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Posted May 28, 2013 by forageporage in Uncategorized

Versatile Violets   Leave a comment

Forageporage's Blog

Violet leaves can be eaten fresh in salad; as a cooked green, as a soup thickener, or dried for tea or tincturing.  Violet flowers can be eaten fresh, candied, frozen in ice cubes, made into jam or dried for tea or tincturing.

These beauties were destined for a bottle of good vodka; to make violet extract/tincture.  I use the tincture to flavor drinks, cakes, cookies and muffins; as well as medicinally, as a tonic.  “Viola odorata  has long been used for coughs, skin conditions, rheumatism, urinary problems and as an anti-cancer herb” (1), making it ideal for me.  I squirt about 4mls tincture into a cup of tea, every day.  And, it’s yummy!  This year I’m looking forward to making violet jam with the recipe from Blanche Cybele Derby’s DVD“Edible plants: Wild + Tame” (Spring)”. (2) 

To make this tincture I combined 8 ounces of…

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Posted May 13, 2013 by forageporage in Uncategorized

Nettle Me This!   Leave a comment

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What is green, full of beneficial phytochemicals, helps clear toxins from the body, boosts immunity, relieves inflammation, makes hair and skin radiant, tastes wonderful and packs a zing?

Give up?  Can’t touch this!

 Some years ago, while walking the Old Mill Trail in Hinsdale, MA, with my daughter, we came upon a patch of a somewhat familiar looking plant.  Although neither of us could immediately identify them, we both felt like we recognized what it was, yet could not pull up the name.  Walking closer, I reached out saying, “It’s. . . .um. . .maybe. . .” and as I touched a leaf, I sang out, loudly, “STINGING NETTLES!”  We both laughed, realizing that is NOT the way to identify a plant, no matter what you think it is!  Since then, I have not touched another plant, no matter what I “think” it is, until I am absolutely certain of…

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Posted May 13, 2013 by forageporage in Uncategorized

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Posted May 13, 2013 by forageporage in Uncategorized

Eating Forsythia?!?!?!?!   Leave a comment

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Did you know that Forsythia, Forsythia spp., flowers are edible?  I didn’t, either; until I watched the DVD:

“Edible plants: Wild + Tame” (Spring) by Blanche Cybele Derby.  (1)


 In the video Derby suggests using the flowers in salad.  I had never heard of such a thing, so began to do further research.  Indeed the flowers are edible and can be used fresh in salads.   I, also, found an interesting recipe for Forsythia syrup! (2)  The plant is, also, used in Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory and to reduce fever.  Forsythia is the common name for any member of the small genus Forsythia (which is also it’s Latin name) of the family Oleaceae ( olive family).

Feeling confident in this new knowledge I decided to give Forsythia flowers a try.  It’s important to remember that any new food can cause an allergic reaction; weather prepared in a restaurant, purchased in…

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Posted April 19, 2013 by forageporage in Uncategorized

Liquid Sunshine, Dandelion Tea!   Leave a comment

Dandytime! YES!

Forageporage's Blog


Nothing says spring like the first, tall glass of iced Liquid Sunshine, Dandelion tea.  As if it’s delightful, honey, floral flavor weren’t enough, Dandelion,Taraxacum officinale, tea is very beneficial.


“The name of the genus, Taraxacum, is derived from the Greek taraxos (disorder), and akos (remedy), on account of the curative action of the plant. A possible alternative derivation of Taraxacum is suggested in, “The Treasury of Botany: ‘The generic name is possibly derived from the Greek taraxo (“I have excited” or “caused”) and achos (pain), in allusion to the medicinal effects of the plant. The use of this tea is efficacious in bilious affections, and is also much approved of in the treatment of dropsy.” (1) 

And, its delicious!


While all parts are edible, Dandelion flowers are my favorite.  Truth is, I don’t care for the greens; much, at all!  There, I’ve said…

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Posted April 19, 2013 by forageporage in Uncategorized

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While out digging Sassafras, Sassafras albidum, roots, a woman stopped, along her way.

She asked, “What are you doing?”

I answered, twig in mouth, “Making tea!”

With a cheerful, “REALLY” she came on over, to investigate; full of questions!  We had a fun, show and tell, session.  I offered her a meristem (young, still growing, stem), to sample, explaining that it was my favorite toothbrush, and delicious.   She hesitated, asking, “Um. . .doesn’t Sassafrass. . .umm. . . . cause cancer?”

Ah, the urban legends.  Yes, there was a medical study showing a link between Safrole, a component of  Sassafras extract, and cancer in laboratory animals.  The rodents were fed large amounts of this essential oil found in Sassafras.  In my thinking, this study is  irrelevant for two reasons.

First, it would be nearly impossible to consume an equivalent amount of Safrole, to make a comparison; even if I drank several cups of tea…

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Posted October 5, 2012 by forageporage in Uncategorized