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first wild edibles of spring

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  • first wild edibles of spring

    I was out yesterday hauling up a few buckets of water from the river and noticed some lovely green/red shoots popping out from the earth. Sure enough the fireweed are starting to grow! They are only 1/2 to an inch tall, but they are there and soon there will tons more everywhere. I picked a handful of the tiny shoots and added them to my spaghetti sauce just before serving. Soon instead of just adding a little flavor they will turn into a huge side dish. Looking forward to a wild green salad or stir fry and grayling dinner! Hopefully soon.

    What's popping up in your neighborhood?
    Grandma Lori
    If God had intended us to follow recipes,
    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

  • #2
    Grandma

    I love wild greens, but I've never thought of eating Fireweed. I know my wifes Grandmother use to make Honey out of it, but that was all. What does it taste like and do you eat them as cooked greens, or raw like a salad? I grew up eating dandilion greens and fiddle heads. I've heard there were fiddleheads in Alaska, but I've never come accross any. Wonder which river banks have them?

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    • #3
      I took a walk up the lake yesterday and collected a bunch of wild chive. They sure are good fresh.
      JOHN

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      • #4
        Originally posted by chico99645 View Post
        Grandma

        I love wild greens, but I've never thought of eating Fireweed. I know my wifes Grandmother use to make Honey out of it, but that was all. What does it taste like and do you eat them as cooked greens, or raw like a salad? I grew up eating dandilion greens and fiddle heads. I've heard there were fiddleheads in Alaska, but I've never come accross any. Wonder which river banks have them?
        Most all of them do. I know that the little su and kings river both have them. Enjoy.
        It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

        http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

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        • #5
          Thanks, I guess its time to start checking.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by chico99645 View Post
            Grandma

            I love wild greens, but I've never thought of eating Fireweed. I know my wifes Grandmother use to make Honey out of it, but that was all. What does it taste like and do you eat them as cooked greens, or raw like a salad? I grew up eating dandilion greens and fiddle heads. I've heard there were fiddleheads in Alaska, but I've never come across any. Wonder which river banks have them?


            I am not sure where to find the fiddle heads as I haven't seen much of them up my way North of AK range. I've had some that a friend harvested and they sure are some good eat'ens and I wish we had some of those where I live.

            Fireweed are great when they first pop up out of the ground till they are about 3-5 inches high and their leaves start to unfold. After that they become stringy and tough.

            They are really good chopped up and stir fried with just about anything or added to gravies and sauces. They are also delicious lightly stir fried whole in butter & a pinch of sugar like asparagus. Also very tasty just chopped up raw and mixed in with other greens such as a bit of leaf lettuce, Chard or kale for a fresh salad.

            Later in the summer fireweed flowers make a fantastic jelly!
            Grandma Lori

            If God had intended us to follow recipes,
            He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Alaska Grandma View Post

              I am not sure where to find the fiddle heads as I haven't seen much of them up my way North of AK range. I've had some that a friend harvested and they sure are some good eat'ens and I wish we had some of those where I live.

              Fireweed are great when they first pop up out of the ground till they are about 3-5 inches high and their leaves start to unfold. After that they become stringy and tough.

              They are really good chopped up and stir fried with just about anything or added to gravies and sauces. They are also delicious lightly stir fried whole in butter & a pinch of sugar like asparagus. Also very tasty just chopped up raw and mixed in with other greens such as a bit of leaf lettuce, Chard or kale for a fresh salad.

              Later in the summer fireweed flowers make a fantastic jelly!
              Grandma Lori
              Thank You for sharing, thats some great information.

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              • #8
                if you live in an area that has ferns. look to the dried plants from last year.expose the base of the plant and monitor every
                few days as the new growth breaks the surface. once they look like a fiddle head they are ready picking.
                birch stands are a decent place to look. if you are searching tundra type areas they seem to require shade.
                i'm not sure how these plants grow. to be on the safe side i take only about 50% of growth, with the idea the plant has enough
                to come back the following year. seems to work ok

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bhday View Post
                  if you live in an area that has ferns. look to the dried plants from last year.expose the base of the plant and monitor every
                  few days as the new growth breaks the surface. once they look like a fiddle head they are ready picking.
                  birch stands are a decent place to look. if you are searching tundra type areas they seem to require shade.
                  i'm not sure how these plants grow. to be on the safe side i take only about 50% of growth, with the idea the plant has enough
                  to come back the following year. seems to work ok
                  I've picked up many 5 gallon buckets worth as I grew up as a kid in northern maine. As I dont fish the rivers in Early Spring therefore I just didn't realize they grew in Alaska. Also, the best way to clean them is to place them in an old tumble dryer with no heat so they separate from the brown husk. After that, a quick rinse and they are ready to cook up with potatoes and a few ham hocks or fat back. MMMMMMM Or you can blanch and freeze them, or just can them with a little salt and water.

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                  • #10
                    had some last night with dinner. cooked them up with a couple of buds of devils club. I wish I would have picked more.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mallardman View Post
                      had some last night with dinner. cooked them up with a couple of buds of devils club. I wish I would have picked more.
                      I'm working on the GOA my wife emailed last night and said they had fiddlehead and devils club fritters for supper. Not to many even know you can eat devils club.
                      Chuck

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                      • #12
                        USES OF DEVILS CLUB SO IT'S SAID. Anyone use it for any of these conditions?

                        TAKEN BY MOUTH:


                        Arthritis.
                        Wounds.
                        Fever.
                        Tuberculosis.
                        Stomach trouble.
                        Coughs.
                        Colds.
                        Pneumonia.
                        Diabetes.
                        Low blood sugar.
                        Emptying the bowels.
                        Causing vomiting.
                        Other conditions.

                        APPLIED TO THE SKIN:

                        Swollen glands.
                        Boils.
                        Sores.
                        Skin infections.
                        Other conditions.
                        JOHN

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                        • #13
                          If you strip the bark off the roots (in the fall or winter) then use that for tea it will clear upa cold real quick. It is also a stimulent so it works as well if not better than coffee. The bud are a bit strong but can add a nice flavor to certain dishes. My freinds mom used to make a salve out of it for cuts and scrapes, it works as good as neosporen.

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                          • #14
                            Wish I had seen this earlier. Several places I've picked tons of fiddleheads: Down near the beach in Valdez in early summer; along the trails to Caines Head in Seward; and back in the woods in Portage Valley. I think they're mostly a late spring/early summer thing, but when we have a cold spring they seem to show up later, particularly when you get up in elevation in shady areas. Fiddleheads are tastier than just about any vegetable in my book. Pan cook them with a bit of butter, some garlic and black pepper and you will be amazed. Delicious.

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                            • #15
                              We've been enjoying lambsquarter lately, (part of the spinach family) in just about everything. They are still small 5-8 inches tall and very tender. I like to pick then before they start to go to seed. A good handful or 2 chopped in spaghetti, sauces, soups really add a nice flavor and also adds a ton of vitamins. Good raw in salads as well. Been thinking it's about time to gather a bunch and dry it for winter use.

                              I'm also checking out the local wild mustard...The greens as well as the little yellow flower buds are very tasty.

                              Happy Gathering,
                              Grandma Lori
                              If God had intended us to follow recipes,
                              He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

                              Comment

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