Attention wild plant enthusiasts! Our new segment, The Forager’s Forecast, will offer you direction when considering what newly emerging plants to bring to your dinner table or add to your apothecary. We focus on Northwest plants that have blessed our table lately; however, many can be found much farther than this corner of the world. Search them out, be amazed. They will bring you joy many times over.
Bitter Cress (Cardamine occidentalis, C. oligosperma)
We have used this spicy early mustard in zippy pestos, to spice up salads and add some flare to otherwise dull soups.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Our greens have been up for weeks now and we have made regular batches of our favorite dandelion pesto. It goes on everything from roasted potatoes to homemade pizza to spread for crackers.
Dock (Rumex crispus, R. occidentalis, R. obtusifolius)
We are still finding the tiny seeds tenaciously clinging to the dry, reddish brown stalks. Look for them in overgrown fields. We used them recently in dock seed crackers, mixing about half ground seeds and half rice flour. Delicious with dandelion pesto! The young leaves of dock should soon be emerging for salads or soups. Keep your eyes open.
Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
The needles or leaves are one of our favorite year-round teas. While the new spring tips are often heralded, don’t forget how wonderful a cup of Vitamin C-rich Doug is on a cold winter evening!
For more detailed information on identification, harvesting techniques, and ethics as well as additional suggestions for preparations, here are some of our favorite foraging books. We carry these books in our school store. Please call our office (425.746.7267) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to order. We appreciate your support!
- Discovering Wild Plants, Janice Schofield Eaton
- The Forager’s Harvest, Samuel Thayer
- Nature’s Garden,Samuel Thayer
- The Boreal Herbal, Beverley Gray