Posts Tagged With: Greens

Fall Foraging and Quincely Woes

Well it’s creeping into fall once again. That lovely time of year following summer, where all kinds of harvest fruits are usually available for preservation and nomming.

To that end, there is a bumper crop on my quince tree this year. This would usually be cause for celebration here, as we pick, clean, slice, and freeze the fruit for use over the winter.

The problem is that the weather has been very odd all year. Whilst this has resulted in beautiful fruit up until now, it’s now hot when it should be cold.

It’s 83 degrees and very wet today, and will also be thus tomorrow. In October. In Pennsylvania.

Why is this a problem?

Because quince is a fall weather harvest fruit. The week plus of 80 degrees and extremely wet has meant that the ground is too soft to safely plant a ladder to harvest the fruit, and said fruit is rotting on the tree from the heat instead of being all nice and preserved as it should be by cooler temps. The first week of October is usually the first time I pick any fruit from this tree. I’ve had tons of fruit drop on their own over the last two weeks. And it’s ripening unevenly. One side will be shock green and the other side will be literally rotten. Not cool. Literally.

The next semi dry day here is forecast to be four days from now. At that time I’ll be harvesting all I can. They have to be hand picked. If they fall the impact bruises them very easily and ruins wherever it impacts.

The warm weather has also put the kabosh on fall mushrooms thus far. I’ve only found a half dozen mushrooms the past month. The only things that have been coming up have been either unknown or toxic varietals. No boletus. Well, there was ONE stray slippery pine boletus, but it was so bug eaten by the time I found it that I didn’t bother. Slippery pine boletus usually require shade of some kind to come up in any kind of proliferation, and it’s typically in the form of leaves that fall from other trees. When the leaves from the neighboring maple falls on the area of the roots of the scotch pine, is when these things will be popping up en masse. But the leaves haven’t fallen yet. The warmer temps mean that all the trees in my yard (save the barren walnut tree that got the clue early as usual…), haven’t dropped very many leaves at all yet. Two of my maples are still 100% green! The one closest to the house, the oldest one, has gotten the hint and the leaves are starting to slowly turn yellow.

So what’s it like in your neck of the woods, and has the weather been good or horrible for your local foraging preferences?

Categories: Foraging, Green, Mushrooms, Nature, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tasty Treats Wandering Into My Woodland Realm

Today I figured I’d share a collection of just a few things that have decided to make my yard and surrounding area ‘home’.

First up we have a ‘hare’ raising photo. There are a bunch of these around. I’ve identified at least four separate individuals. The largest of which will likely be in the stew pot come fall.

(Note: All pictures can be clicked on for a full sized version!)

Rabbit

Second, we have a rather snarky looking groundhog that loves to meander about and eat the tops off of my orange hawkweed. Considering those are my wife’s favorite flower, she has a special vendetta out for this creature and has made it known to me in no uncertain terms that the beast shall not survive the winter, even if she has to get out her bow and do it in herself. πŸ˜‰

Groundhog

Next up we have a slither. Why did the slither cross the road? To end up battered and fried!

Eastern Rat SnakeEastern Rat Snake 2Snake and Wild Garlic

Also, being a bit of a wildlife haven, my yard tends to attract some of these fine folks:

Deer

They are always welcome on my property. Get fat, eat well, and come winter time they are a resource if I need them, right outside my back door.

Also not too far away, I found some of these the other day:

Geese 2

I love geese. Both on the table and as an animal in general. They’ve got personality. My favorite goose I ever had was named ‘squeaky’. He was awesome. I raised him from a tiny gosling swimming around in my bathtub to a full sized gander. He never once hissed at me and was very protective. He was also the only goose I couldn’t bear to eat. Had it been life or death survival, I’d have eaten him of course, but as it stands this was about ten years ago and availability of other food sources wasn’t an issue. This picture is of course just for illustrative purposes, as you can’t take deer, geese, and the like without all the proper permits, paperwork, and all that modern nonsense. Thus the geese were not on the menu, sadly. One would almost think that it was deliberately engineered to make it nearly impossible for you to find and dine on your own free wild food…

These however, were on the menu, and were taken from the same waters. (Yes, legally, proper licenses and all.) And they fried up lovely. First is a Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), and below is a Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatum). Most people are confused as to what a Black Crappie is. A Black Crappie will have black SPOTS . A White Crappie (Pomoxis annularis) has stripes, or ‘bars’.

