C. Lee Greentree

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since Jul 16, 2021
C. Lee likes ...
foraging books cooking
Central MN
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Recent posts by C. Lee Greentree

I once made a pan of enchiladas stuffed with nopalitos and cheddar. My husband still talks about it!
1 month ago
That looks an awful lot like wood-ear mushrooms; try reading up on the genus Auricularia! They could certainly be growing from the dead, buried wood. Of course, get confirmation from several sources before eating.
2 months ago
I just bought some wine cap spawn at a farmers' market yesterday, so this is all really good to keep in mind! Thanks!
2 months ago
Thanks for all the thoughtful responses; you've given me a lot to chew on! Trust when I say that I am the type to mull over things for quite some time before actually doing them, even for less serious endeavors than this.

For those curious, I am leaning heavily towards "no" on all three counts, though it pains me because they sound so promising on pfaf and lots of permie literature here and elsewhere. It's frustrating, but I wanted to say I do know the pain of dealing with invasives. Our property is thick with Siberian elm, non-native bush honeysuckle, and garlic mustard. Parks and nature reserves in the surrounding area are choked by buckthorn. We may already have the dreaded jumping worms. The three I asked about sound more desirable in comparison, I suppose. But I can't justify the risk of being the bad guy in any future story.

To further explain each temptation:

The pea shrub appealed to me as a perennial alternative to annual beans, with the protein and oil source giving a potential for greater food value than most fruit trees or shrubs. I sometimes think flippantly that the only reason they're not here is that the other baddies beat them to it. Anyway, tentative verdict is that it seems safer to just not muddle things further.

My first knowledge of autumn olive came from foraging blogs. I've even seen named cultivars sold on nursery websites, purported to bear sweet, tasty fruit. That's what I would have wanted them for: a hardy, self-sufficient fruit crop, with nitrogen fixing as a bonus. I'm thinking seaberries might answer both purposes with less moral dilemma.

I wanted the chufa as another of the rare protein and oil provider without much labor. I had even chosen a spot for it: a low-lying area near the house, which floods briefly in spring and gathers a puddle with every rainfall. It's even hemmed in on every side by the house and driveway. I thought that would control any rhizomatic spread, but reading about chufa's seed production... There are wetlands, lakes, and a major river nearby, so I just couldn't.

I just wanted to reiterate that I wouldn't take any risk to the ecosystem lightly. Perhaps on some level I simply wanted to be talked out of it, so thanks again.
2 months ago
I'm trying to gather more information on a few plants that sound useful for food but are considered a nuisance in my area. Curiously, I've almost never encountered these (to my knowledge), though I've lived in central/south central Minnesota my entire life. I'd harvest where they're already growing, but I don't even know of any places I can get my hands on them.
I know "invasive" can be a very inflammatory word, so I use it carefully to mean a species that is not merely non-native, but whose spread has done measurable harm to local ecology and/or agriculture. A bit like calling them "weeds"; many "weed" plants can be wonderful in their own right, but if they damage the crop on which you depend, I understand the frustration and need to control it.
The main plants I'm eyeing, which I am told are invasive - though none outright banned - by my local authorities, are:
         Caragana arborescens, Siberian pea shrub
         Elaeagnus umbellata, Autumn olive
         Cyperus esculentus, Chufa or tiger nut

Does anyone have any experience to share as to using these plants or fighting them? Pros vs cons? Can they be grown responsibly? Is it possible to keep them isolated or otherwise controlled to stop their spread? I'm also interested in other, safer edible perennials or self-seeding annuals that will grow in our very hot summer, very cold winter climate. (Geographically zone 4, but I fear our land lies in a bit of a frost pocket that might bring it down to zone 3.) Thanks for any wisdom you might send my way!
2 months ago
I have never been hugely into bread, but I get near-religious in my love for porridge. A coarse grind and long simmer sounds so much less arduous than the fine milling and intricate baking process - though I know that for many, that process is their art, which I admire. I guess I just prefer my carbs hot and mushy? Especially when butter gets involved! Perhaps I'm wrong to post this in the bread forum, but there's something to be said for boiling grains as well as baking them. Also, I'd love that mill!
7 months ago
I immediately thought catnip from the photo. Is it fuzzy? That would be a good sign. If so, it'd be fine to compost but better for tea!
Is anyone else poring through this thread with an eye to remedying pepper spray? There's too much of that flying around into faces that usually don't deserve it, so I'm hoping to come up with a kind of rapid-deploy poultice for a medic to carry. There must be a better way than just pouring liquid milk onto someone's face! I'll have a longer look through that last wikipedia link, thanks!
8 months ago
Hi, Nate! I don't know how I missed your post when I was looking for other Minnesotans in intros. I just moved from uptown Minneapolis to Clearwater; lot more land to play with but I'm a beginner as well so it gets overwhelming. I like what you've done and the fact that you're sharing it all! Thanks for giving me some ideas!
1 year ago
Hoary Alyssum. Pretty noxious as a weed, no useful qualities to my knowledge.
1 year ago