Monthly Archives: November 2011

Wild Muscadines


Until I moved to North Carolina in 1996, my only experience with wild grapes was with the American labrusca types, or fox grapes from which the Concord variety was selected.  They were great for making jelly and juice, but were … Continue reading

Posted in foraging | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rediscovering Waxmyrtle


Today we take much of our surroundings for granted.  We never stop to think how essential our natural resources used to be for everyday life.  Our own wellbeing depends much more on the resourcefulness of others rather than that of … Continue reading

Posted in foraging | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Backyard Pink Lemonade


Sumacs are short lived weedy shrubs to small trees that take over open areas if given the chance.  Three species found in North Carolina are quite useful.  Three close cousins are downright despicable. Let’s start with the three cashew family … Continue reading

Posted in foraging | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Spicy Lawn Weed


To the many people who have cursed the ubiquitous wild garlic, (Allium vineale), I offer somewhat of a truce.  This is one useful spice that can add flavor to many foods.  They are not poisonous, grow everywhere and don’t cost … Continue reading

Posted in foraging | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

West Virginia Banana


Many people have heard the name Pawpaw, but few could identify it and fewer have eaten it.  Pawpaw, (Asimina triloba), is a common understory tree around here.  It is the only member of the custard apple family adapted to temperate … Continue reading

Posted in foraging | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cattails – Supermarket of the Swamp


In his book, Stalking the Wild Asparagus, the late Euell Gibbons referred to the lowly cattail as the “supermarket of the swamp.”  I don’t think I’ve ever picked up a field guide on wild foods that didn’t profile these wetland … Continue reading

Posted in foraging | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Invasive Olives


Some landscaping can just be too adaptable.  The genus Eleagnus is a good example.  They make beautiful accent shrubs with pleasant fall aroma.  The undersides of the leaves have a silvery color that almost dances in the wind.  Oblong fruits … Continue reading

Posted in foraging | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Edible Landscaping


Sometimes when your landscaping goes to seed it creates a smelly and unsightly mess.  Other times it can just be an added benefit.  The flowering crabapple is a good example here. Crabapples, (Malus sp.), make a gorgeous small specimen tree … Continue reading

Posted in foraging | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wild Passionflower – Friend or Fiend


It’s funny how you can look at some plants in the wild or in the domestic landscape and want to have them in your own backyard.  Wild passionflower or Maypop (Passiflora incarnata), is a prime example.  The flowers are so … Continue reading

Posted in foraging | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Black Walnut – Tree of Many Uses


Black walnut (Juglans nigra) is one of the most valuable native hardwood trees.  It has dark straight grained wood used for furniture and gunstocks.  If trunks are straight and no foreign material like nails are inside it likely would command … Continue reading

Posted in foraging | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment