Posts Tagged With: Wild Cookery Forums

Tabula Rasa – A Clean Slate

A significant change is coming soon to Wild Cookery!

Yes, we’ll continue to be about foraging and cooking up all things delicious and wild.

But we’ll be adding to our ‘menu’ so to speak.

In the past, there have been various other topics covered here, but I still strove to keep it focused primarily on foraging topics and the cooking of wild foods. Times have changed.

We’re going to be going a bit more ‘broad spectrum’ instead of ‘highly focused’.

There is a very important reason for this…Everything is interconnected. The audience for a 100% foraging focus is very slim indeed. In fact most people who prepare for other things unfortunately have learning foraging on the bottom of their list. I mean to change that through cross-exposure by discussing other topics that are important to people.

I’ve heard it many times that I should keep Wild Cookery! strictly about foraging, to the exclusion of most other topics. I disagree.

Here’s why…

Foraging is very interconnected to many other things. Or rather, a ‘lack’ of foraging is. Because most of us no longer forage for our food, we are very disconnected from nature. Nature is something which, to us, exists in isolation of, and removal from, the human condition. By encouraging discussion of other somewhat related topics, we will segue into discussion of foraging with people that would otherwise have not sought out information on foraging. We will reach a much higher number of people than we ever would just by continuing to endlessly ‘preach to the choir’.

The more good people who know the basic skills of foraging, the better off the whole of humanity is. And no worries, we all know that the number of foragers will never exceed a fractional percentage of the population. So fears that people will ‘over forage’ the world en masse if ‘everyone’ knows this knowledge are statistically unrealistic to the extreme.

So, fear not. You aren’t going to be training your competition if you teach a few more good folks how to forage.

There are many valid topics in these tumultuous times that deserve in depth discussion. If all I do is talk about foraging, then the many and varied topics of our time that need to be talked about get completely missed. I think this is a disservice.

I also think that most of the foragers I know personally will applaud this move, as the vast majority of them are very intelligent and dynamic people. They have wide and varied interests. In other words, they aren’t just interested in foraging. They’re interested in what’s going on in their world and how to make a positive difference. They also don’t oft get a chance to discuss these topics as they are afraid to talk about them in other places for fear of being ‘off topic’, or considered ‘fringe’.

I would like this blog, and the corresponding Wild Cookery! Forums to eventually become such a springboard for open and honest discussions.

All legal and lawful topics should be up for discussion in a healthy society. A mutual interest in foraging should be the start of an intelligent conversation, not the end all be all of a conversation.

Categories: Economy, Education, Food Health, Foraging, Green, Health, Preparedness, Social Unrest, Survival, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Janos’ Plant Profiles, Part I: Spiny Sow Thistle

The full profiles will be posted to, and updated, on the Wild Cookery Forum. I have planned to do these for at least the past year, but have never quite gotten around to it. So without further ado…

Janos’ Plant Profiles, Part I: Spiny Sow Thistle

Common Plant name: Spiny Sow Thistle

Hoity Toity (Dead Latin) Name: Sonchus asper

Classification: Choice Edible Plant

Identification: This plant, a member of the Asteracea Family, has spiny, serrated leaves that curl along and around the stem of the plant. When in bloom it has yellow flowers which look dandelion-like superficially. It’s quite spiny, and prickly to the touch, and you may mistake it for an actual thistle if you aren’t familiar with the two plants. But it’s spines are softer and nowhere near as rigid as a real thistle. The spines are also part of the leaves, and not separate from it and detachable such as with an actual thistle. You can eat the smaller leaves raw without any problems. The older ones however, may be prickly enough that they need to be trimmed or cooked before consumption.

Juvenile Plant Photos

Here are some little guys:

Sonchus asper - Young Juvenile

Sonchus asper – Young Juvenile

Sonchus asper - Juvenile

Sonchus asper – Juvenile

Sonchus asper Juvenile comparison

Sonchus asper Juvenile comparison

Sonchus asper - Juvenile plant in nature

Sonchus asper – Juvenile plant in nature

Flowering Plant Photos

(Pictures to be added when in season)

Plant in Seed Photos

(Pictures to be added when in season)

Uses: You nom it of course! The leaves, buds, flowers, new shoots, and upper part of stem are all edible. Young and tender here is much better than old, tough, and rank. Especially on latex exuding plants. The leaves can be eaten at any time equally well, though younger is typically more tender and less bitter. I like to get the flower buds before they open and use the top section of the plant as kind of a ‘sonchusparagus’ I’ve also cooked and eaten small roots before along with the greens, but can’t officially recommend that as I haven’t been able to find any reference material on it’s use.

Nutrition: Sonchus asper are quite rich in Fiber, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Copper, and Manganese. Equal to, or more so than most common domesticated vegetables.*

Preparation: Typically I’ll boil these, no matter what part it is, for 15 minutes or so, drain, and then use like any other foundational green. In fact one of the spring delicacies my family looks forward to every year is fresh spiny sow thistle greens mixed with wild garlic greens and mushrooms over rice. It’s a seasonal spring treat that everyone raves about.

