Friday, September 14, 2018

When it's okay to be a Lady Camel!

Last Sunday morning, I took part in a "Wild Edible Plants" hike with our local environmental group. They did a hike in the spring, but of course, there's a different 'crop' in the woods now. And with Fall fast approaching here in Newfoundland, we only have another month before things will begin to die off quickly. 

It was a beautiful morning and about a dozen people showed up. We began with a little show-and-tell lesson on the various wild plants that we can find anywhere in NL such as: 

Plantain:  The young leaves can be eaten raw, and the seeds can be dried and ground into meal or flour -- good to know for when the apocalypse comes [AND the only time I'd ever try this]. As well, you can chew the leaves and apply the spittle as a poultice that is good for burns or stings.

Also, apparently wherever you live and whatever pests, bugs and/or irritants you have around you, you will also find the remedy nearby in nature! There's a fine, hairy leaved thistle here in NL that burns and stings if you touch it; the pain can last all day and over the counter creams, etc do little to quell the pain. But growing next to this thistle is usually Plaintain; and this will immediately take away the burning and pain. Mother Nature provides all that we need!

Pearly Everlasting:  This pretty little plant always reminded me of wild chamomile but when compared, I can easily see the difference. The young leaves and plant of Pearly Everlasting can be cooked and eaten.           

Clover: This is a pretty versatile plant. The flowers themselves are very tasty; you can pull out the 'fronds' of the flower and add them to your salads. Any part of the above ground plant can be eaten raw. And the creeping roots and stems can be cooked. However, one site I check out says not to eat in the Fall as it contains more alkaloids and can cause bloating. (At my age, I'm well familiar with that problem!)

And this is Newfoundland's "Crackerberry" plant, otherwise known as a Bunchberry. It's rather tasteless and kind of spongy but harmless; we used to eat them all the time as children. I was pleased to find out that the berries contain a lot of pectin and can be dried, ground and added to jams and jellies to help them gel. The berries can also be lightly chewed and pressed over a burn as a poultice.

We discussed a few other plants and bushes. But for most of us, the real jewels of the day were the wild mushrooms.

This is a Coral Mushroom. White to soft yellow in color, these are pretty, frilly little things and are extremely fragile. So, it was suggested that they be added to a dish once the dish was cooked and just before serving.

And these are Chanterelles. (My Ex loved them but they didn't grow where we lived in NS so I never got to try them.) These are quite small and dainty looking, but Chanterelles can be much bigger. There are lots of recipes online for this much sought-after wild mushroom. 

After the workshop, a few of us walked along the river trail until we met up with the Yogi Trail, about a 2 km hike. It was a warm, sunny day and a good opportunity for us to search for more edible plants. 

I really enjoyed myself. But although I don't think I know enough to ever eat wild mushrooms, I loved the information about the healing properties of these plants. 

You can bet that from now on, I'll be chewing and spitting as needed in my own back yard! 

Happy weekend everyone. 

1 comment:

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

What a joy to be out on a lovely day like that and to also learn something new. Hope you to have a very HAPPY weekend !