Spring Foraging

For the past few years, I’ve been learning about foraging. I think it was 2018 when I got really comfortable working with dandelions–I made salves, syrup, lip balm and cookies. (They seemed to be a nice gateway. 🙂 ) I had been reading online articles, and watching some Youtubers–but, not much else. 2020 really kicked me into high gear though, as my schedule cleared and outdoor activities became much more important. I ordered a few books for my personal library, downloaded an identification app, and started following a bunch of Instagramers for more knowledge and constant inspiration. I even enrolled in a couple Herbalism classes to help me learn more about creating with the things I find. (Have I finished yet though–nope. 😉 )

Now, here I am, in 2021, and my comfort level with identifying, and using, foraged goods has dramatically increased and is something that excites me beyond measure. Never in my life has Spring, and thawing, excited me so much. (I’m a Fall/Winter type of gal.)

I’m not here to sell you on foraging, or tell you you should try it. It’s not for everyone. I’m also not here to teach identification, or foraging etiquette. I’m comfortable with what I know, and am learning–but, not comfortable enough to teach. The resources are out there though–and great teachers are ready to teach. 🙂

I AM here to show off a bit of what I’m doing, hopefully inspire you if you’re already curious, and maybe share a recipe or two. 🙂 (In FACT…my next blog will be a fantastic recipe for Ramp butter.) If you have questions–I encourage you to ask. I will tell you all I know, and then share resources of where you can learn more.

Anyway, this Spring, I’ve been busy. I’m hiking almost weekly and spending a lot of time searching, and exploring. KNOWING what I’m looking for really helps. It’s like a constant treasure hunt. (As opposed to when I randomly look at plants, and THEN try to identify.) ((And, hiking weekly does NOT mean I’m foraging weekly–it just means I’m identifying weekly.))

Right now, for me–it’s all about the Ramps and Fiddleheads. Ramps are amazing–they’re almost like an onion without all the painful eye onion stuff, mixed with a hint of garlic. They are savory and and can go in anything you would add onions or garlic to. Fiddleheads are basically another green veggie–they have a light asparagus flavor, again, they’re easy to use in almost anything.

Fiddleheads, that were boiled, and then sautéed in butter with chopped Ramps–along with cheese makes up a beautiful, and tasty, omelet.
More Fiddleheads added to fried rice. They taste a bit like a lighter flavored asparagus.
My mom and I exploring a patch of Ramps. Photo courtesy of my Aunt.
Not at all related to the other images…BUT, this shot is from last week’s hike, and in this moment it felt like magic. So, I had to share.
Not related either…but this is also what happens somedays when I’m out there. Somedays, I slip in mud on the riverbank and soak myself for the rest of the hike. Thankfully, I was pulled back to safety quickly and I didn’t stink too badly. 🙂

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