Two part question...
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  1. #1
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    Default Two part question...

    1)Do you forage for foods, what?
    2) Does anyone make dandelion "coffee" and have any hints or comments?

    Thanks in advance --

    Judi

  2. #2
    Registered User boysnberries's Avatar
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    I wish I could forage more, but we're pretty limited around here.

    We do have lots of wild blackberries growing in the park across the street, and I make it a point to go every couple of days when they are in season.

    We have 2 black walnut trees in our yard, but we haven't eaten from them at all (they are such messy trees, and I'd love to take them down).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Judi Dial View Post
    1)Do you forage for foods, what?
    Yes, we forage walnuts from two black walnut trees and usually trade them for other things (my uncle has a pecan tree but he prefers walnuts, while we prefer pecans, so we often trade). Friends occasionally go mushroom hunting (morels especially), and we've been invited along. We gather dandelions from our yard and a local farmer's property (with permission, of course; he doesn't use any pesticides or herbicides on it), and we eagerly gather all the mulberries, wild gooseberries, and apples from the neighbors' properties that they don't want. We also sometimes find wild strawberries on a friend's property--they are bland, but my four-year-old loves them, and they look pretty in salads.
    Years ago, I used to gather persimmons from my grandmother's property, and wild grapes (at least I think they were wild) from her neighbor's property, too.

    My husband also has gathered cicadas and roasted them (in 15 years, I still haven't tried them--just can't seem to convince myself that "insects" and "food" can be synonymous, lol) and he sometimes goes "gigging" for frogs in local ponds (yum--frog legs!); do those count... or would that be "hunting?"


    Quote Originally Posted by Judi Dial View Post
    2) Does anyone make dandelion "coffee" and have any hints or comments?
    This method is very similar to the way I do it, although I dry mine for about an hour on a dehydrator screen before roasting in the oven--it makes the oven time a bit shorter (usually about 30-45 minutes at 200*F for me): http://www.prodigalgardens.info/dandelion%20coffee.htm

    I find chopping them easier before drying, but a friend of mine cheerfully disagrees and uses a method more like this one:
    http://www.eatweeds.co.uk/dandelion-root-coffee-recipe

    Really just a matter of preference, IMO. Don't layer more than 1/2 inch deep, or you'll end up with unevenly-roasted roots (spoken from experience). Stir them a few times to help with even roasting, as well. And definitely watch them carefully in the oven as they start browning--a couple extra minutes can mean the difference between "dark roasted" and "burnt."

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    No, and no LOL My BFF's orange tree died just before we became friends.

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    Forage and glean. . . probably more weeds, and weird stuff than most even know about. . pine needles, cattails, nuts, berries, mushrooms, various edible weeds, dandelions, etc.

    No, I don't bother making dandelion coffee -- too bitter for my tastes, even sweetened with honey.

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    Dandelions are pretty good batter dipped and fried. I also do the same to morel mushrooms. gotta batter dip em and then coat em with corn meal.

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    Registered User Thevail's Avatar
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    My daughter and I forage all summer long. Baby dandelion greens, any and all edible berries, fruit from various trees(we do get permission), plums from my yard (is that scavenging?), bay leaves from a neighbors tree.

    *Caution: coffee snob in process*
    I really am..

    I tried dandelion coffee...UUGH..EEEW..and you have GOT to be KIDDING. It was insanely bitter and tasted nothing like coffee.

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    Registered User old_lady_in_the_shoe's Avatar
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    1)Do you forage for foods, what?
    We forage...
    we like to find wild grapes, elderberries, wild blueberries, wild strawberries, choke cherries, moral mushrooms, wild persimmons,plantain, rose hips, dandilion, lambs quarter and tons of other things...
    2) Does anyone make dandelion "coffee" and have any hints or comments? I have never made dandelion coffee, but have with chickory. It is probally very similar.

    Chicory is a close relative the dandelion. The taproot is rather bitter, but makes a good caffeine-free coffee substitute when roasted at 250°F for 2 to 4 hours until brown, and then ground.

  10. #9
    Registered User cab54's Avatar
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    Not here, but when we are up at our cabin, we do.

    There are wild onions all over our property up there, and I am going to try and cook the fiddlehead ferns we were a little too late getting last year.

    There are raspberries all over the prop., --they are smallish, but I gather as many as I can and make desserts, etc.

    I am afraid to try and pick mushrooms. Back when I was a working nurse, we had 4 patients come in, very sick, after gathering and eating mushrooms that were toxic. One of the patients died. That scared me off.

    We also get deer from the property, in season. And perch from the lake. I'm not fond of venison, but I cook it for DH.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cab54 View Post
    I am afraid to try and pick mushrooms. Back when I was a working nurse, we had 4 patients come in, very sick, after gathering and eating mushrooms that were toxic. One of the patients died. That scared me off.
    Yes, you definitely have to know what you are looking for if you go mushroom hunting (actually, this applies to any kind of foraging--but some things are much easier than others to identify). That's why we only go with our friends--they know which ones are okay and, more importantly, which ones AREN'T. They only look for specific kinds of mushrooms; they don't just try to identify whatever they come across.

    I don't know why some people think foraging or mushroom hunting is just collecting whatever you find that looks edible (not that YOU were saying this!)... it's much safer to seek out something you know you can positively identify!
    Last edited by CatholicRose; 03-03-2009 at 01:15 PM. Reason: clarification.

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    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
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    I could say I forage, perhaps unconventionally. I watch freecycle! I get apples, rhubarb, zucchini, pumpkins, seedlings. We do harvest the wild berries. I'd pick mushrooms but I'm not familiar enough. That might be something I look at doing this summer.

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    Registered User NewLeaf's Avatar
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    We pick wild blueberries, blackberries & raspberries. Our neighbor has given us permission to pick apples, peaches & pears from his trees. My uncle often gives us young poke shoots ( I want to learn how to get these) and morrels. I picked apples last fall at a local park (no-one else was picking them and they were going to rot).

    I used to pick alot of wild herbs like coltsfoot, dandelions, mint and wild violets. My uncle harvests wild ginseng. Alot of wild chickory grows here but I am also a coffee snob so I don't pick it. Wild onions (ramps) and garlic are easy to find too. My grandmother used to harvest wild "greens" to eat.

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    Registered User Thevail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old_lady_in_the_shoe View Post
    1)Do you forage for foods, what?
    We forage...
    we like to find wild grapes, elderberries, wild blueberries, wild strawberries, choke cherries, moral mushrooms, wild persimmons,plantain, rose hips, dandilion, lambs quarter and tons of other things...
    2) Does anyone make dandelion "coffee" and have any hints or comments? I have never made dandelion coffee, but have with chickory. It is probally very similar.

    Chicory is a close relative the dandelion. The taproot is rather bitter, but makes a good caffeine-free coffee substitute when roasted at 250°F for 2 to 4 hours until brown, and then ground.
    A friend made the stuff I tried..perhaps I'll try it again using your roasting instructions. Maybe it'll be better. Thanks.

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