BluegillBlack CrappiePanfried Bluegill
I also have a full on herd of squirrels in my yard. They wouldn’t sit still long enough this morning to get a proper picture though. The idiot neighbor’s idiot dog likes to chase them to hell and back so they’re very skittish and they bolt at the slightest sound. (Such as the sound of a window opening to get a clearer picture…)

UPDATE: I finally got one to sit still for half a millisecond!

Squirrel

So, what’s in YOUR neck of the woods? πŸ˜€

Categories: Animals, Fishing, Food Health, Foraging, Green, Hunting, Nature, Nature Photos, Organic Meat, Uncategorized, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Eat the Weeds videos now available on DVD!

After a long struggle and many hurdles, the world’s most watched foraging videos are now available on DVD!

As many of you know, these videos are put together by my friend, and mentor, ‘Green’ Deane Jordan of Eattheweeds.com

Eattheweeds

Current pricing is very affordable at $1 per episode, with 15 episodes per DVD, shipping included. You can’t beat that deal with a stick!

The DVDs can be acquired here:

Categories: Education, Foraging, Green | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forage! Episode III: Proper Identification

Ever wonder what happens to all those cavalier folks who think that nature is just another harmless and safe grocery store?

Forage 3 Proper Identification

Categories: Comedy, Education, Food Health, Forage!, Foraging, Funny Stuff, Green, Nature, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forage! Special Edition: Green Bean’s Garden

This Special Edition of the Forage! comic strip is in honor of someone who’s given back tremendously to the foraging community through his tireless work, incredible foraging videos, and hands on effort.

Through his passion for many of our favorite hobby, he has taught and touched many people’s lives. Some through his foraging classes, which he still offers, and some through his incredible videos.

To that end let the roasting… err… the honorary cameo in Foraging! begin! πŸ™‚

Green Bean
And in case you’re quite new to foraging and don’t know who we’re talking about here, he can be found at www.eattheweeds.com

Categories: Comedy, Education, Food Health, Forage!, Foraging, Funny Stuff, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forage! Episode II: Latin Love

Forage! Episode II: Latin Love is now live! πŸ™‚

Forage 2 Latin Love

Categories: Comedy, Education, Food Health, Forage!, Funny Stuff, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Forage! Episode I

As a bit of a spinoff from my other comic strip, but with the intent of being a standalone project, I am pleased to announce the first episode of Forage!

Forage! uses the same cutting edge graphics and stunning artwork as ‘The World According to Bob’.

And yes, that’s ‘Forage!’ with an intentional exclamation point, carrying on in the tradition of Wild Cookery! πŸ˜€

The comic strip will cover non-political topics, focusing primarily on, you guessed it… foraging.

And also on the plethora of misconceptions and misperceptions that people have regarding foraging in general.

It covers the daily adventures of one Frank the Forager, and his well meaning (and as of yet unnamed) neighbor.

So without further ado, here’s the first episode. (You may click on the image below for a larger version.)

Forage 1

Categories: Comedy, Education, Food Health, Forage!, Funny Stuff, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Paleo Day 6

Last night was a lovely dinner of crappie and bluegill with wild garlic (and a little salt and cracked black pepper and olive oil).

The night before was slither, prepared the same way. (More on that at another time, perhaps.)

Either dinner, or supper today, depending on how hungry I am and when I am hungry, will consist of the remaining bluegill that I didn’t make yesterday. Probably made the same way, but likely without the wild garlic as it’s been raining cats and dogs today.

I’ve also pretty much eliminated legumes. I’d add them primarily to soups, and by switching from the ‘winter/spring’ diet to the ‘spring/summer’ diet, soups are naturally eliminated from my diet until the colder months anyway, so that one was pretty easy, as I’m used to eating near zero legumes during the summer anyway. Thank goodness for small little gifts, eh?

Breakfast today will be oatmeal (real whole oats) with cinnamon and half of a real apple cut up.

I’d like to eventually cut out the oatmeal, but I have nothing I can consistently replace it with yet that won’t bankrupt the tribe’s monthly food budget.
We’ve been eating the same thing for breakfast, nearly every day, with only the fruit being changed out for quince when it’s in season, or occasionally a few raisins or shredded carrots in lieu of the other fruit, for a few years now.

And considering that when I cut out milk and cereal for breakfast, and went to the oatmeal every day, is when I went from 215 pounds to 160 pounds in the course of one winter.

So, yea, it’s a carb. But honestly I don’t think it’s the most egregious of them out there. Though I also cut out most processed foods as well, and totally cut out HFCS.

