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Tag Archives: wild edibles

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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Nuts for Nuts!

The air is crisp and clean. It is permeated with the musty scent of autumn. The leaves of the hardwood trees are changing into their brilliant fall plumage. There is no better time to be in the woods, really. Just ask Mike Groenwold, Park Horticulturist at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. He says one of the reasons to take a long walk in the woods during autumn is to gather some delicious, nutritious, wild nuts. I wholeheartedly agree! And yes, we …

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Fall for Fungi

There is a different kind of hunting that can be done in the fall. It is not the hunting of game (wildlife) that quickly comes to mind. It is a quieter, mellower form of hunting. It could be included in the fun tales of witches and goblins in the woods during the Halloween season. It is a hunt though for a more mysterious wild delicacy that arrives with autumn’s cool rains. It is edible wild fungi! Autumn mushroom hunting in …

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It’s Corndog Season!

corndogMODCrop

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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Nature’s Fruit Market is Open!

Who needs to buy fruit at the supermarket, 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, 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 and used as toppings on …

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Nebraska’s Hidden Fruit: The Sand Cherry

I’m all about wild edibles, especially wild fruits, and they are a prominent feature of Nebraska in the summertime. One of the not-so-common wild fruits to harvest in early summer is actually one of my favorites – the sand cherry. And, some are ripe! The western sand cherry, Prunus besseyi, is a native plant. It is a low shrub and a member of the rose family, Rosaceae. This plant was first identified and given a Latin name by botanist Charles Edwin Bessey (1845-1915). …

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Visit Mulberry Lane

Gosh, I love to pick and eat mulberries. C’mon, who doesn’t, right? I guess it’s the Nebraska kid in me (and many of us) who like to do that! Growing up on the western edge of Gretna, NE, my buddies and I would hike the nearby woods and seek out those mulberry trees with their ripe, sweet, dark purple fruit from mid June to early July. I fondly recall the days of having purple feet, hands, lips and tongue. What a blast it was (and still is) to take …

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Plum Wild, Good and Ready!

We’re deep into our Nebraska summer and that means one thing regarding wild edibles — tasty, ripe plums! Have you checked your rural wild plum thickets yet? You should. The deep hues of purples, red and yellows are now apparent on the wild plum trees growing on my buddy’s farm in eastern Nebraska long the Elkhorn River. Look closely. You’ll know when the wild plums are ready for harvest because their flesh will be firm, but somewhat soft when pinched and they’ll almost drop from the thicket with the barest touch or …

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