Raven's Roost Farm
If you came to our autumnberry harvest two weeks ago, or if you picked some autumnberries on your own time, you may still have a fridge or freezer full waiting to be turned into something delicious! I mean, the berries are pretty tasty on their own, but their flavor improves vastly when you process them-- plus, no more chewing on seeds!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Gravlax: Scandinavian Charcuterie


This dish always makes me think of the rugged North Atlantic Coast, thick woolen sweaters, and old tobacco pipes smoldering over mended nets. Of heavy night winds, wooden boats and superstitions of the sea. It's deliciousness and simplicity is unparalleled.

Nannyberries!



Despite it's conspicuous nature, Nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) remains a mostly overlooked shrub, a hidden treasure of the Midwest and one of autumn's finest wild fruits.
I cannot go anywhere with open wildlands around here and not spot Nannyberry bushes. If you've ever snooped through scrubland in search of Partridge, Cottontails or Woodcock, you've doubtlessly walked amongst these small fruit trees. Anyone driving down a road has passed them and yet I know few people who know what they are and even fewer who eat them. This is truly a shame for they taste nothing like anything you can get at the store. I catch hints of banana, prunes, raisins and even a slight "holiday spice," all with a distinctive and unique Nannyberry flavor.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Autumnberry Harvest and Picnic Potluck


Date and Time: Saturday, October 8th, 4pm
Location: Raven's Roost Farm
Cost: FREE

Join the Martha Wagbo Farm and Education Center for our monthly potluck program! This October, WEEDS (the Wagbo foraging group) will host the event. Activities begin at 4pm with a journey into the world of autumnberries. Autumnberry (aka Autumn olive) is a common invasive shrub throughout the United States, but few realize the berries are edible and choice! Come join us in this forager's foray and learn how to identify, harvest and prepare this delicious fruit.

When everyone's worked up an appetite we will start our picnic potluck! Bring a dish to pass if you can, but it's not required to attend. But please bring your own plate, bowl, utensils, and a chair if you'd like a seat. (We will have some on hand, but not enough for everyone!) Berry pickin' will resume until folks have enough; there will be plenty for all.

Raven's Roost Farm is located at 2398 Vandermark Road in Bellaire. For directions, see Google Maps

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bugs, Fish and Fisherfolk




On those first hot summer nights, when fireflies float like will-o-the-wisps and bright elder blossoms can be seen by moonlight, a magical event unfolds. For about a week out of every year, for millions of years, a mysterious and ephemeral insect has crawled from the primordial ooze beneath the dark water to break free from its aquatic form, grow into another being with wings and dance in the nightsky before death. This dramatic display is the courtship and final moments of the Giant Mayfly, Hexagenia limbata, most commonly called the “Hex.” I’m told this name is nothing more that a shortened version of the Latin, but it is clear there is something more to it: just go eavesdrop in any flyshop in mid-June and the spellbinding nature of this hatch will be obvious. The obsession of many flyfishers with this one insect can easily be described as a curse, or hex, especially by those who work the nightshift and the hundreds who don’t live near the prime haunts of this mayfly and must travel to the cool clean rivers of Northern Michigan.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Canning Mullet at Home: A Pictorial Tutorial

Why can fish?
1. No need for electricity (freezers)
2. Keeps good for a LONG time
3. Dissolves bones to make it extra rich in calcium
4. Camp food!
5. Why not?

Many think that when backcountry camping the table fair is always going to be bland at best. Dehydrated soup, potato flakes, MRE's, ramen, you know the stuff. But it doesn't have to be that way! Foraging is one thing, but what if you are on the move, or its dark, or you're traveling in a protected area like a National Park? This is when canned fish is at its best: around the campfire after a long day's hike. But its good any old time too...


Nettle-Mushroom Quiche


Love quiche? Then try this hearty wild-crafted version made with nettles, wild mushrooms, and whole-grain crust! Recipe adapted from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Website!

Check out the new website of the Martha Wagbo Farm and Education Center, our parent organization! Thank you!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Event Cancelled!

From Pest to Pesto, the garlic mustard harvest scheduled for Saturday, May 28th, has been CANCELLED. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Please keep in touch for future WEEDS events. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Springtime Foraging Forays!

Foraging Forays, Spring 2011

Saturday April 23rd, 3pm: Wild Parsnip Diggin’
Few know that the invasive bane of habitat restorers is the exact same plant that you buy in the store! Bring a shovel to harvest this delicious root veggie and help preserve native wildflowers. FREE

Saturday, May 7th, 12pm: Potluck and Wild Edibles Hike
The potluck starts at 12pm. Bring a dish to pass if you can, but feel free to attend with a dish or without. The program begins at 1 pm with a hike on the Wagbo property to locate wild edibles! Learn to identify, harvest, and prepare springtime fare. We will also provide recipes to turn your harvest to a tasty dish! FREE.

Sunday May 8th, 10am to 12pm: 3rd Annual Mothers Day Morel Hunt with ISLAND. Suggested donation of $5-10.
Come take a walk and learn about wild edible plants and spring mushrooms. We will cover what habitat to look for and identification of wild plants and mushrooms. Please remember to dress for the weather, wear hiking footwear, and bring a basket. Stick around to learn how to pickle leeks and preserve morels at a workshop to follow!

Sunday, May 8th, 1pm to 2:30pm: Wild Leek Pickling Workshop with ISLAND. $5-$10 materials fee.
There are many ways to preserve morels and leeks. We will cover how to dry and freeze morels, and how to dry, freeze, and pickle wild leeks. Each participant will take home one half pint jar of pickled leeks. If you didn’t attend the walk, that’s okay! Anyone can attend the workshop.

Saturday May 28th, 4pm: From Pest to Pesto
Garlic Mustard ID, harvest and preparation at Raven’s Roost Farm in Bellaire. Learn to identify this invasive weed, help clear it from the forest and learn how to prepare it for the table. FREE. From Pest to Pesto has been CANCELLED. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. Please keep in touch for future WEEDS events.

Saturday June 18th, 5pm: Canoe For Cattails
Bring your own canoe as we float the Jordan River downstream from Rogers Road in search of the edible flower spikes of the wonderful Cattail. Float will end with a potluck at Sportman's Park. FREE.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Edible Events for 2011

With Winter waning, can you name the first Wild Edible to sweeten up the foraging season?

Maple Syrup!!


Sat. March 5th: Tree Tapping Field Day! Open to the Public. 12pm - ?

Come to the Wagbo Farm in East Jordan and learn how to tap Maple Trees for our Sap collection. This event is free and fun for the whole family. Come prepared to hike the hills of our Sugarbush while setting up sap lines for the upcoming season
and earn syrup! That's right, this Sugaring operation is all volunteer-run and those that donate time to help will receive sweet Jordan Valley Maple Syrup as a reward once the sugaring season is all wrapped up.
If you have an extra power drill and 5/16 inch bit, feel free to bring it. Call the Farm for more information. 231.536.0333


More Upcoming Events for 2011

(exact dates TBA)

April:

-Wild Parsnip Diggin'

May:

- Wild Salad Forage

- Mushroom Hunts

- From Pest to Pesto: Garlic Mustard I.D., Harvest and Preparation

June:

- Cattail Harvest and Preparation