Neighborhood Identification Walk   1 comment

A simple walk around the block can reveal many surprises.  Identification is the first step in foraging.  Before I gather anything I identify, verify and cross reference.  Every walk, excursion or trip becomes a search mission.

Look, there’s two of my favorites; Goldenrod (bottom) and Sumac (on top).  Although they are both past time to forage, it’s good to know where they are, for when the time is right.  These are close to the road so I wouldn’t forage them, anyway.  And, the property is posted No Tresspassing.  So, this is a double no-no!  It doesn’t hurt to look and take pix; though!

In Edible Wild Plants, Peterson notes that Sweet Goldenrod is found from “Mo., Ohio, N.Y., s. N.H. south to Texas and Fla.”  I took these photos in Central Vermont; go figure!  Goldenrod makes wonderful tea.  When I was gathering it the flowers weren’t yet open.  So, this grey haired beauty is long past gathering; at least this year.  Knowing your foragables in all seasons insures preparedness for peak gathering.

The winter sillouette of Staghorn Sumac makes it easy to spot.  Long after the leaves are gone the fruit clusters remain. Peterson tells us that varieties of Sumac can be found from “Nova Scotia to Texas”.  Keep in mind that the fruit of Poision Sumac is white and you want red fruit.

Although some of the fruits still look good; most are greying and spent looking.  Also, the recent rains have removed most of the acid, which makes Sumac a delicious drink.  It’s great fun to gather and process as it makes your fingers taste like Pixie Stix!

There’s a nice patch of Coltsfoot.  Gathered in the late spring and early summer, Coltsfoot flowers and leaves contain a good amount of zinc and make a great cough syrup.  Peterson estimates it’s range to be, “South to Ohio,  Penn., and N.J.”  So, I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to gather this valuable Wildflower.

Oh, Horseradish!  If only I could dig here!  Peterson tell us horseradish is found, “Throughout”.  That means I can dig it, he can dig, she can dig it, we can dig out; Oh let’s dig it, can you dig it, Baby!

During the winter months I’ll come back and detail each of these beauties; and all the other goodies I’ve had the honor of gathering.   It’s been a prosperous and grandly rewarding year of learning.  Now with snow flying I get to revisit it all, with you.  Thanks for stopping by.  Green Blessings Ya’ll!


 Lee Allen Peterson. PETERSON FIELD GUIDES Edible Wild Plants.

Houghton Mifflin. 1977


One response to “Neighborhood Identification Walk

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  1. Hello, Thank you so much. My Theme is: Andrea by Lucian E. Marin
    Please come back and visit, often. Happy Thanksgiving!

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