For example, nettles are an early season forage item that comes to mind. Also dandelions.
Certainly mushroom hunting is good all through the summer and fall.
Greg M Peters wrote:
Who is Michael Pilarski and when/where is he coming?
I made a web page about Michael Pilarski.
On a side-note, I forgot to mention that the stripped chokecherry trees are kind of sad. I'm sure you'll know this, but please be respectful when foraging. Birds, squirrels, insects, and all sort of other creatures (including other humans) might need that food too.
Destini Vaile wrote:
As far as I know, there are no restrictions on picking the berries and I do it when I can. Unfortunately, someone gets impatient for chokecherries and I usually find the trees stripped bare weeks before they even ripen. Otherwise, I have been collecting a lot of information on this subject and am compiling a book for "urban foraging". If anyone would like to work on it together, that would be fantastic. I've looked all over and not seen any books that cover this subject specifically, yet there is great interest.
Hey Destini, I think what you're doing is amazing. There's another beautiful handbook I ran into earlier this summer--it's from the UK (http://www.growsheffield.com/pages/groshefhandb.html).
What do you think about group foraging? Are you interested in organizing volunteers and events next year around gleaning? You'd have the support from 1,000 New Gardens (a group I volunteer with) chaps. We could definitely be your minions...helping to assemble a young army (university hipsters time their arrival in September with the ripening of many fruits!)...and help you and another band do the great dirty work of foraging, pressing, dehydrating, and fermenting stuff during this or next fall season. It's been one of my dreams to map out all the edible trees and bushes across Missoula. What a great opportunity to turn some gleanin' events and a map into some serious fun before Peak Oil hits...we need to build up some skills and reverence (culture) around organizing different foraging events and whatnot!
What do you think about these possibilities? What other visions do you have of a foraging culture in Missoula?
Kim Williams, longtime Missoulian and writer, was an avid food forager. She had a weekly radio program, talking about collecting and eating wild plants, and published a book on the topic, "Eating Wild Plants" which I'm sure you could find used at the book exchange....
If anyone is going out for a gleaning trip, let me know! I could probably arrange the use of a hand cider press for a weekend. We could set up a pressing/cleaning/sharing center, and glean across the streets of Missoula!
Contact: the girls and boys at the Great Bear Foundation. They have a starter list (of Rattlesnake fruitful households and volunteers). They also have a press on site--that is, a block from the footbridge. Should we need another press to really kick production into gear (if there's a small amount of time or a sizable harvest) we could also reserve MUD's press.
Thoughts? I'll find 3 young hipsters to join in the fray. Who else is with us? Greg? Paul? Dianne? Emma? CHCarlson? Can you each recruit 3 friends?
Destini, do you have time to scout out non-'snake households throughout the week? My thinking is that with a group of 10, we may make it through 20 trees a day. And that is a half-assed estimate!
I'll be gone to the northwest permaculture convergence and some other stuff about the 16th through the 27th.
Someone just posted about the Great Bear Foundation. First I've ever heard of it, but I will check it out. Also, I think the homestead has an apple pressing festival pretty soon. The guy who runs that is sitting directly behind me, so I will ask when...
Someone linked to the Grow Sheffield project earlier, and their pamphlet has a lot of good tips for logistics (separating 'firsts' from 'seconds', etc.
If we're mostly interested in apples, we'll need to wait until after the first frost to really get the most delicious cider we can. Pears and plums also get better after a light frost. I'm thinking a communal batch of hard cider is called for as well.
Also, their season's over, but I saw that someone was posting about edible weeds and my garden was so overrun with Lamb's Quarters this year that a neighbor thought I was growing them. They are really good and high in nutrients, but a bit bland raw and better sauteed.
Chuck Jonkel (of the Great Bear Foundation)
Lori Parr (Lavender Lori) _1.406.396.1514; no email address
Ask the Montana Natural History Center
Does anyone know the first two people? Would you feel comfortable asking about a trip, maybe next weekend (weather permitting)? Are people still interested in doing this?