"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!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fall Foraging at Iron Horse Farm

On Saturday we were invited out to Iron Horse Farm, an equestrian community in Ellsworth, to check out the land, ID and harvest wild edibles. The rolling hillsides were in full color along Wilson Lake, whose shores were covered in otter scat and is part of the Chain-of-Lakes Watershed. Edibles were indeed abundant! Autumn Olive (aka Autumnberry) was the hit of the day for Jen's kids who gave it the new name "Awesomeberry." I even made it home in time to get out and flush a few woodcock.

 Sweet Gale, aka Bog Myrtle or Myrica gale

The Nettles were still harvestable! Thanks to Russ' constant weed wacking, many hadn't gone to flower. We were even able to dig some up to transplant to the farm!

Nannyberries, aka Black Haw, Wild Raisin or Viburnum lentago
 Wilson Lake watercress. I love it in turkey sandwiches and with fish. Mary, a retired Central Lake school teacher who joined us on our hike said she preferred it with bear or coon meat. Mmmm...

American Highbush Cranberry or Viburnum trilobum

5 flushes in 45 minutes ain't bad. What is bad is my positioning when they occur. I saw them all but was not able to draw a bead on 'em.

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