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Tag Archives: foraging

Foraging for Edible Wild Plants (or Parts Thereof) in Winter

Wait, what? Foraging for Edible Wild Plants (or Parts Thereof) in Winter, seriously? Yup! Trust me. Don’t stop reading. Stay with me here. Gathering wild foods in Nebraska IS NOT … I repeat IS NOT just a spring, summer or fall outdoor activity, it can be done in winter. And I have done it successfully. If I can do it, you can do it! Plus foraging this time of year it helps beat the winter blues or  what is referred …

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6 Favorite Wild Foods of Fall

It’s autumn. 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 beyond the pumpkins, the squash and the tomatoes, fall marks the time of year for gathering and preparing tasty fare from wild places? Sure does. The landscape that surrounds us in Nebraska is actually more lush with wild edible material during autumn than …

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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, and I am anxiously waiting to harvest elderberries during these dog days of summer. However, it’s not quite time yet. Here I am checking out wild elderberries for ripeness on a Saunders County, NE farm in …

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Fun to pick, good to eat; mulberries offer much summer fun!

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 neighbors and farmers for permission to pick and eat ripe mulberries along their woodland edges and fencelines this time of year. It marked the start of summer for us. Ah, those were the days … Mulberries on the tree. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks …

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It’s Time to Stalk 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. The wild asparagus harvest season almost always overlaps with the emergence of apple blossoms in my eastern Nebraska area. Apple blossoms. Photo by Greg Wagner/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. Sure enough, I was right! Wild asparagus emerging in mid May in eastern Nebraska. Photo by Greg …

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What to know about the morel mushroom hunting season that has begun

Good news … The morel mushroom hunting season has begun! Morels are now being found near dead and decaying hardwood trees like cottonwoods and elms in moist eastern Nebraska river bottom woodlands. Tersh Kepler of Omaha is Nebraska’s morel mushroom hunting expert with more than 50 years of experience and he points out there are some important things to know about morel mushroom hunting before venturing to the woods. Kepler found early season morels with the arrival of May and …

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Spring’s Other Tasty Edible Mushroom: The Dryad’s Saddle

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 (Cerioporus squamosus, formerly known as Polyporus squamosus), and referred to as …

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When to Expect the First Morel Mushrooms of the Season

Tersh Kepler of Omaha, NE, one of the Midwest’s foremost morel mushroom hunting experts, is hoping for two things these early spring days: More what he calls “liquid gold” and rays from BOB in the sky. The “liquid gold” would be more measurable precipitation in the form of rain and the rays from BOB would be warmth provided by the big orange ball in the sky, the sun. Kepler says the conditions are still dry at this point in Nebraska …

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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. However, it’s not quite time yet. Here I am checking out wild elderberries for ripeness on a Saunders …

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