Sunday, 17 May 2015

Fruits from the Forest

This weekend my husband and I had best the culinary adventure ever!

We had been curious about learning more about foraging, and after some research I found a wonderful website called Pucks Plenty with treks fairly close to home.
And it was rated by Travel and Leisure as one of the best food foraging in the world! We had to check it out.

We were not disappointed. In fact, it far exceeded our expectations. We found and sustainably harvested all kinds of treasures that are available at this time of season. With expert knowledge and guidance from our guide, Peter Blush, we were introduced to an abundance of delicious, edible plants such a day lily stems. garlic mustard, fiddleheads and many more. We happily filled our bags and headed for home where I prepared a feast of the forest's bounty (see post: Our Forage Feast!)

There was a deep feeling of gratitude to be surrounded by nature, and be offered such delectable "fruits from the forest".

Thank you again, Mother Nature.

Here are the treasures we discovered yesterday.
Day lilies have stems that are crisp and mild tasting. Cut them off at the ground, take the outer sheath off, and eat them like celery. Wonderful with hummus or other dips!
This is what they look like when they're cut.
Garlic mustard is an invasive plant. It has a garlic, peppery flavour and is a nice accent to a salad.

Snails like them too. :)
This is called Trout Lily. A lovely, mild tasting leaf that has pale spots on the upper side, like a trout. Delicious in salads too, and can also be steamed.

Sweet little violas that make beautiful garnishes for salads!

This is called Chaga, a densely hard mushroom (you need a chisel to remove it from the tree) that is extremely nutritious. There is so much to say about this mushroom that I am including this link.

A pretty pale pink trillium.

Wild leeks which are abundant everywhere and can be harvested for another month, You can eat the leek, as well as steam the leaf although the leaves will begin to turn yellow shortly and are not as ideal.

The little wild leek bulbs. 
Trilliums blanketed the forest floor. Breath taking!

This is called the May Apple plant that produces these pretty white flowers with yellow centres that change into yellow apples about the size of  kiwis. Ready and ripe in August, get there fast because the squirrels love them too! 

The leaf of the May Apple plant.

A mushroom called The Pheasant Back Mushroom. If you cut it razor thin, and sauté it with butter, it's quite nice. The smaller the mushroom, the more tender. Otherwise, cut the outer edge of a large one. 

More photos of the Pheasant Back Mushroom

How idylic is this??  

Trilliums here, there and everywhere!

We stopped at a beautiful hobby farm that had free range eggs, and some adorable animals. 

And then off to the last leg of our hike where we collected nettles.

These are called Wood Nettles and they really sting! Make sure you have thick gloves to picks them. They redeem this feature by offering wonderful flavour in a variety of dishes, and teas.

Fiddlehead ferns! This delicacy is such a treat. Pick them when they are nice and tight, before expanding out and becoming furry. 

This pretty plant is called Marsh Marigolds. You can eat both the flower and leaf, although it is best to leave the flower so the plant can regenerate. Steamed, they have a nice mild flavour. 

On our way home we found a huge wild lilac bush! Couldn't resist bring a bouquet of these beauties home.


  1. Wow! That's amazing! What an incredible workshop and tour! So much to learn! That's really neat. I would have loved to have joined. I took a little foraging workshop here too, last fall. However so many things I wouldn't trust myself to remember and identify the plants properly without the guidance so I haven't never really gone foraging on my own. I did find fiddleheads by the canals though; too bad the area is polluted. Your wild produce looks beautiful though!

  2. Thank you for your kind comments, Meg!