Foraging – From Past to Present
I am grateful that my husband Mike has showed me stuff that I didn’t know and encouraged me to love the great outdoors! It was not always that way. I remembered back when we used to live up on the mountain, we had a small piece of land behind our house and I was afraid to go in the woods by myself. I just told him that later!
We didn’t have this kind of setup in the Philippines. We have a jungle over there and I have never been to it either! I grew up in the city of Manila. Yes, a city girl! I remember when I was little, my mother would bring me and my siblings to grandma’s place for the summer. I liked it there although I felt that I was stuck there for two months!
What I did like about that place is… grandma Matilde had plenty of tropical fruits in her backyard. That’s all the forest was for me! But wait! I was a little adventurous girl! It does not stop me from going out and explore some areas by the river and hunt for more fruits to eat. I like to climb trees, harvest and eat up the fruits!
So, now I’m in Canada married to a woodsman and I’m glad that I can still cultivate that curiosity of a little girl. The only thing missing is that there are no tropical fruits to harvest but something else.
They have berries and all kinds of edible plants that I had never tried before; like for example the fiddlehead ferns. Never thought in my life that we could eat “ferns!” I do now! Oh, and I love wild garlic!
There are still so many things to try and I’m excited to learn some more!
Last year I had some wild mushrooms (chanterelles) brought to me by Mike & Billy and it was actually pretty good. I would like to pick some myself now that I know exactly where they are and how to identify them.
IT WAS A GOOD HARVEST, WE HAD SOME STEAK AFTER! DELICIOUS!
By the way please be careful and make sure that you know enough information concerning the edible plants that you are trying. Mike showed me which good fiddlehead to pick and I always cook them, same with the mushroom. Mike has always told me that if you are sure at 99% that it’s edible don’t touch it, it’s not enough. You have to be sure 100%!
Let me share with you something that I used to do with my grandma. She had pigs back then; grandma would bring me for a walk and we would pick wild plants (weeds). We would bring that home and cook it in a tin pot on an open fire with all our leftover meals mixed with some grains and then let it cool off and feed it to the pigs.
A few memories… eating young bamboo shoots; digging some sweet potatoes; and by the way the leaves are edible and we call them “talbos,” and we still eat them in the Philippines today and many other type of leaves like “kangkong, saluyot, malunggay,” etc.
If you click on each one of these names it will show you what it looks like. I must say that I miss eating them!
I was amazed how grandma knew her wild plants and what was edible and what was not. Now I could tell you many more stories but I will save it for another time.
I was curious and wanted to learn even as a little girl and I’m glad that I payed attention! I was actually blessed with two wonderful grandmothers who knew how to cook with what is available to them. I only realize it now how I wish that I had asked them more questions!
Here’s a video of our best year so far foraging and preserving wild mushrooms (chanterelles). Thank you Folks, we always appreciate your support.