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Tag Archives: wild edibles

Springtime Foraging: The Dryad’s Saddle

While there will be more chilly, frosty nights — and yes, most likely, more snow — in the Nebraska countryside over the next several weeks, it is safe to say that spring is coming! So, in advance of those days exhibiting warm sunshine, calm breezes and moist conditions, there is a widespread edible, palatable fungi that you need to know. Along with finding and picking morel mushrooms, there is the dryad’s saddle to harvest in your favorite woodlands. Dryad’s saddle? The Dryad’s saddle (Polyporus squamosus) , a.k.a., pheasant back’s mushroom, or hawks wing, is …

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Winter Wild Edibles

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’s 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 plants, bundle up and put forth the effort …

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Foraging for Fall Fungi

It’s very unfair. Spring and its morel mushrooms get all the limelight, but hard-core nature enthusiasts in Nebraska know that autumn rains deliver a mushroom bounty in the woods that’s far more diverse, robust and rewarding. Fall mushroom hunting offers a bunch of benefits, and not just for fairy tale goblins and witches! It offers a refreshing, cool walk in the woods amid fall foliage colors, a chance to better understand forest ecology, and an opportunity to see a variety of woodland wildlife, as …

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Best Fall Wild Edibles: Roots

Root coffee

During the fall and into the winter months, some of the best edibles are available. After the edibles of summer are gone, the roots of several plants can be utilized. Dandelion Root Dandelions (Taraxacum) grow from a long taproot. A first-year plant will have a root similar to that of a parsnip, bearing a light color and its flesh almost uniform when cross sectioned. An older plant’s root surface, however, is rougher and darkens to a brown color. These roots …

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Wild about Nebraska Fruits and Berries

Who needs to buy fruit at the store, when nature’s fruit market is open for business, at no charge, right? In Nebraska, from a general standpoint, we are either at or nearing the time when many edible wild, native fruits and berries, packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and tasty to the tongue, are ready to be picked! There are so many things you can do with wild fruits and berries. They can be eaten directly in the field, or taken home …

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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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Stalking Nebraska’s Wild Asparagus

Morel mushrooms may be the heart of foraging activity now in Nebraska, but the spring gathering of wild plants in the countryside for the table goes well beyond fungi. Consider, wild asparagus. Tender, succulent and with a flavor zest that combines subtle sweetness and slight bitterness, asparagus growing in the countryside doesn’t taste anything like the asparagus from the produce section of your large supermarket! Wild asparagus has high nutritional value. It is about as Paleo as it gets. Whether cooked or eaten raw, it is …

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Waiting for Morels? Try Dandelions!

While you’re waiting for those succulent morel mushrooms to pop up in size and number, there’s another spring wild edible nearby that you should harvest and eat. What is it? Well, it’s growing in your yard. Any ideas? It is the dandelion! No, don’t stop reading the blog, bear with me here, please. Look, I know that dandelion is the scourge of yards, lots, flower beds, gardens and fields this time of year here in Nebraska. But that scourge – (Taraxacum officinale) – …

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Early Season Morels

It is the time of year when folklore and science start to collide. But, about what?  I’ll tell you what. Morel mushrooms! The two aspects of nature begin to clash bout the emergence of the prized, delectable morel mushroom. So, let the coffee shop conversations and the biological banter move forward! Morel mushroom in Elkhorn River bottom woodlands in Sarpy County, NE. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. These are just some of nature’s triggers that prompt longtime gatherers of the succulent …

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It’s Corndog Season!


I am not a big fan of hot dogs, but I kind of have a hankering for corndogs.  Everyone knows the best corndogs are the freshly-dipped, deep-fat-fried ones at the fair.  If you have yourself a fair corndog and a big, freshly-squeezed, cherry lime-aide, well, life don’t get no better than that! Just recently my buddy Ron taught me something about corndogs that I never knew!  Apparently, they grow along the edges of Nebraska waterbodies.  Here is his explanation: Mother Nature …

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