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What's your favorite native/wild fruit to harvest and eat?

 
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Wild black pin cherry, muscadine,blackberry, blue berry, crabapple, persimmon.
 
pollinator
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silver buffaloberry (shepherdia argentea)
 
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I agree with Phil Stevens, wild raspberries are to me the best find
 
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Tereza Okava wrote:

Joshua LeDuc wrote:
Tereza, just curious, how do you prepare and eat your bamboo?


Joshua, that is a topic of much debate in my family. My uncle insists that the bamboo you use to make fishing rods (a thin bamboo) is the best, but we tend to hunt the solid dark green bamboo that is thicker (about your wrist thickness). I've also had the big, big wide dark green bamboo, but that usually requires an axe to get the shoots, and the green bamboo you just twist off.
I don't THINK any bamboo is poisonous (I am, however, no expert) but some is much more bitter than others.
We pull them, the picture shows one that is just about perfect (much longer than that and they start getting woody). You peel them til you get to the tender center, discarding any parts that the knife doesn't slide through easily (like okra: if you can feel fibrous stuff, it's not worth eating). You will probably discard 80%+ of the volume, it is that much.
What is left, we slice into small pieces. That gets a soak in salt water, then a rinse, then boil for a bit (maybe 20-30 min). The water should turn yellowish. If they are still bitter, boil and rinse and discard again. I've had some where it takes a few boiling sessions to get rid of the yellow water (those big, big bamboo shoots you have to cut with the axe, especially).
After that, they can get sliced up and mixed with stuff inside dumplings or steamed buns, cooked in soup, fried up with black and red pepper and soy sauce....



That is some very helpful information Tereza.  Thanks!
 
Joe Grand
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Bamboo. It is my understanding all bamboo can be eaten, but some are sweeter than others.
I have been told you can harvest sprout year around, but in winter you have to dig up the tender sprouts.
I am looking at chipping the green mature cains for pathway mulch. We have the 2 inch green bamboo.
 
Joshua LeDuc
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Joe Grand wrote:Bamboo. It is my understanding all bamboo can be eaten, but some are sweeter than others.
I have been told you can harvest sprout year around, but in winter you have to dig up the tender sprouts.
I am looking at chipping the green mature cains for pathway mulch. We have the 2 inch green bamboo.



Good information and ideas Joe!  I know this spring when the shoots were tender, we stripped the outer green layers off and gave 2 foot long pieces to our puppy to chew on.  She loved it!  

I wonder what the texture of bamboo mulch would be and how long it would last?  Does anybody have pictures or stories about bamboo mulch?
 
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I`ve run the leftovers (the sheaths and trimmings) through the wood chipper after we`ve gone bamboo shooting-- the rabbits didn't want to eat these things, which was unusual. It hasn't been any different from the rest of my mulch (mostly yard trimmings, passionfruit vines, and lots of sugarcane bagasse).
 
Joshua LeDuc
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Tereza Okava wrote:I`ve run the leftovers (the sheaths and trimmings) through the wood chipper after we`ve gone bamboo shooting-- the rabbits didn't want to eat these things, which was unusual. It hasn't been any different from the rest of my mulch (mostly yard trimmings, passionfruit vines, and lots of sugarcane bagasse).



Bamboo shooting?  I had to think about that one for a minute!  LOL...
 
Joe Grand
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I found this guy on youtube & he seems to know a good bit about eating bamboo. I am going to try the mounding soil around the shoot to keep it tender longer.
Much the way asparagus is grown.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuDeegj8bJk
 
Tereza Okava
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Joshua LeDuc wrote:Bamboo shooting?


Darn tooting!

(in these troubled times, I've got to get my amusement where I can)
 
Joshua LeDuc
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Joe Grand wrote:I found this guy on youtube & he seems to know a good bit about eating bamboo. I am going to try the mounding soil around the shoot to keep it tender longer.
Much the way asparagus is grown.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuDeegj8bJk



Interesting!
 
pioneer
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Every fall, I can harvest a gallon of autumn olives in 10 minutes.  I make jam with it; it is a bit tart so I add a bit of cinnamon and it tastes like Christmas! I also harvest wineberry, also known as wine raspberry, in large amounts, but always leaving plenty for the birds.  I COULD harvest hickory nuts, walnuts, and chestnuts, but I am allergic to tree nuts !  What a waste!
 