Preparation Photos

Sonchus asper and Dandelion leaves

Sonchus asper and Dandelion leaves

Wild Greens Noodle Medley - Two kinds of sonchus, dandelions, wild garlic, chicory, plantain, thistle, dock, and sprinkled with ox-eye daisy petals

Wild Greens Noodle Medley – Two kinds of sonchus, dandelions, wild garlic, chicory, plantain, thistle, dock, and sprinkled with ox-eye daisy petals

Cautions:

There are some unreliable sources that classify this plant as a ‘Noxious Weed’. That’s fair enough, as I classify those sources as pretty darn noxious myself.

I’m sure it’s possible to get a rash from this plant. Maybe even a severe one if you’re that one in a million who has such an allergic reaction. But let’s interject some reality here. Will it likely happen to you? Probably not. You’ll probably be struck dead with a micrometeorite first, or hit by lightning. I collect these barehanded, and even eat them raw from time to time. Guess what? Nothing happens. If someone has issues, they are probably also allergic to other ‘milky’ latex exuding plants, such as dandelions and wild lettuce. I highly doubt most are allergic to this plant in particular.

But that doesn’t mean that one in a zillion people won’t be affected by something like this, so use caution.

There’s the token safety disclaimer. Use caution when picking if you are allergic to other latex exuding plants. Some people are allergic to peanuts too. For the rest of us, it’s a fantastic nutrient dense wild food.

The vast majority of all people will find this plant to be delicious and nutritious.

References:

* Dr. John Kallas, PhD, “Edible Wild Plants” – Pps 358 – 359.

Categories: Food Health, Foraging, Green, Janos' Plant Profiles, Nature, Nature Photos, Organic, Organic Gardening, Reclaimed Edibles, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Winter’s Dying G(r)asp

Cross-posted at the Wild Cookery! Forum.

Well I woke up to Winter’s last gasp this morning.

Winter in March

Last year this time we had mid 70’s weather and I was picking 6 inch wild garlic greens, along with dandelions and some plantains.

This year? Well the ground was ALMOST unfrozen when I walked on it yesterday. Almost. Kinda almost, but not quite, squishy, yet still frozen crunchy. Well, today it’s frozen solid again. But now it’s supposed to warm up to a high of 36 before creeping back down to a low of 25 overnight.

Currently, it’s a balmy 33 degrees.

With a several inch glazing of fluffy snow.

There’s supposed to be even more snow on the way. We’ll see I suppose.

In my walk yesterday I saw that my hyacinths were barely poked up as were the daffodils, but only in the planter right next to the house, where it’s warmer. The ones in the main yard are still not even above the lawn yet.

There is a very marked difference from year to year. Which is why I always and very strongly encourage people to get used to paying attention to their weather when it comes to wild plants. Screw what your foraging book says about ‘time of year’ on the plant tables. Pay attention to what your local weather is doing.
As I said, last year, I was harvesting half a foot tall wild garlic greens and decent sized dandelions in 70 to 80 degree days. This year? Everything is still winter-purple colored as the alcohol in the leaves hasn’t changed back into sugar yet. You don’t want those over-wintered leaves anyway. Leave those for the critter. What you want is the new spring growth, and that simply hasn’t happened yet. AT ALL. Not even the wild mustards or the garlic mustards have poked their heads up yet. (Other than the garlic mustard that have over-wintered, which is normal, but again, you want the new and rapid spring growth.)

Snow over the Dandelions

My pet dandelion on my windowsill is looking out into the yard, with sad leaves and yearning for sunnier days. It’s hard to see a size comparison from the photo, but the leaves are about eight to nine inches long, and he’s survived fine all winter on the windowsill. I grew him from a tiny little root shard from a dandelion that I’d collected about two years back now. He hasn’t bloomed yet, just puts on very nice looking leaves. I don’t eat this one. It’s my winter ‘greenery’ to look at and enjoy, when all else in the world is dead and frosted over.

So, here’s a toast to winter’s dying g(r)asp, and may all of us in the northern areas finally have some green to forage soon! Slainte Mhor!

Categories: Foraging, Nature, Nature Photos, Plant Photos, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to the Brand New Wild Cookery and Foraging Forums!

My dearest foraging friends,

First off, let me apologize for the inconvenience of having to move the forum. There was, however, no way around it. The old forum’s servers crashed a total of eight times, just today in my efforts to copy over the data. Such a flaky forum host is not acceptable to me. You deserve better than that. I think that now, we have a stable forum hosting service. I’ve used this provider before in the past, and whilst not totally ideal in some respects, it should indeed be much more stable and productive.

This is a completely new, made from scratch forum. It only looks like the old one. I mirrored it as much as I could, with the exception being that I cleaned up and re-organized some of the forum boards a bit, to be, I hope, a bit more comprehensive.

However, it is not a totally clean slate. The meat and bones of the last forum were saved and form the backbone of this new forum.

I copied over all the text from all the posts that I could, and I got everything that I saw. There were a few things that I’d posted that I have intentionally not transferred over, but most of the important stuff is still there.