None of us are fat. None of us are overweight. Hell, if anything, I’m a bit underweight. Though this could be because of my very high metabolism, and because I’m the most active member in my family. (I do get a bit of walking in when foraging, of course.) I’m a bit over 6 foot tall, a size 32, and currently clocking in at 154 as of this morning. By reducing carbs and massively reducing my sugar intake (down to 1/10th what it was 6 days ago!), I’ve lost about 3 pounds in the last 6 days. Pounds I didn’t need to lose, in my opinion. To be honest, I’m petrified of losing any more weight. It was a long and rough winter, and for a while there, I was down to 145 pounds and not feeling good at all. I’m in no great hurry to ever go back there. I need to put weight ON, not take weight OFF.

And that weight loss over the winter was even whilst I was eating high carbs (two bowls of rice a day plus oatmeal, plus bread, plus crackers) and high sugars, about 10 teaspoons worth all things considered, per day.

I’ve always had a very high metabolism. Since I’ve gotten rid of 99.9% of processed foods from my diet, my old metabolism has kicked back in, in SPITE of the sugars and carbs that were still part of my diet.

And all of this is with a minimum of actual ‘exercise’. It’s not like I’m expending massive amounts of calories. The most calorie burning thing I’ve done during that time was doing some walking whilst fishing and standing in place for 6 hours whilst fishing. (Which did quite a number on my back, as I’m not used to standing in one place for that long.) I typically do pushups in the morning most days, as does my wife, and she does some stretching and crunches and other exercises.

So, we’re shedding sugars and carbs a bit at a time. We’ve also not baked any bread in 3 days. And if it doesn’t exist, it’s a lot easier to not eat it.

It’s quite likely, the oatmeal will be the last thing to go. Of all the carbs I’m currently eating, I feel it’s the least offensive of the various carbs. It’ll go, it just won’t go all at once.

The white rice, on the other hand, is likely the most offensive, next to the white flour. And we’ve already started massively ratcheting that back by simply not baking bread. Which is really a kick in the grapes, I must say, because I bought eight bags of flour for our monthly food budget like two days before we started going Paleo/Primal! (Talk about bad luck.) Oh well, we’ll eat them eventually. Just very spread out, instead of all at once.

The key here is that we replace the carb foods with non-carb foods, once they’re depleted with our pantry. In other words as we use the rice and flour and oatmeal, we replace it with something ELSE.

Unfortunately, all our food for this month has already been pre-purchased, so no change out of any kind is going to happen until July. All I can do until then is add more meats and good fats to the diet, and reduce the portions of the carbs.

Update: This was dinner. Yum! The garlic greens were fried in coconut oil and served over a very small sliver of rice. About 1/3rd of what I’d normally eat.

Panfried BluegillSauteed Wild Garlic

Categories: Animals, Fishing, Food Health, Foraging, Nature, Organic, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WAMPSDUH – Part III: What Can We Do About It?

First of all, as an adult, I firmly believe that there are a certain set of skills and knowledge that every human, both adults and children, MUST have in order to be a functional and useful member of society. Most of this is not taught in any school, and most people’s parent’s never had these skills to be able to teach their children in the first place.

This set/list is probably not one that most people currently have in it’s entirety, or learned very much of growing up, though I am am sure that the vast majority of people will have some of the basic skills on the list. The thing here is that everyone needs all of the skills. Not just a few here and there willy-nilly.

The solution to this is that people must embrace the lessons of the past and learn the very valuable basic skill sets of their ancestors. We must learn to be self reliant again. People must do this as a whole, in order to bring us back from the brink. But, I fear, they will not. We’ve had it far too good for far too long.

It is my very strong opinion that first and above all else, a human MUST know how to find and harvest, and then prepare, their own food. This is absolutely essential for the continuation, and advancement, of the human race. Every non-parasitic animal in nature can do this, one way or another, without exception. Why can’t we? It’s pathetic, and insulting, really, that we, the supposed masters of our planet and so called ‘top of the food chain’, can’t even tell our Asclepias from our ascot.

I must admit, I’m a very judgmental individual when it comes to not being a burden on my fellow man. So much so that when I first meet someone I tend to quickly ascertain whether or not they have ANY interest at all in learning how to become self-sufficient, if they do not already possess that ability. Not everyone has been exposed to this kind of information, and I understand that. It’s not a very common way of life anymore, and you can’t know what you don’t know that you don’t know. However, the ‘test’ is how they will respond when given the opportunity to do so. If someone walks up to them and offers to teach them how to become 100% self sufficient, how do they respond? Are they even slightly interested? Do they embrace it and ask for more information? Or do they do what most people do and outright reject it, saying that they don’t have the ‘time’ or that there is no ‘need’ for them to learn such things in today’s modern day and age?