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it's blackcap season!
blackcaps.jpg
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Wild sweet cherry jam on pancakes...
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pollinator
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Dewberry. I used to have a patch growing but that area is taken over by Japanese honeysuckle and poison ivy. I am a bit disappointed my thornless blackberries are not as sweet as wild dewberry.
 
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I hadn't heard of dewberry before, sounds like an awesome berry! Supposedly a major producing area for them in the past was only about an hour away from here. Definitely going to be on the lookout to see if I can find some growing wild near here!
 
pollinator
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This is a great little thread!

I love the wild black raspberries that grow all around my house.  They are just the best. They are pretty darn seedy, but man are they tasty!

If anyone is interested we are having a little online wild food cooking class where we go over a bunch of recipes using wild plants.  It's a lot of fun.  The link is in my signature.
 
greg mosser
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the blackberries follow the blackcaps. they don't quite measure up in taste for me, but i won't argue with all the free berries! the blackcaps are probably 75% done now.
blackb.jpg
blackberry time!
blackberry time!
 
pollinator
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Figs and Pomegranates grow wild all around where I live. Figs are probably the easiest to harvest; the pomegranates tend to have very small fruit and you have to beat the critters to them when they get ripe!

There's a lot of wild buffalo gourd around us too, but I haven't experimented with it yet; it can be poisonous due to high levels of saponins. I think I'm going to try to harvest some seeds this year. They are really bitter if you don't get all the flesh off. Supposedly they taste like pumpkin seeds when you roast them, and they have a pretty good protein content!
 
Steve Thorn
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It's always nice to find 4 different wild fruits within just a few feet of each other!


 
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Well it is Huckleberry Season here in the High Country of Idaho. This year is a banner year for the beautiful, small, dark purple Huckleberries.
They are the tastiest and best type of berry to add to pancakes, waffles, muffins, and mix with apples to make the most heavenly apple pie one could imagine.

Anyone up there in Montana, or Wash. state been picking them yet? My wife and I did pick about a gallon of them on Monday this week.
 
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I reckon if people can add fungi to this thread, I can add nuts...  it's a good year for sweet chestnuts! My teenager has been bringing them home from the school field, which has intrigued his friends, and we've been peeling and grilling or boiling them.
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With the right timing, honeyberries are delectable.  I usually wait until they've been purple two weeks.
D
 
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I've personally most enjoyed our Black Raspberries, with the Dewberries being a close second. If you've never had them, when the vines are mature, Dewberries taste like store bought blackberries, but with a slight vanilla aftertaste.

We have a lot of stuff near our home, but I haven't gotten much of a chance to try it all yet. Elkhorn Sumac, Indian Strawberries, Mulberries, Hickory Nuts, Butternuts, Hazelnuts, Haws, Crabapples, one single fruit-bearing Juniper bush, a Firethorn bush, some Viburnums, Illinois Rose & possibly some chokecherries (although the area where I though the chokecherries were is being mowed down for some sort of construction. Sadly, can't do anything about that.)

I still haven't gotten the hang of Sumac tea. Last year, I think the drought messed with it, because no matter how much Sumac I added, it still wouldn't taste like or turn the same color of what it did the year before that. The Indian Strawberries are extremely temperamental. They grow all over people's yards, but are very tiny & stunted. On the other hand, I found some growing the one year in the woods & they were a lot bigger, but tasteless. They basically just tasted like fresh spring water. I think they need the correct soil & shade conditions to even be worth it, but the seeds need to go through something's digestive system in order to sprout, so I took to picking them along the sidewalks as I walked around last summer, throwing them in the woods & hoping for the best. I have some Red Mulberries & Black ones. The Red ones keep getting eaten before I can get to them. The Black ones were okay. They just tasted really floral. I think the red ones are supposed to be tart, though. Hickory Nuts, I'd been staring at for a while. I only just figured out what they were. Butternuts, I needed a nutcracker, so we'll try that one next fall. Hazelnuts also keep getting eaten before I get to them. Our Haws are ok. They taste like apples, but with a dry aftertaste similar to an apricot. The Juniper bush takes 2 years apiece for the fruit to mature, so I haven't gotten to try them since I figured them out. Haven't tried the Rosehips or the chokecherries either. Firethorn was actually ok raw, which goes against everything I've ever been told. The flavor is really mild, but not bad. Unfortunately, none of the Viburnums are the kind that taste good raw. They were all nasty.

