Archives for posts with tag: Foraging

We made a last minute bicycle trip to the woods sunday afternoon to see if we could find some mushrooms to pick before the hunting season started. After quite a bit of searching we finaly found some and then a whole bunch more. We picked until it started to get dark. Chanterelles of different types.

Now to clean and dry them – the most tedious part of the job.

I had plenty of food with me, but I couldn’t help noticing edible plants along the way. Besides the common dandelion, alchemilla and plantain growing near settled areas, here are a couple of notables.

One of the most strikng is the björnloka – Heracleum sphondylium, common hogweed.

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It can grow over two meters tall with spectacular balls of white flowers. It is slightly poisonous, causing skin irritation, but the natives all around the world have used the peeled stalks as food. I have one in the garden that I have to constantly cut back and not let it go to seed.

Another is the Hjortron berries – Rubus chamaemous, cloudberry. This is a much sought after delicacy among the northern peoples.

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These were right beside the trail, still a bit unripe.

Then there was tätört – Pinguiculis vulgaris, butterwort. It was tradionally used to make long milk, a kind of stringy sour milk, nowdays made with a lactobacillus species completly without the butterwort. It does produce protein enzymes causing milk to coagulate, so it probably did have some activity in the old milk souring process.

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There is also a story about using the leaves as a hair treatment to give ones hair an all so desirable yellow color. I should try it.

Some more insulators in the garden

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I have quite a large collection of high power electricity insulators. They have a simple but exquisite design. They are extremely durable and have a natural coloring scheme, making them excellent objects for garden art.

Best of all, they are easy to find and cheap. I found the first ones in my collection when taking walks or foraging in the woods near power lines. Oddly enough, they can also be found at flea markets and auctions. I have obtained some on trips and carried them home from halfway around the world.

Everywhere in the world they have the same elegant design – and they always blend perfectly into my garden.