If you think about it, what individual in their right mind would NOT want to know this information, at least on a basic level? How can anyone possibly justify not knowing how to feed themselves?

The average Joe doesn’t need to be a Green Deane, Sam Thayer, John Kallas, or Steve Brill. They just need to know the very basics of how to collect and prepare the majority of the common edible plants near them, and practice them with some regularity. Anyone with half a brain should be able to accomplish this. Every human did so in antiquity. The only ones who did not were the ultra rich or nobles, or those living in cities. But they were an uber minority. Even the nobles usually knew how to do basics for themselves. They just typically did not do so as they had servants to do it. But they at least knew how. A king typically knew how to hunt and clean his own deer.

So, I ask again: who, as a sane individual would not want to know how to find their own food?

Sadly, the answer is many, many people, it would seem… It’s simply not natural. It’s an abomination of the natural and basic order of things. And when such things happen en masse, it’s an absolute recipe for disaster for any society. Our society stands on such a precipice. These skills will be lost forever unless they are embraced and taught to the subsequent generations.

But, if someone is not interested in learning about plants and how to feed themselves, I’m polite about it of course, and I am not rude if they reject the possibility of learning such things. But if they do, my overall esteem of them falls sharply.

I would even go so far as to say that if they completely refuse to even learn the preliminaries of how to identify wild plants, and therefore be able to feed themselves come hell or high water, they tend to automatically get classified in my mind as ‘part of the problem’. Thus and therefore, they end up getting lumped with the other 90% of the planet that are bottom feeding, blood sucking parasites, in my estimation. πŸ˜‰ This is regardless of whatever other skills, intelligence, or usefulness they may have. The CEO who makes 5 million a year, is still useless in a real world emergency situation if he can’t even feed himself without an army of wage slaves at his beck and call.

Yea, I know. I’ll get flak for that. People usually object to being called parasites. But if you absolutely CANNOT feed yourself, and depend on others to do it for you, and absolutely outright REFUSE to learn how to feed yourself, then that’s what you are. A parasite. A parasite feeds on the lifeblood of others, and will die without the lifeblood of others, as it has no ability to feed itself. If this applies to YOU, then recognize this and change it!

But if ye are someone who is currently classified in Janosese as a ‘parasite’, don’t get all stink-eyed and offended at me. Think about it a while instead of getting horked off. It’s nothing personal. It’s just ‘business’, or rather, practical reality. Think of it like this…

If you can’t feed yourself, you’re causing a problem. A very massive, monumental, epic, planet-sized honkin’ problem. Because it’s not just you anymore that can’t feed yourself. It’s the human race as a whole. Folks like you used to be a very small minority. Back then, it wasn’t a problem when 98% of everyone else grew their own food and the 2% who didn’t needed to be fed. Now it’s more like 2% grow their own food and 98% do not. Houston, we have a very serious problem!

Now, please don’t mistake me. You don’t HAVE to feed yourself, every single moment of every single day. Farming for profit has a purpose, and is a good and noble profession. You can buy some of the things that you consume. That’s what a currency is for, to trade value for value. There is nothing wrong with paying someone for a service out of convenience. Not everyone needs to forage all the time, or grow all of their own food, they just need to be aware of how their needs affect the rest of us. And the planet couldn’t support such en masse foraging anyway, on such a massive scale as our current population. Thus, and unfortunately, in order for the current population of the world to survive, we depend upon ‘modern’ methods of production. There is plenty of room to improve that, however, and go back to more natural methods. GMOs don’t equal greater productivity. Quite the opposite, actually. Lower yields and more singularity instead of diversity amongst crops.

The overarching point here is that you just need to know HOW to forage and feed yourself. It’s the difference between thriving and surviving, and dying when, not if, some kind of disruption in the ‘just in time’ supply chain happens.

Also, people with basic foraging knowledge tend to make wiser choices when planting their own gardens or when tending and harvesting wild resources, and are able to work consistently with nature, as opposed to against it, to get higher crop yields. These kind of good things happen when you understand the partnership with nature vs trying to fight it all the time. Besides, nature will always win. Remember that. πŸ˜‰

People who forage also tend to like unadulterated food, and don’t tend to purchase or consume things with more chemicals in them than they can pronounce.