If I have missed anything, please let me know and I will do my best to rectify it.

Of course, the text will just be posted in the threads, not under the original poster, but I copied it with quotes when applicable so you can see who originally wrote the post.
Everyone will have to unfortunately re-register, but that should be a relatively quick and painless process.

Be aware that being a free forum it will try to offer you junk in the sign up. You can just click on the slightly greyed out ‘no thanks’ when it comes up. The number of offers that you will have to click through varies, but typically 3 – 5.

Thank you again for your time and participation, and I hope to see you all at the new forum soon.
All the best, my friends.

The new forum is located here: http://wildcookery.freeforums.org

~Janos

Categories: Updates, Wild, Wild Cookery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Please Join us at the Brand New Wild Cookery Forum!

Forum Status: ONLINE! – Updated 03/15/2013 01:55

The data transfer from the old forum has been completed, and we now have a new and fully functional forum.

The brand new Wild Cookery Forum is located at: http://wildcookery.freeforums.org

Categories: Uncategorized, Updates, Wild Cookery | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Looking for Alternative Forum Hosting Options

Forum Status: OFFLINE – Updated 03/14/2013 19:38

Well, that’s it folks. This hosting service has gone down for the third time today. Thus, I’ve secured a new hosting service with very similar options to the last one (minus the massive downtime!), and will be in the process of manually and painstakingly copying over as much of the forum as I can.

I will let everyone know here when it is back up and running again at it’s new home, and will reveal the new url at that time

The brand new Wild Cookery! Forum can be found at: http://wildcookery.prophpbb.com  To be determined.

*****

Update:

So far no dice. I’ve found plenty of forum hosting services that WOULD work, except for the fact that they for some strange reason lock down this or that, and don’t let you modify the styles element in some way. I’d like to currently keep the default theme, or at the very least, be able to import it, but every PHPBB3 hosting service I’ve found neurotically locks down random elements of the Admin panel that make no sense whatsoever. For example, several allow extra mod functions and imports of certain things and allow you to add chat, etc, but at the same time don’t let you import your own website image like the Blackberry one you see above. WTF is up with that?

Anyway, currently, and as much as I hate to say it, it’s looking like the best option at this time is to stay with this current forum service.

I love the forum, and the admin options that I have on the back end, I just don’t like their uptime, and being down twice in two days.

So, I guess we’ll see. This sucker goes down again however, and my hand will be forced, and I’ll pick another forum host, theme be damned.

*****

There have been outages encompassing the whole of the hosting service prophpbb the past two days. This forum has only been up a few days, and already we’ve had several hours of total and absolute downtime. This isn’t acceptable to me.

Also, the idiots over at prophpbb have their HELP BOARDS on the same servers as their hosting. Which means, that when the hosting service goes down, so do their forums. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. So not only are we in the dark when the forums go down, but we have no way of finding out a status, or even a ‘why’ they’ve gone down, we just have to keep checking back every so often to see if the forum is up or not, and that also is not acceptable to me. For an IT company, that’s about as unprofessional as it gets and I refuse to deal with such blatant incompetence.

Thus, I’ll be looking for another hosting service.

This will of course mean re-creating the base forum structure from scratch. But better to do that NOW, and have a stable forum going forward than keep going on something which has proven itself to be unreliable.

I’ll let ye all know what I find…

Categories: Updates, Wild Cookery | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Forum Status: OFFLINE – Updated 03/14/2013 11:28 AM

Moved all the status notifications onto the page link above.

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Wild Cookery Forums are now LIVE!

Wild Cookery Forums are now LIVE!

I am proud to announce the official launch of the Wild Cookery Forums!

The forums may be found at: http://wildcookery.prophpbb.com/  http://wildcookery.freeforums.org/

Freeforums

This forum will be what YOU, the members help make it into. It’ll grow along the lines of your contributions.

This is your chance to make forum and Foraging history and create something great from absolutely nothing.

It’s also your chance to get in on the ground floor as a founding member of one of the very few Foraging forums in existence. This means that you’ll have a say in the direction of the forum, and can help make it into the kind of forum YOU’D like to see!

New boards can and will be created upon request, and if you have a specialized interest that you’d like to see represented and discussed, we can create a board or sub-boards to cover that.

*Please note that this forum will be geared to adults 18 years and older, and you must fit that category in order to officially join as a member. If you are under 18 you are still welcome to come and read the forum, as the content will be mostly publicly available, assuming that you have the express permission of your parents or guardians to do so.

The first thing after signing up would be to go to the Announcements and Updates page  and read the very brief documents listed there. That would be the Member Agreement, Moderation Policy, Legal Disclaimer, and FAQ.

Don’t worry, as I said, they are all very brief and straight to the point. No wall of text to read.

After which, if you plan on posting pictures to the forum, you can read the tutorial that I created on how to do that, here

Be sure to stop by the member’s only area Wayfarer’s Inn  once you have signed up and introduce yourself! 🙂

I hope to see you all there! 🙂

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

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