Foraging Episode 2: A snake in the rose bushes
In my last garden and foraging update I mentioned spruce tips, wild ginger, and chives. Since then spring changed to summer and I continue to discover so many amazing plants that are growing wild all around me! @vachemorte would call it an obsession, I stop and look at every plant, take a pic and later do a reverse image search, it makes going anywhere very slow but it pays off :)
My friend was recently visiting and she gifted me this book about foraging in Eastern Canada, I've already got my eyes on a few things I want to look out for such as seaweeds, beach peas, chaga and a few other berries.
We have a blackberry patch behind our house but upon closer inspection they are all around the edge of the yard and also all along the highway right in front of us.
A most pleasant surprise was finding blueberries! They are all along the highway and super tasty, some of them are hard to access and come with the danger of encountering a lot of bugs, haha. The last two times I dove into a blueberry bush I ended up with my feet covered in ants and got a few bites, luckily they weren't really painful or anything, mostly just annoying.
I also just finally found RASPBERRIES! I was hoping to because not only are the fruits lovely but the red raspberry leaves can be used in a tea.
The more I investigate the plants around here the more I see that many are used as medicinal plants.
I sowed some mint for tea in a pot, not long after that we started to discover that there is wild mint all over the place! There are a lot of varieties of mint and I think this may be horse mint citation needed but it has a nice minty flavour with some lemony notes.
SAINT JOHN'S WART
I was quite surprised to find this one, didn't even know what it looks like tbh but there are a few clumps. I know it has some medicine interactions so this is one to be cautious of:
This grows wild all over here, most of the plants are 1-2 feet tall but we have a few near the house that are almost as tall as me:
Doscovered this one a few weeks ago and have already dried some for tea! YArrow can be used as a stiptic to stop bleeding, has analgesic/antispasmodic and other interesting properties, also it's very pretty!
We have a mix of pink and white varieties:
This is everywhere as a pretty annoying weed but it has a bunch of great properties, anti-inflammation, diuretic etc. I am drying some out to add to a tea blend:
ECHINACEA and SCARLET BEEBALM
I'm sure most people know about echinacea but I had never heard of scarlet beebalm. It's a pretty cool alien looking flower, we have red ones but also a few smaller purple. From what I can tell it's a type of bergamot and can be used in tea for cold/flu, respiratory stuff, nausea, indigestion etc, so into the tea mix it will go :p
I wanted to grab some rose petals to add to the mix as they have such a nice aroma but most of them have already started dropping. There are a few further back in the bushes, as promised in the title I was reaching for them and saw a little snake curled up taking a nap. It was a bit unexpected, here's a screenshot from a clip I took, best I could get! The snakes around here are pretty harmless AFAIK but I still have no desire to be bitten.
NETTLE STILL NOT FOUND
I have been looking for stinging nettle, with all the plants around here I am amazed I haven't found any yet, each time I think I've found some I am unsure but I would love to use some in my tea and even in my liquid fertilizer for my garden.