My first wild harvests- the gifts of Nature!
Spring to me is not only planting peas, and starting indoor seedlings, it is a time of wonderful wild foods and useful plant products.
Last week, I picked the first nettle of the season, and had burdock (store bought but organic)on hand so I made a nettle and burdock quick saute'. Stinging nettle looses its sting if it is dried, or dipped into boiling water for a few seconds. If you are making it to eat,not dry, you do this water treatment quickly, and then refresh immediately under cold water and squeeze out the extra liquid. Chop it into a medium course cut. If it is very young (like under 4"tall), then the stems are tender enough to eat, if not, strip the leaves off the stems, and compost the stems. Take the burdock root, scrub and wash under cold water, then cut in thin oblong pieces.
Add butter or a good organic oil to a saute pan, and you can start cooking the burdock first (you can also add onion and/or garlic too),about five minutes over medium heat stirring frequently. When it has softened a little, add the nettle until is is just tender (not more than a few minutes). Season to taste with sea salt and fresh ground pepper and serve.
I also have been harvesting chickweed for salads, oils for ointments and creams. Last but not the least, I have been harvesting pine sap to make a drawling salve. We had many pine trees damaged in the last heavy snow and wind storm,so many are leaking the sap. I hate the damage to the trees, but I thank them for their gift. And this week it is time to make dandelion liquor!
By the way, those lovely parsnips that Rodger harvested would be great with the nettles and burdock! Green Blessings! Susan
Hey you local Burlington county NJ people, where are you? We have a pod going here in Beverly and would like to hear from you. I have land if you need a place to garden too!
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