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Old 04-07-2009, 10:46 PM
 
Location: The end of the road Alaska
860 posts, read 1,706,182 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DezertGirl View Post
GrammasCabin - The abundance and diversity of Alaska never ceases to amaze me! Nature will provide her bounty for those of us that know how to benefit from her generosity.
The area in Oregon where we will be moving to also has lots of ferns. I was wondering if perhaps you had the latin/scientific name for the speices you harvest so I can possibly identify the same in Oregon? Links would be super! I want to try this amazing wild food. Thank you so much for sharing!

No links, sorry. I learn from the elders of the native community up here but it's my understanding that any fiddlehead of sufficient size is edible. The most common, which you will no doubt find in abundance in Oregon are the Shield fern (Dryopteris dilatata) and Lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina). Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) are my favorite but I'm not sure they grow that far south.

Fiddleheads can be harvested spring and fall. As the name indicates, they look just like little fiddle heads and are easy to recognize - and easy to like. You'll want to pick them while they're still tightly curled, from just below the surface under last year's growth to about 5-6 ". When they start to fan out they become bitter. They have a brown flaky coating which you'll want to brush off. This takes patience but I enjoy cleaning them in the field where I just enjoy kicking back with nature and daydreaming.

Here's a favorite horsdeovers recipe:

4 C. cleaned fiddleheads
1 1/2 c. wine vinegar
5 tbs. pickling spice
1 C molasses
2 tsp. pepper
1 C oil
1 clove garlic
1 tsp. onion powder.

Steam fiddleheads, drain & set aside in gallon glass jar or ceramic crock.
Bring remaining ingredients to a boil, pour over fiddleheads and let marinate for a couple days. Eat!
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:08 PM
 
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Fiddleheads:

Wildwood Survival - Wild Edible Planrts - Fiddleheads

We have fern absolutely looking like these. However, when I was looking at them closely last spring, the fiddleheads were covered in tiny "hair", just a fur-like fuzz. The hair was hard to take off and when cooked, it felt just like hair in your mouth. Maybe our fern is not "ostrich fern", but by golly it looks the same.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:15 PM
 
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Interesting - fiddlehead stalks are as good:

"Many people only collect the tightly coiled tops of the fiddleheads, leaving behind the juicy stalk which constitutes the greater part of the shoot. I have never been able to figure out why this is done - there is no gustatory, culinary, or practical reason for it. In fact, I greatly prefer both the flavor and the texture of the stalks to that of the coiled leafy tips. Your fiddlehead patch will yield a lot more good food."

Forager's Harvest - Sam Thayer's Wild Food Website
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:19 PM
 
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Natural syrup and sugar - maple syrup and maple sugar:

How to Tap Maple Trees for Syrup

I suppose it's conceivable to use sugar cane and sugar beets to extract sugar?
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Southern California Mountains
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GrammasCabin - I can't thank you enough for your wonderful contribution to this thread! Kudos!

nuala - Excellent links! And yes, you can extract the sugar from cane and beets and I think its a process similar to the making of sugar, at least to a point. Very interesting!

MaryBeth2 - Love those pecans!
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Southern California Mountains
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof Woof Woof! View Post
Great thread!

Unfortunately, however, I would starve to death in the wild. The only thing I know about is wild black berries. Yum.

Stick with us and you will be fine in the wild!

You can be on berry-picking detail!
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:21 PM
 
Location: The end of the road Alaska
860 posts, read 1,706,182 times
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Here's one of my favorite spring & summer chores. And Yay! the snow's melting! Today was a warm sunny spring fever day!
I make my own "tea" by dehydrating all kinds of wonderful spring leaves, roots & such, mix them all up and store them in gallon glass jars for a delicious healthy hot or cold drink all year long. For sun tea I grab a handful, put them in a gallon jar filled with water and set out on the porch railing in the sun. For hot tea I have a big pot on the back of the woodstove all winter long. Here's a list of some of the ingredients I gather and dehydrate:

wild blueberry leaves
raspberry leaves
strawberry leaves
elder flowers
red clover blossoms
chammomile flowers
dandelion leaves & roots (before they blossom!)
soft new spruce tips
rose hips
horsetail
nettles
lemon & orange peel

There are other wild Alaska herbs and berries I use that might not be familiar with most of you, but you get the idea. And all these things are loaded with flavor and healthy good stuff! Cuppa tea anyone?
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:38 PM
 
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Wonderful! I was picking some of the leaves (raspberry, camomile, rosehips), but never thought of strawberry leaves and blueberry leaves. I also never thought of MIXING it all, kept it all separate. I suppose some berries, like cranberry, can be dehydrated and added to the mix.

Speaking of drinks reminded me of the coffee substitute - Common chicory.

"The cultivated forms are grown for their leaves (var. foliosum), or for the roots (var. sativum), which are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive."

Chicory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:22 AM
 
Location: The end of the road Alaska
860 posts, read 1,706,182 times
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Absolutely dried berries go great in the mix. I add dried wild blueberries and cranberries which are in abundance here. I don't get so many strawberries or raspberries so I use them for jam but any dried berry will work. Last fall the cranberries were so thick it looked like someone had dumped bucketsfull all over the muskeg.

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Old 04-09-2009, 05:49 AM
 
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Yum, I want some! You are so lucky to live there GrammasCabin!!!!
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