Queen Anne’s Lace and Feral Apple Jelly

I feel my best when I’m outside, among the trees, in a meadow, or beside a stream. Where I can see the sun shining, feel the wind blowing, and hear the birds singing. Add some wild edibles or medicinal plants to harvest and I’m in heaven. Yesterday we picked Queen Anne’s Lace, also known as…

Flora

Plants nourish our bodies and our minds. They feed us and heal us. Once you start to identify the different species of plants, that “wall of green” disappears. Jeruselem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) Black cherry (Prunus serotina) Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra) Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) Blue vervain (Verbena hastata) During a short walk down the road…

Acorn Waffles

The three of us picked acorns last fall under the thinning leaves of a red oak. We made sure to leave behind the ones with holes, cracks or stains. We placed them on a tray in a single layer by the woodstove to dry. And even though we were careful with our selection, a few…

Orange and Autumn Olive Pancakes

Autumn Olive (Elaegnus umbellata) is ubiquitous. Right now in New England the branches are heavy with speckled red berries. The fruit is tart like a cranberry and what pairs well with cranberries? Orange. For us, pancakes always start with flour, salt and baking powder. The juice of an orange is combined with milk and added to…

Wild Berry Lemon Cake

The inspiration for this recipe came while forest bathing, what the Japanese call shinrin-yoku, or the medicine of being in the forest. It is simply going out into the woods and just being; listening to the birds, watching the wind blow through the leaves of the trees, feeling the sun on your face and eating wild food….

Mulberry Rhubarb Crumb Cake

Mulberry (Morus rubra) is a deciduous tree that grows wild here in New England. If you’re walking along and you see the ground covered in what looks like black berries, look up. The trees can grow up to 70 feet tall. The blackberry-like fruit is ripe for picking in early summer and varies in flavor from tree to…

Violet Pancakes

Spring time is upon us.  New colors and new scents are blossoming into the landscape. Phlox is fragrant and purple violets pop against the sprouting greenery. Tender violet petals will brighten up plain old pancakes. Violets are high in vitamins A and C.

Pine Needle Tea

Pine trees in New England are ubiquitous. Did you know that all parts of a pine tree are edible? Here we are using the needles to brew a tea that is rich in vitamin C. First, make sure you are harvesting from a true pine tree, gather in a place free from pollution and take…

Wild Grape Jelly

Autumn is here. That means wild grapes are ripening. Vitis labrusca (fox grape) grows all over New England. The fruit is large and sweet, perfect for making jelly. Wild grapes contain polyphenols and antioxidants, which have been shown to lower cholesterol and limit inflammation. After a morning of foraging, we came home with about 4…

Black Birch Tea

Have you ever gone out into your backyard and picked raspberries to add to your morning pancakes or plucked fresh basil leaves from your garden for homemade pasta sauce?  What a wonderful feeling it is to be self-reliant. Nature is the ultimate grocery store. Black Birch (or sweet birch) trees can be found in forests from Maine…