I don’t shop at Whole Foods regularly, but my sister does. She texted me before Thanksgiving, excited to tell me she’d bought chanterelles for us to cook and share. Imagine my surprise to find that the mushrooms Whole Foods was selling as chanterelles were, in fact, nothing of the sort. Fortunately, they were another edible mushroom, so no danger of poisoning here, but still… Shouldn’t we expect more from a respected national retailer? (That’s a rhetorical question. The answer is yes.) Ah, but it gets worse. This wasn’t an isolated incident, and Whole Foods has chosen NOT to correct the problem.
If you’re a forager, you get ticks. That’s just the way it is. You can’t spend time pushing through vines, crawling through underbrush, and wading through tall grasses without picking up some undesirable hitchhikers. I’ve had Lyme Disease once and I’d rather not have it again, so here’s what I do to minimize my exposure. Read more
The rains have come to Santa Fe and as the snow melts, I can see the first wild greens bravely poking up through the no longer frozen earth. What a welcome sight.
In celebration of the wild deliciousness to come, I’m offering a free live webinar on March 11th. We’ll talk about five of my favorite early spring greens: how to identify them, harvest them, and cook with them. And at the end of the webinar, I’ll open enrollment to my new online course: The Wild Spice Cabinet. It’s something I’ve been working on for a while and I’m very excited to be able to offer it to you.
If you’d like to sign up for the webinar, you can do that here. Attendance is limited, and people are already signing up. I hope you’ll join me there, and look forward to celebrating Spring with you.
I realize I’ve been less active here lately, but it’s just a temporary setback, I promise. My winter project is a big one, and it’s almost ready to launch. For now, check out the photo for a behind the scenes peek at The Backyard Forager.
This is not a book about foraging. But it is a book that every forager should read and will probably love. Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer, is a collection of essays that brings together the worlds of science and traditional indigenous wisdom in a way that respects both the objective data of clinical observation, and the more emotional, spiritual relationship we can enjoy with the natural world. Read more
Tomorrow morning at 4:30 a.m. I head to ABQ and the airport…next stop Madison, WI. The Midwest Wild Harvest Festival is in Prairie du Chien this weekend, and I look forward to it every year: three days with a great group of curious, cooperative foragers. This year I’ll be teaching classes on cooking with wild herbs and spices, and making foraged desserts. Read more
Do you ever play the game: What would you eat if you got lost in the woods?
Last weekend I was in Austin for the 10th annual Garden Bloggers Fling. Garden bloggers from all over the country convened to visit, admire, and be inspired by private and public gardens. I was apprehensive at first, because I’m more of a plant person than a garden person. I don’t get a thrill out of magnificent, cultivated landscapes, or perfectly groomed yards and gardens. Ornamental edibles (or is that edible ornamentals) are what float my boat, so I approached each Austin garden from my own point of view. Read more
Mushroom hunting is generally pretty low tech, but there are a few items that make your mushroom hunt easier and more productive. Obviously, you wouldn’t wander out into the woods without good walking shoes, a water bottle, sunscreen, and foul-weather clothes, but here are a few essential mushroom hunting tools you might not have considered.
How do you get started as a forager?
If you’re lucky, you learn from a friend. But not everyone has a foraging friend. So you go on foraging walks, you read everything you can get your hands on, you take classes, you watch videos, you sign up for wild foods weekends. And now you have another option: you take my beginning, online foraging course. Read more