I've taken to trying to add a lot more native plants to the area, some edible, so we will see how it turns out-- Scarlet Bergamot, Wintergreen, Spikenard, Solomon's Seal, Duck Potato, Atlantic Camas, Yellow Buckeye, Cranberry, Blueberry, Spicebush, Cherries (the one tree that grew should be close to producing it's first fruit, I think, although it's not a native Black Cherry.), American Cranberrybush Viburnum, Elderberry, Eastern Redbud & Beech.
 
Susan Mené
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Hester Winterbourne wrote:I reckon if people can add fungi to this thread, I can add nuts...  it's a good year for sweet chestnuts! My teenager has been bringing them home from the school field, which has intrigued his friends, and we've been peeling and grilling or boiling them.



My area is loaded with nuts!  Walnuts, butternuts, hickory nuts.  Such a wealth of nuts I can hardly believe my eyes!
Life is funny, though; I developed a Tree Nut allergy 10 years ago.  (Sigh)
 
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Near my house, there is a plint of mulberries and I collect them every time and eat with my friends, so tasty!
 
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Of the fruits that grow in the wild here, in the Netherlands, I like the blackberries (Rubus fruticosus) most. They grow everywhere and are sweet and juicy. And then the wild blueberries (Vaccinium myrtillus), growing in the woods of the Veluwe.
The wild strawberries (Fragaria vesca) have the best taste, but are rare, hard to find, and very tiny. I try to grow them in my front yard garden, but then of course I can't call them 'wild'.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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I forgot one: Amelanchier laevis, called 'Drents krentenboompje' here, so it must be local (Drenthe is this region I live in). The fruits are not juicy, but have a nice taste.
 
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I love harvesting wild blueberries while hiking!
 
Susan Mené
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Diana Huffman wrote:I love harvesting wild blueberries while hiking!



When I was a kid, the woods behind my house had a yearly bounty of wild blueberries.  I am now on a quest to find them in my area!
 
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We have 35 kinds of edible Berriesin our bbn 7 told Classroom Food Forest here at UVPCGG www.permaculturedesignschool.org  Native favorites are NanKing Cherry, Black Elderberry, Sand Cherry , Josta Berry and Goji Berry and Choke Cherry we make great syrups with our honey. We also love bbn our 3 kinds bnb of Almonds, Walnuts, Hazelnuts and Figs as well as Heirloom Native Potowami Plums that taste like Apricot Jam. We do livestream Permaculture design courses. and are looking for PDC experienced earthworks people this Summer to set up 80 acre new Institute in the country Hillside water catchment and transplant our Food Forest and propagate in the country. We will be having vfc Kingdom Hempcrete nonflammable and Thermal Earth shelters also so builders needed along ccx with ccx Ricket Mass Stoves. Call 801-808-4424
 
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I have been harvesting dewberries to feed my birds in the summers here in the Central Savannah River Valley of Georgia.
 
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Hamilton Betchman wrote:My favorite wild fruit to harvest is the Chickasaw plum! I have scores of them on some land I lease and manage for deer. They make the best jelly and pies, and they aren't bad fresh either!



@Hamilton Betchman - Where in SC do you live?  I have never noticed wild plums here in my corner of the state, and am wondering if they are around and I've just missed them.

