Okay, by now, I am quite certain everyone understands I am not normal thinker. If you enjoy reading these blog posts I am guessing you are off kilter just a bit, too. So here I go….this next subject is something I think is fun and cool, but a few of you might be taken aback. Something done in the past and I continue today that really is a kick (for me, at least). Finding food in the wild. Not hunting, but foraging.
It started when my Dad took us out to former farm lands that grew asparagus. The stuff would continue to grow wild near the river and small creeks. In the spring, around this time of year, the asparagus would be a stalk three-four inches tall—perfect for eating. You had to really look hard for them because they were no longer in neat rows and were often hidden between the cheat grass and sagebrush. It was like a treasure hunt! Magically appearing! And free!
A few years later we were introduced to Morel mushroom hunting in the Blue Mountains in the southeastern part of Washington State. Easy to spot and delicious! They look like little brown brains; so no mistaking for the poisonous variety.
Combine a fun camping trip in the Cascade Mountains in September and a hunt for huckleberries. Now we’re talking! We would wear big cow bells tied to our belts to scare off the bears. Buckets and buckets of berries for freezing, making jam or cobblers.
Every October-November I would hunt upland game birds in eastern Washington with Dad (future post) and a few of his friends and their sons. I remember one of the young sons pointing out to me wild rose hips and describing how they could be steeped into tea. Never tried it, but one of these days…
Lately, I have been reading about all the wild “food” available in the forests around the Olympic Peninsula near our home. I think it is time to get those foraging skills honed again!