Cheer Up, Its Almost Fiddlehead Time!   2 comments

“Come in, come in,” calls Stinking John!  And, we know its Spring!

Hey, look over here! 

Fiddlehead mounds!  Thousands of them!

Each mound will produce a bouquet of ferns.  In just a few weeks, the brown papery covering will give way to the sprouting fiddleheads.  There’s a bit of green peeking through, already.  Now’s the time to hunt the mounds; because when they pop, Ostrich ferns will grow up to six inches a day.  Since we want to pick them before they reach six inches, a day can make all the difference in the world.

Find the mounds by looking for old growth.  Even after the harshest Winter, the fertile fronds will remain standing; and are very helpful in locating Ostrich Fern stands.

Pteretis pensylvanica  likes to grow near water; around Skunk Cabbage, Stinking Johns, Ash and Willow.  That brown papery covering is how you know they are fiddleheads.

They make a great side dish; steamed, with butter.  We’ve eaten them in stir fry,casseroles, and tempura; YUM.  They sell in the market for between $8 and $11 a pound.  And, they are carbon free.  No fossile fuels are used to gather or transport this bounty (unless you drive to get them!).  Last year we ate many and froze about 10 pounds of fiddleheads. I estimate it takes about 1 hr to pick, clean and process each pound of heads. 

Foraging is a great way to nourish mind, body and spirit.   We’ll come back and visit, Ostrich Fern, often, over the next few weeks.  Oh my goodness, my mouth is watering!  See you next time, Jack In The Pulpit!

Thanks for stopping by.

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2 responses to “Cheer Up, Its Almost Fiddlehead Time!

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  1. Loved your blog. Do you know where they grow in Marin ca? Don’t know where u are? Thanks so much!

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