Do you know what’s in my tea? Tea, that’s what. It says… Ingredients: Tea.

Black Tea

Do you know what’s in my green tea? Tea, that’s what. It says… Ingredients: Green Tea Leaves.

Green Tea

And this is the ‘cheap’ stuff. The black tea is less than $2 for a box of 100, and the green tea is $1 per box. You can find affordable real food products out there, you just need to actually READ the labels.

If your regular black or green tea has a slew of listed ingredients, including the vile and toxic soy lecithin, then you shouldn’t be drinking that foul swill. And having ‘organic’ toxic soy doesn’t make it any better for you. Unfermented soy is an out and out toxin. Fermented soy, such as traditional soy sauce, miso, etc, is fine in limited quantities. But you would do well to avoid unfermented soy products.

(And pro soy people who have bought into that lifestyle and who haven’t done their research will now in all likelihood lash out at me instead of doing said research… If that applies to you, research before you lash out, and you’ll see that I just quite possibly saved your life, if you take this information to heart.)

Foragers tend to be aware that their food should have only natural ingredients in it.

This means that people who forage, by and large, make wiser consumers.

In the end, the real ‘What can we do about it’ ends up summing up to the fact that we need to have the skills and knowledge to make wise and proper decisions about our health, and most importantly, what we put in our bodies. Let our food be our medicine, and all that. But we can only do so if we know how to forage for some of our own food in the first place.

In part IV, I’ll go into what skills I think we all need to have, on a very basic and preliminary level, in order to arrest and reverse this trend of being increasingly useless with each passing generation.

Addendum: For further research into the dangers of unfermented soy, please see here: Beware of the Dangers of Soy

And for more comprehensive research and information, see here:Β  Soy news, articles, and information

Categories: Food Health, Foraging, Nature, Preparedness, Wild | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wildcraft Board Game!

First off, let me say that I don’t get a dime for this promotion. I’m doing it because I have the game, the kids love it, and you have a chance to get it for YOUR kids, half off.

I got this a few years back, and have given it as gifts to good friends who have kids.

We love it, and they love it. It will help kids of all ages learn basic wild edibles, which is very near and dear to my heart.

Once a year, Wildcraft does a ‘half off’ sale on their boardgame. This is in order to get rid of the remaining stock, and give them cash to order the next batch of games to be manufactured.

If you have kids, you’ll want to grab this.

I highly recommend it.

~Janos

Here’s the content of the email I got this morning regarding this:

Guess what?

Wildcraft! An Herbal Adventure Game is nearly 50% off.

Why?

Because we have a small number left in stock until the Fall, and it’s time for some Spring cleaning.

Oh! It’s my birthday next week too.

SO…I want to thank you for helping out our home biz.

Here is what we’re going to do…

***Nearly 50% off the game, which is something we
usually only do around the Holidays.***

I know that might be enough for you, but we’re
going to do something even cooler….

We did a cool webinar on LearningHerbs with
Aviva Romm, M.D. called…

Outdoor Kids: Herbal First Aid for Summer

It’s an hour long video/webinar presentation by America’s
foremost expert on herbal remedies for children.

After you purchase Wildcraft, you’ll get immediate access
to this awesome class.

wildcraft-new

So, here is a list of bonuses…

*Β  Nearly 50% off Wildcraft
*Β  Outdoor Kids webinar with Aviva Romm
*Β  Dandelion Activity eBook
*Β  Herbal Roots Zine Kids Activity Magazine
*Β  The Herbal Gifts eBook. (This saves you more in gifts
than you spend on the game.)
*Β  Mentoring Kids & Nature Connection withΒ  Jon Young (mp3)
*Β  Herb Fairies Activity Pack, with Book One and activity
materials

You get all this for $19.99 with shipping.

I’m serious.

Offer is gone midnight on Thursday, May 31 or earlier if we sell out.

This offer is a “thank you” for being a subscriber of
HerbMentor News. We appreciate you being part of our
community.

Those who know me know that I like to “over-deliver.”

You will only find the sale here…

http://www.learningherbs.com/wildcraft.html

In a few days, the game will be gone til Fall.

So, if this sounds good to you, I’d go here now…

http://www.learningherbs.com/wildcraft.html

Thanks!

John from LearningHerbs

P.S.

This is the fewest amount of games we’ve ever had left by our mid-year sale. I am sure they’ll be gone by the end of the week, so no hurry if you can’t order right now…

http://www.learningherbs.com/wildcraft.html

Categories: Education, Foraging, Games, Wild | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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