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Tag Archives: foraging

Nuts for Nuts in Nebraska

The days are getting shorter. The morning air is becoming crisper. Nature’s color show is just starting. The forest floor is beginning to be saturated with early 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, …

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DIY: Harvesting Wild Fruits and Berries in Nebraska

I always get rather impatient this time of year. Is it the hunting seasons that are forthcoming? No, not really. Then, why? Well, I am anxiously waiting to harvest elderberries. Elderberries! Ripe elderberries growing on a Sarpy County, NE farm. Elderberries are never to be eaten raw, but must be properly prepared and used in proven recipes only. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Yep. I am thinking about that tasty elderberry jelly that a buddy of mine …

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Time To Stalk Nebraska’s Wild Asparagus

Shrubs are flowering. Apple blossoms have emerged. Reliable indicators that tell 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 year, has many varieties and is a popular spring wild …

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Cure cabin fever, check your yard for wild foods this spring!

Coronavirus concerns have you pretty much confined to your home. You’re tired of sitting around the house.  Perhaps you have even been a little cabin feverish as of late. Don’t fall into despair. 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 …

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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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Anxiously Awaiting The First Morels Of The Season

Tersh Kepler of Omaha, NE is closely monitoring his yard for the appearance of dandelions. Why? Because, that will be his sign that morel mushrooms have popped up in his river bottom woods. Many folks in Nebraska are getting antsy to head to their morel mushroom picking spots along river and creek woodlands. But, when will the morels emerge? Kepler says the sprouting of dandelions in his Omaha yard will be the indicator, however,  he knows there is more to it. Whether vigilant for dandelion flowers, tree buds, blooming lilacs or flowering woodland …

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Time to Visit Mulberry Lane

Maybe it’s just the kid in me, but I love to pick and eat mulberries. Growing up on the rural western edge of Gretna, NE, my buddies and I would always bug the area farmers for permission to pick and eat ripe mulberries in their woods and along their fence rows this time of year. It marked the start of summer for us. Ah, those were the days … Fast-forward to present-day. Our mulberry trees, at least in the Omaha-metro area, have just started dropping their …

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Spring Wild Edibles: There’s More Than Morels!

“A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. The morel mushroom picking season is well underway in Nebraska. But, did you know there are other spring delicacies growing wild in the Cornhusker State’s outdoor scene? Oh yes, there sure are! Nebraska offers an abundance and diversity of edible wild plants that can be harvested in the simplest of locations, especially in the springtime. Many of these can be acquired while on a morel mushroom hunt! The spring season (April/May) truly …

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