A northern flicker hangs on to a grub it found in a field of dandelions.

A northern flicker hangs on to a grub it found in a field of dandelions.

SPICE OF LIFE: Dandelions one of nature’s treats

I wanted to tell you about the wild things that come to us at this time of the year that can be eaten, including dandelions.

I have an idea that I am a day late and a dollar short.

I wanted to tell you about the wild things that come to us at this time of the year.

Dandelion plants are one of the most obvious plants that can be eaten.

Only problem can be once the flowers come on the greens can be a tad bitter if you want to use it for salad greens.

I gather if the greens are boiled the bitterness will go away.

If you look for dandelions that grow in the shade they are better to  eat.

I have heard that drying the root will make a coffee-like substance. Have not tried that one.

Lots of fireweed has come up as well. If  the greens are picked while they are young and boiled it does taste a little like spinach.

Same thing if the plants get too big there is a bitterness.

Once you have the forest greens of your choice picked why not add a few morel mushrooms to the wild culinary preparation.

You will find the morels popping up in the forest material.

After a rain they seem to be more obvious. They have a honey comb like look to the cap.

You will notice when picking morels that the cap and stem come off to gether.

True morels have a hollow stem. I tell you this so you do not pick and eat what is called the false morel mushrooms.

The false morel mushroom is poisonous so make sure you know what you are picking.

The false morel has a more wrinkled cap.

When you look inside the stem there is a  cotton ball looking substance.

The good morel mushroom has a hollow stem. It is a good idea to research mushrooms before you forge ahead.

How to cook?

I find just a quick sauté in butter is fine. Mix with your fireweed greens and you have something special.

What will come on next for us to enjoy? Wild raspberries , strawberries and gooseberries. Then we will have Saskatoon berries and cranberries. Some berries will come late in the season.

When you are out and about looking for food or just enjoying our walking trails do make sure you are keenly bear aware.

Bears are not interested in eating humans but they will protect their young.

Look for bear sign like logs turned over, scratch marks on trees.

Spotting a steaming pile of bear poop is a dead giveaway as well.

For heaven sake do not stick those thingamajigs in your ear.

Listen up and be bear aware.

We do not want to see the wild bears shot because humans caused some interference.

Thanks for the calls to 250-846-5095. Good e-mail notes come to mallory@bulkley.net.


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