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Tag Archives: foraging

Nuts for Nuts in Nebraska!

Nature’s fantastic color show is emerging in the west and north. To me, that means the forest floor will soon be saturated with autumn leaf matter as well as something else — nuts! Freshly fallen black walnuts on the forest floor along a creek bottom in southeastern Nebraska woodlands. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. One of the reasons to take a long walk in the woods during autumn is to gather some delicious, nutritious, wild or homegrown …

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Foraging for Wild Fruits and Berries in Nebraska

I always get rather impatient this time of year. Is it because of the weather being so hot, humid and hazy? No. Is it that the hunting seasons are just around the bend? No. Then, why? Well, I am a gatherer, a prairie wanderer – if you will, and I am anxiously waiting to harvest elderberries during these dog days of summer. Here I am checking out wild elderberries for ripeness on a Saunders County, NE farm in mid August. …

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Stalking Nebraska’s Wild Asparagus

The apple blossoms have emerged. Why is that important? It is a reliable indicator that tells me I now will find one of my most valued vegetables in Nebraska’s rural landscape — wild asparagus. Apple blossoms. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Sure enough, I was right! Wild asparagus emerging in early May in eastern Nebraska. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Wild asparagus, a hardy plant that comes back from the same root system every …

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Morels Aren’t The Only Edible Mushroom In Spring

Topside photo of a dryad’s saddle, a.k.a. pheasant’s back or hawks wing, in Nebraska. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Hey, what’s that mushroom? Hmmm … Wonder if it’s edible? Along with finding and picking morel mushrooms, there is another edible wild fungi growing in your moist woodlands that you should know and consider harvesting and making for dinner — the dryad’s saddle. Dryad’s saddle? The dryad’s saddle (Polyporus squamosus) , a.k.a., pheasant’s back mushroom, or hawk’s wing, is …

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The Stuff Growing In Your Yard That You Can Eat

You have just read the title to this blog and you’re thinking ‘Whoa, Wagner is way off base with this one!’ PL-EASE … Allow me to explain. Now that spring has finally sprung, some of the more prolific, more accessible wild edible foods will soon begin to make their initial appearances … in your yard! No kidding! This is the time of year when when edible wild plants emerge and they are their most tender, tastiest stage. Know that your …

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Anxiously Awaiting The First Morels Of The Season

Tersh Kepler of Omaha, NE is pumped. Really pumped! You see, Tersh is one of the Midwest’s foremost experts on morel mushroom hunting and he says the conditions are aligning for what could be a spectacular morel mushroom hunting year. Even though Nebraska’s landscape has been dry and is still technically in a drought, he highlights three reasons for predicting what might be a banner year for morels. “First, we’re two years after a major flood on river bottoms when …

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Winter Wild Edibles in Nebraska

Foraging for wild foods on a cold, snowy day in Nebraska’s wintry landscape is an interesting and enjoyable outdoor activity. After all, foraging doesn’t have to be a fair-weather activity, right? But, let’s get this straight: Foraging for wild plant foods in winter is not easy. It’s tough, it’s rough, it’s cold, it is hard work. Frigid temperatures, snow cover and low-light add to the difficulty. Winter foraging can sometimes be about slim-pickings, too. However, if you have basic knowledge of specific …

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Some Wild Foods Of The Yard

The lawns are greening. The flowers will soon be blooming. And the trees will be budding before you know it. But, let me ask you a question: Did you know you that you may have food growing right under your feet in your yard, lot, garden, acreage or field edge? Yep! Most likely, you do! Now that spring has finally sprung, some of the more prolific, more accessible wild edible foods will soon begin to make their initial appearances. It’s …

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Five Favorite Wild Plant Foods of Fall

It’s autumn. Much precipitation has fallen already. It’s heavy sweatshirt weather. It’s the season for football and pumpkin-spiced everything. And, it’s time to pick pumpkins and harvest the last of the tender crops from your vegetable garden. But, did you know that that beyond that pumpkins, the squash and the tomatoes, fall marks the time of year for gathering and preparing tasty edible wild plants (or parts thereof) from wild places? Sure does. The landscape that surrounds us in Nebraska is actually more lush with wild …

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Fighting the Fear Factor of Foraging for Fall Fungi

Tell someone you hunt mushrooms in the fall, and they’ll utter phrases like: “Are you crazy, do you really know what you’re picking?” “Why do you want to do that, aren’t you scared that you might pick and eat a poisonous one?” “You don’t eat those (fall mushrooms) surely, do you?” Statistics related to the frequency of mushroom poisonings are hard to come by, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. While the federal agency says the poisoning …

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