Marisa Lee

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since Mar 13, 2021
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Recent posts by Marisa Lee

Christopher Weeks wrote:

Marisa Lee wrote:orange hawkweed and it’s a pain

What's bad about hawkweed? We have it in huge swathes of orange and yellow (some of the oranges are so deep I'd call them red) and they're super-pretty. I might call it a problem if I was trying to hay the field because it's pretty competitive at the ground level and doesn't send much biomass up the 18" or whatever that the blooms grow. I love that it's competitive with grass.

Also, this thread is great!

I guess it’s only a pain if you don’t want it. You named one reason somebody might not like it. For me, it’s because it’s an invasive species (regionally), so it competes against native flora that I want both to support other wildlife and for its own sake. Of course, I understand enjoying its ability to outcompete grass & agree it is pretty!
1 year ago
Yeah that’s hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum), considered invasive in WI but mowing it only encourages it. The only thing to do it outcompete, smother, or shade it out.

Jan asked a good question. What are your goals for the groundcover layer besides keeping grass out? Do you prefer something edible/medicinal or fine with other benefits like insectary or nitrogen fixing? There’s always white clover.

I have a ground cover (introduced, from a nursery but spreads a lot) that I guess is medicinal but I’m not sure what to do with it, a mint family plant called bugle, Ajuga reptans. I’ve moved it around and it established easily.

Also speedwell/Veronica, but that doesn’t have as dense of foliage as the bugle.
1 year ago
Violets are a good option, especially Viola sororia since it tolerate a range of sun to shade (unlike some that don’t like full sun). Wild strawberry has done well for me, but I don’t have a lot of grass pressure. I think the plant that gets called Indian paintbrush but isn’t, that’s probably orange hawkweed and it’s a pain. At least the sheep sorrel can be eaten, to a point. Lol maybe not all of it.

What about creeping thyme? Arctic poppy?

In shade or at least part shade, wild ginger?  
1 year ago
I’d say it is! What’s that divided leaf with it?
1 year ago
One I skipped over before because I needed to look it up - hyssop. The genus Hyssopus isn’t native to the continental U.S. But we have some native Agastache species with common names like anise hyssop, giant hyssop.

(Some Agastache species are native to other places and may be considered invasive in some places, like Korean hyssop.)
1 year ago
I thought I read it's the fertile shoots/stems that are edible (but vegetative shoots/stems are not). I was just reading that somewhere, maybe on permies?

Mark William wrote:

D Tucholske wrote:I didn't know those were edible. We have a Whole bunch of scouring rush by where I live. I've tried chewing on one for medicinal purposes & they don't really taste good.

But, yeah, I'll try to get everything on here. I've been trying to work on it during my lunch break at work, so I can devote time to other chores when I'm off.

The tender young shoots are edible, while the older plants are considered medicinal.

1 year ago
Some additional notes:

(Basswood, Linden)
Flowers used in tea

(Myrica Gale; Pensylvanica; Caroliniensis)
Myrica gale dried fruits used as a spice/seasoning, leaves used in tea; in addition to bog myrtle we more commonly call it sweetgale (not bayberry)

I would add bee balm as a common name for Monarda didyma & fistulosa; used for tea, seasoning, edible flowers

Bunchberry might not taste that great, but at least is perfectly safe and doesn’t taste bad (unlike many on this list that require specific processing to be safe and/or palatable). Helps set preserves of sweeter fruits with lower pectin.

(Chokeberry, Aronia)
A couple other species as well

(Chokecherry/ Pincherry, Fire Cherry)
I would separate these species. P. pensylvanica is pretty sweet, so the description here doesn’t apply. (Also, P. virginiana isn’t so much bitter as it is astringent, and that timeline on astringency-ripeness is going to vary by location and just year-to-year)

(clearweed/ Stinging Nettle)
Drying (as for tea) neutralizes the spines as well. Could add Laportea canadensis, wood nettle, unless that is listed separately already. I would put under Nettle for common name rather than Clearweed, or make two separate entries, one for nettle, one for clearweed, since clearweed doesn't have spines and can be eaten raw.

(Common Milkweed)
And flower buds

(Cow Parsnip)
And shoots and leaf shoots and dried seeds

Also V. oxycoccos (often called small cranberry)

(Eastern Red Cedar)
Also common juniper, Juniperus communis - it's a bush, rather than a tree, but produces the edible juniper berries you'd collect from J. virginiana . . . easier to harvest when they're closer to the ground

(Eastern Red Columbine)
Edible flower

(False Solomon’s Seal, Treacleberry)
Also roots and young leaves; very easy to grow, shade tolerant

Flowers, leaves, immature fruit used for tea; shoots and young leaves also edible

Shoots as a spring veggie, mature leaves dried for tea

This is worth breaking out into different Smilax species as the descriptions and food uses vary

(Pine (Eastern Hemlock))
I'd create separate entries for pine/Pinus, spruce/Picea, fir/Abies, hemlock/Tsuga . . . their descriptions and uses differ (but seem conflated within this one entry).

And leaves

(Wild Rose)
And petals
1 year ago
Is it meant to be North America or the continental U.S.?

I made some notes/additions on the plants I'm familiar with. Do you want those in a post here on the thread, or as a PM?
1 year ago
It’s hard to find examples of community gardens and food forests on public land that thrive for more than a decade, because they do require management that local governments are not equipped to provide. Even if there is good community engagement in the beginning, to get it off the ground, there has to be someone (a group of someones) each year to pick back up and carry on the work. And at least one person with enough commitment to the project to lead it and organize that volunteer labor and make decisions about what to add and remove. So that’s why pseudo public gardens/food forests that are actually run by some non-government organization can perform better, when there is continuity and a source of people to do the work (and eat the food!).

Edible native plants are a great compromise for public land. The funding and will are there, and upkeep is less demanding. Still some education is required, to prevent city workers from contaminating the plants and to allow & encourage the plants to be eaten. Where I live, it’s legal to forage on public lands, but in many places it’s not (or required a license/permit). There are tons of really great native edible plants here and I think there must be in most places? But it can be hard to find them available through plant nurseries. That must be why some government agencies propagate their own.
1 year ago

Mary-Ellen Zands wrote:

Marisa Lee wrote:

Mary-Ellen Zands wrote:Finally the snow has melted enough for some flowers to be up. Although it is snowing today I know it won’t stay!  I was trying to make some Easter photos so I thought I would share them with you.  
Neighbour came by to show her daughter some flowers. Little Rosalie loved to eat those daffodils!  

I’m usually the last person to freak out about a plant being poisonous (since many edible plants have poisonous parts, like tomato and rhubarb for example), but daffodils are really not good to eat.

You know babies! They stick everything in their mouth. No child was harmed in the making of this photo. I teach wild edible courses.

I figured she was just doing that usual baby thing and not actually chowing down - but would hate for someone else to misunderstand and think daffodils are edible.