The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Foraging is the next, and perhaps most natural, food frontier

Foraging is the next, and perhaps most natural, food frontier

David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 173
Yes, violets are edible but always be positive about your identification. I occasionally throw a few leaves and flowers in my salad. They are pretty good but not quite on par with nasturtium.

A former member
Post #: 128
It seems to me that once foraging moves from picking for personal use to collecting for profit the trouble starts. They have been collecting fiddleheads down the road for quite a few days now and I'm wondering how long you can harvest before the plant is weakened. That is the problem I have with the Damariscotta mushroom company. I am sure that many of their pickers are careful to not overpick, but when you've got pickers bringing in mushrooms for profit, no questions asked, and when you are looking to expand your business to the world markets, I don't see how it could not have an impact.
David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 174
Usually when people cut fiddleheads they grow back almost immediately. If you check places where people have cut you will not see a single root without fronds a few weeks later.

Fiddleheads rely on washover for continued propagation and fertilization. There is a place in Chelsea I know where people have picked fiddleheads hard for at least 100 years. Probably much longer. Everybody knows about it. This year when I checked these traditonal areas were absolutely loaded.

The worst thing that can happen to fiddleheads is no washover in the spring.
Lisa F.
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 409
Pretty low-level foraging, but we had dandelion fritters last night. Yum.
user 3022592
Portland, ME
Post #: 170
Any suggestions David how I can correctly identify them? Would you say scrutinizing Brill's book (which I haven't had a chance to study well yet) is reliable enough?

Perhaps I can save some as samples to dry and show you for the future.

I tasted a leaf and flower yesterday. Flower tasted better than leaf.

David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 178
Mostly fiddleheads will be around streams and rivers. Practically no where else. Some intermittant streams by roadsides may have them.

They are dark green and have brown, very thin papery sheathing around the crosier when they are first emerging. The stem is fluted. I will try to upload some pics eventually. Most fiddleheads in the southern Maine area are probably up too far now. They mostly are here. You can always get some at a farm stand or the store and study the features closely.

The flash flooding along the Kennebec and other rivers kind of messed up the picking this year. As they first were emerging the flooding happened from heavy rain putting a lot of them under water or mud. By the time the areas were pickable, many were up too far.
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