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Fairly Odd Mother

Frantically waving my magic wand to make wishes come true.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's good to have foraging friends

I don't normally eat things I find growing outside.

Those black berries? Will kill you.

See these mushrooms? Don't even touch!

But, on a recent hike with three other families, I dined al fresco on things we found outside. Things I never, ever would have put in my mouth before.

And it was good.

First we found Hickory Nuts. These round green leathery things just fall out of a (stop me if you know this) Hickory Tree (the Shagbark Hickory in our neck of the woods). The cover pulls away and there is a hard tan nut inside.


Hard tan nut

You just crush the nut with a rock (or, um, your foot) and eat the nut meat inside. We were all like little rabid squirrels trying to get the edible stuff out of the crushed shells.

Then, one of the nature-smart moms looked across the field, pointed and told us to "go!". So, we went.

Everyone gathered around the bush with the silvery green leaves.

faces swirled on purpose; my friends don't really look like this

This bush had Buffaloberries all over it. They were red with little yellow dots on them, like speckled jelly beans. They were sour and yummy and plentiful. We ate them like hungry bears.

aren't they gorgeous?

I may not be able to live in the wild for a week, but I did appreciate learning a few new things. Although, I don't care who I'm with: I'm never eating a mushroom we find in the woods.

Finally, of all the cool things we learned, my favorite is this:


My little boy just loves big, furry caterpillars.

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Blogger Wendy Hawksley said...

How cool! This is the kind of stuff I wish I understood better, so we could do things like this. Gavin doesn't have the patience for nature study (though I wish he did), but I hope as he matures, we will spend more time learning about topics like these!

1:52 AM  
Blogger Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

A fun trip! We have a grandma in our homeschool group that is like that. Very handy person to have on nature hikes.

2:18 AM  
Blogger The Mom said...

L is very cool to know, isn't she? Some day I would like to take a class with a forager. Cool stuff

7:34 AM  
Blogger Issas Crazy World said...

You are much braver than me. I'd of been like, well this was lovely, whose up for a drive thru?

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Reclaimed Threads said...

Oh what fun! I bet all the kids had a really great time too! It's good for them to know what they can and cannot eat! I worked in a kindergarten before starting my business and I wish we had someone come in and do something like this with our kids! I still don't know if I'd be brave enough to eat any of that though! :)


2:13 PM  
Blogger Subspace Beacon said...

That's very cool.

So do Hickory Nuts taste like Hickory sticks? If yes, I'm THERE! Otherwise: no.

Once my kid broke out in a rash when a caterpillar crawled on his arm -- and so I have encouraged their anti-caterpillar issues. HA!

6:59 PM  
Anonymous mrs. q. said...

My yard is full of mushrooms. My kids like mushrooms. So we've had talks-o-plenty about what we don't eat in our yard. Until my crazy gal understands, I try not to encourage random foraging, lest I turn around to find her snacking on the holly berries.

Remember-- come spring, you always know where you can find dandelion greens for your jam! (Bluuurgh.)

10:07 AM  

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