Finally! I have been crazy busy ever since I started taking dance classes, my goodness! I had a diary post that I had written last week and only, um, got to hitting the post button today! Oopsy...
Ah well, last week at work I got in a bit of foraging, mainly gathering 2 tiny plastic sandwich baggies full of Strawberry leaves, with a bit of Dock, Dandelion and Wood Sorrel thrown in.
After the long weekend at work, Tuesday had me hankering to go foraging, but time wouldn't allow it. Finally, finally, I made some time to go for a quick foraging jaunt close-by at Bellefield.
And when I mean made time, I mean I had all of about an hour or so, not more.
When I had linked up to the plants the other day, they said that lawn mower had passed by. Sure enough, parking my bike, I noticed cut grass.
Walking along the path, I went to see if Nettle was still there. Oh mama, two lovely Nettle patches growing by the side of the water! And since they had been mowed a few months prior (no, not this time around thank goodness), only a few of the plants had gone into baby-seed making stage. Those I saved for the next pesto recipe ;)
No worries, however, because after about 20 minutes of giving both patches a good haircut, I had to stuff two large paper bags full! Yep, they'll be lots of Nettle infusions (and some Nettle added to the soup pot) in my future :)
Growing right close to Nettle along the water, I noticed tons of Jewelweed in bloom. Although I reached out and touched a flower, I didn't dare to tarry too long after spotting 3 mosquitoes on my arm. Yep, guess my blood is still as tasty as ever ;)
I crossed the bridge and went to check up on Red Clover.
Now that September is here, I didn't expect to find tons of flowers, but I was still hoping to get in a small harvest.
And that was exactly what I found.
In fact, since some of the plants on the left side of the field had been mowed in previous months, those plants were now thriving with lush green leaves, flowers yet to arrive. I therefore harvested a good bunch of leaves (which I dry and add to the soup pot) and collected about 2 dehydrator trays full of flowers.
And collecting those flowers, it was HOT. So hot, it was one of those days when the sweat was dripping down my face, and all I was doing was hunching over, collecting flowers.
I didn't notice too many bugs this time around, but a huge spider caught my eye on one of the more viable Red Clover blossoms. I made sure to leave that one alone ;)
I also noticed a Grass Hopper, so interesting these jumping insects, same coloring as the grass, so well they blend in. He was hovering there on the green stem of a Red Clover and when he sensed I was about to reach over and pinch the blossom off, off he popped and jumped away!
Nope, no time to take a pic, and to be honest, the only pics I took were of a tall 5 foot plus Evening Primrose plant. There were a few other Evening Primrose plants about, but this one was tall and wide. FYI: good vid on plant identification and facts HERE.
Leaves are bitter but edible, good for the soup pot or to add to smoothies. Flowers are also edible. Of course, what are really valued are the seeds, high in omega 3 rich fatty acids. The seed pods dry in the fall, so you can collect the seeds, then crush them and add to soups, smoothies, juices, cereal, etc. Gives me an idea to try adding some in a no-bake cookie recipe. I'll have to wait a bit more for that, next month in October they should be ready. Didn't think to take any leaves or flowers, but then, I was pressed for time.
Speaking of seeds, when I reached down and collected a few Plantain leaves, I noticed that some of the dark brown seeds fell to the ground. Yes, Plantain seeds are edible, just like Chia and Flax seeds. Wish I had time to collect some, hopefully next time around.
I did collect a few Bull Thistle seeds, to be used just like Milk Thistle seeds. Let's just say when you are collecting them, you want to bring your awareness to the task at hand, because Thistles are way prickly. The seeds are attached to the fluffy white bit in the middle, much like Dandelion seeds in the spring --- where all you see are white fluffy puff balls flying around.
When I pulled up on some of the fluff, there were no seeds, but others had plenty. The fun part I'm not looking forward to is separating fluff ball from seed ;()
Hopefully I'll be able to visit Buckthorn Woods next week and find more Thistle seeds. Also, looking to collect Goldenrod, as all the Goldenrod at Bellefield had already turned brown. Yep, here where I live, late August is usually the best time to go collecting Goldenrod, but I'm thinking there might still be some late bloomers around :)
Would be nice to go back to Bellefield soon, as before I dashed back home to prepare for dance class, I walked along the path to check up on the other Nettle patches that had been mowed down last time I came. Sure enough, good ol' Nettle, nice young plants ready for sharing the love energy! Well, the first patch anyway, the other patch seemed not to have as many plants...
Also hoping to collect some Rose hips to make a facial oil. Now is a good time, maybe even some for a Rose jelly!
Ah, plans for this and that, and the end of season harvest! I didn't even mention gathering up any roots, but I suppose I'll add that to be foragin' list :)
Weather has been hot and humid, and all plants in balcony garden doing well. In fact, mums now have buds (despite the weather, they know, they KNOW), so fall must be on the way...
Which means, many more foraging adventures ahead, now to clock my time better, sunshine, and soak up all that brightness :)
Curiosity Got The Cat: