Singing in the Rain!

Foraging in the rain

The dogs and I were a bit cabin crazy and though the skies promised rain we went adventuring.
I love the way the clouds hang lower in the valleys blanketing the greenery below. The mist was thick, the tree trunks dark with wet made a stark contrast to the dripping leaves arching above.

As we walked I lugged a heavy bucket of upearthed chamomile, peppermint, comfrey, oregano and a spade. Foraging basket in the other hand ready to collect my groceries for the day….

Smoke puffed out of a cabin chimney not far off and that cozy smell transported me to my childhood and memories of pine forests at our little cabin on the lake (stuffing my pockets with acorns as I ambled) and always accompanied with the chimney smoke from the dining hall….

The collies like to lead the way with their tails in high position.

The collies lead the way

I walk slowly greeting every friend along the path, noting their stage of growth… “Hi” to a huge patch of False Solomon Seal (thinking I’ll do what Jim does and season my Elderberry Syrup with their ripe pinkish pearly berries in the Fall), ‘Good morning’ to all my favorites: Plantain, Violet, Wild Daisy, fields of Mullein, Yellow Dock, Burdock, Wild Grape, Strawberry, Wood Betony, Cleavers, Sassafras, Sumac, flowering Blackberries simply everywhere…. even the cursed Blasphemy vine was heavy with new berries and made me wonder if they are edible when ripe…

The mission was to transplant Chamomile, Peppermint, Comfrey and Oregano to one of my favorite haunts…the deer hole. There must be a spring below ground there for the earth is often wet and seems perfect for a large patch of Peppermint and Comfrey to join the mix. Transplanting them where I would be thrilled if they took over and become a foraging destination (rather than taking over my limited garden space).

Mission accomplished.

Crabgrass is everywhere

Onto my second objective: Crabgrass.

Linda Runyon keeps raving about her Crabgrass muffin recipe and I’ve listened to her on her weekly radio show mention the merits of eating grass over and over and over…with little interest.

But now I’m interested because grasses are everywhere. They are annoying to me, so hard to dig up once they have rooted. Linda claims many of them are not only edible but desirable.

I knew there was a healthy patch of it in the open pasture near the deer hole so I gave it a hair cut and filled my basket. Just above it were the healthiest looking grape leaves just begging me to pick them, which I did.

Another first of the season were wild ripe Strawberries hidden below their tricorn leaves. Their taste is so much more potent and wildly sweet than cultivated Strawberries. One must forage early in the morning to beat the bunnies to the ripe fruits if you care to make jam.

Everything is laid out on my counter ready to be dried for use. A few Spiderwort leaves and flowers (edible), some Strawberry and Violet leaves, Peppermint and of course Crabgrass. I picked a few flowers from vacationer neighbors homes who rarely see their happy faces…

We came home drenched to the bone. I immediately turned on the tub for a bath of Epsom salt, baking soda, ACV and Lavender. So here I sit warmed from a rare bath and from a lunch of Nettle soup sharing my latest shopping story in God’s green stores.

Nettle soup w/ Milkweed shoots & Burdock roots

Feeling wildly blessed.

I will post the ongoing saga of morphing Crabgrass into muffins later.

Crabgrass, Wild Grape, Peppermint and Nettle soup

 

A picture of Blasphemy vines.  These tenacious rascals have the marked ability to strangle unassuming plants.  Removing them from young saplings is a challenge indeed.  I’ve eaten their young tendrils in stir fries and salads, and have heard that their roots were used by the Indians to beef up their scrawnier youth. Anyone work with this plant besides trying to eradicate it?

Called, Blasphemy Vine, because of the cussing it invokes from those it trips

 

May beauties: Alliums, Irises and Rhodies

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