I suppose other than bramble berries - the little wild blackberries that grow wild throughout the South and are wonderfully tart for cobblers! - the best wild edible I have experienced is the delightful maypop!  Many people claim they are bland, or else they are "mostly air" (I've actually heard that before).  But mine are both very flavorful and packed full of juicy seeds.  Fruit of a wild passionfruit vine, maypops are similar to pomegranates in that inside a shell you'll find a multitude of seeds, each with its own bit of fruity gel surrounding it.  Only unlike a pomegranate, you can just crunch the seeds along with the fruity gel and it's all delicious!  Tastes like tart, crunchy, gooey, bunch of Hawaiian punch in your hand.  My own property was full of these wonderful maypops after I cleared it for construction.  They were an early-to-mid-succession arrival; I did not plant any.

It is actually amazing how many stages of succession I've observed on my little acre in just over a decade since mostly-clearing the land.
 
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May I get some maypot cuttings or seedlings from you?  I am in Zone 8b, Savannah and Daufuskie Island.
 
Matthew Nistico
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Rj Vinson wrote:May I get some maypot cuttings or seedlings from you?  I am in Zone 8b, Savannah and Daufuskie Island.



Was that question directed to me?
 
D Tucholske
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You should have plums in South Carolina, though I'm not sure what kind. I don't know what keeps happening to them because, to my knowledge, I've never seen wild plums before & they grow here too.

The Maypops have intrigued me, but I live in Ohio. There are no rules against them, but if you put them in the wrong place, I hear they can become difficult to control & potentially dangerous to other plants, so I doubt it's a good move for me.
 
Rj Vinson
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Matthew Nistico wrote:

Rj Vinson wrote:May I get some maypot cuttings or seedlings from you?  I am in Zone 8b, Savannah and Daufuskie Island.



Was that question directed to me?



Yes, sorry I am new here and still figuring out how things work.
 
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Skandi Rogers wrote:

Cloudberries are lovely but way to rare to pick, they should be photographed and left alone.



I love cloudberries.  I lived 2 years in the "bush" of Alaska and the Natives (Yup'ik People) would pick them by the bucket-full in August/September-ish.  They are probably the best berry in the world.  I have not had any since moving back "home"  Now I am wishing for them again.

Locally, we harvest:
*Feral/wild apples: We seem to live in a good spot for them.  We have several trees on our family property in the fence lines between fields.  We know which are ready to harvest, and which make fruit worth picking
*Dew Berries: this is what we locally call the very short blackberries that make small, distorted looking berries (but with good flavor)
*Black caps AKA black raspberries
*Black Berries
*Mulberries
*Wild strawberries (hard to locate enough to be worth the time, but a nice surprise when you find a few nice ones
 
Thomas Dean
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David Harrold wrote:


The native american black hawthorn has several small seeds compared to the single large seed of the european hawthorn.  This characteristic allows the black hawthorn to be juiced with an omega juicer ( a victorio strainer on steroids).  It works best to add apples to the mix as the hawthorn "juice/pulp" is very viscous and tends to jell as soon as it gets extruded due to its high pectin content.  The apple flavour is a natural compliment to the hawthorn and with a little added cinnamon, makes a very tasty pie filling.  I like to blend up the apple/hawthorn juice in a blender to break up the jell.

David



I've heard that some hawthorns are not safe to eat?  We have hawthorns in the woods near us.  I like them because I know that they provide food for wildlife, and because they don't grow tall and then die like the poplar and soft maples.  Those are always dying and seem to fall on the chicken coops, across an electric fence, etc.  We live in Michigan, but I have no idea what species of hawthorn we have.  Just by looking at morphology of the fruit, I think we have more than one species but I really have no idea.  Any good source of info on IDing or eating them?
 
D Tucholske
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So far as I'm aware, the American Hawthorns should be fine. As to the different species, I believe they do something normally only associated with domesticated fruits- whatever fruits you end up with are kind of arbitrary. A tree just decides whether it wants to be red, green, yellow or black at random, so several colors aren't that odd. You can check as to whether they're thorned or thornless, but I don't know how much of a difference that makes in edibility.
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