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Tag Archives: wild edibles

Morels Aren’t the Only Edible Fungus in Spring

Along with finding and picking morel mushrooms, there is another edible wild fungus growing in your moist woodlands that you should know and consider harvesting and making for dinner — the dryad’s saddle. Dryad’s saddle? Say, what? The dryad’s saddle (Polyporus squamosus) , a.k.a., pheasant back’s mushroom, or hawks wing, is a widespread edible wild fungi that is easy to spot beginning in late April and continuing into May. Found east of the Rockies and potentially throughout Nebraska, it is a common basidiomycete bracket fungus …

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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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Morel Risotto

morel risotto

This recipe is all about the morels and adds nothing to hide their flavor. Make sure you use risotto rice as regular long-grained rice will not work. Anything labeled camaroli rice, vialone nano. Or arboria (the most widely available) will work. Quality stock is very important for risotto. Make your own or buy the best you can find. Servings: 4 Prep Time: 10 minutes    Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes Ingredients: Recipe: 1. Pour the stock and 2 cups water into a …

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Wild Foods In Your Backyard

As the trees bud, the lawns green and the flowers bloom, did you know that may have food growing in your yard, lot, garden or field? I bet you do! Now that spring has finally sprung, some of the more prolific, more accessible wild edible foods make their initial appearances. It’s when edible wild plants are at their most tender, tastiest stage. And your own backyard, garden, vacant lot, alleyway or patch of woods or prairie, could very well be the closest and most productive place you’ll find to forage this time of …

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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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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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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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