Correcting Some Misconceptions

The lone purple leaf of the Indian putty root plant

The lone purple leaf of the Indian putty root plant

Due to my great joy in finding and preparing wild edible plants, it dawned on me last night that I might be coming across in my blog as some kind of self-proclaimed expert.

I like being proud of things I learn and do, but I do not like the idea that I may be trying to pass myself off as something I’m not.

I know a fair number of our local plants and love learning new ones and ways to use them.  But I was reading Samuel Thayer’s The Forager’s Harvest last night and it graphically demonstrated how much I do not know, and what a shallow understanding I have of the science of botany and the art of foraging.

What my plant photos, and my experiences with them, should demonstrate to you is that anyone who is willing to spend time learning a few plants and their uses can share one of the most useful, fun pursuits that I know of.




  1. Camilla

     /  January 6, 2013

    Well, you sure shouldn’t knock yourself! You are a virtual Einstein next to me and I’m glad you are sharing. I just wish you were closer to take a stroll thru the woods with me.

    • Camilla, I truly love foraging. And I love to share the things I learn. It delights me when other people get interested in learning to use and cook with wild edibles.

      I just didn’t want people to think I am some great expert. I’m probably at the intermediate-student level. 🙂

  2. Shelly

     /  January 6, 2013

    I dont feel like you were trying to be an expert. I love your blog and enjoy the photos so much. It is making me interested in mushrooms, so far I have only looked for Morrels. And am kind of scared to try anything else. You are making me see that there is so much more out there to try. I would like to take a class if there was one in my area. Thank you for your blog, i do enjoy it and never feel like you are coming off anything more than someone who is interested in thier Casita and the outdoors. Thanks for an interesting blog! Shelly

    • Shelly, your post brightened my day. That’s how I hoped I was coming across — as someone who loves my Casita and the outdoors.

      I’m so glad the blog sparked your interest in mushrooms. See if there is a mushroom club in your area. They are a lot of fun. You go hunting with a group and learn from them. And there is always a mycologist to confirm identifications of the mushrooms you do find.

      I learned from books, but I also had Dave Fischer, the author of one of the books, helping me to make positive identifications by email before I dared eat my first finds.

  3. I suppose good idea to put out there not an expert…but you sure know your stuff in my book 🙂 So so cool to learn about living off the land and herbal tinctures, etc.. I missed that class here…family visitation out of town. Did you watch the Amish special on PBS….their farming like an art. HAPPY DAY Sharon….hoping you get to take off soon ….

    • My daughter and cousin are heavily involved in herbal medicines. That’s another fascinating field! Sorry you missed the class. But you can catch one later, I’m sure!

      No… you will think we are nuts but we got rid of our TV a few years back. The only thing I miss is PBS. I would love to have seen the Amish special.

      • cozygirl

         /  January 9, 2013

        WOW so many times I wish we had given up our tv….one thing for sure, our use is sure going to go down when we hit the road. Who really needs it when most everything can be read or watched on a laptop or tablet.

        • I like getting my news on the internet because I can get a broader scope — different perspectives — on the internet. TV news is always slanted to the bias of the journalists.

  4. Your foraging posts are great! Something I am very interested in myself. Thanks for all the info:)

  5. I think your posts come across very well – you share what you’ve learned and enjoy and your pictures are great! There is a day long seminar out on the coast here (pacific northwest) that takes folks foraging along the coast – at the end of the day all the collected food is made into a big meal for the class. I’m hoping to take it sometime. Meanwhile, I have a shiitake kit from that I’m playing with.

    • Ann, I was just re-reading your comment and wanted to comment on the shitake kit. Sounds like fun! A couple of years ago I read how to innoculate logs with oyster mushrooms, but I haven’t found any more oysters the last couple of years. Too dry here.

  6. Anne, foraging along the coast would be so much fun! Is that Christopher Nyerges school? I’d love to do something like that!

    I’m glad that my posts are apparently coming across as I intended them… just sharing the joy of discovery. So many people learn a few wild edibles and then consider themselves experts, and that can be not only obnoxious, but dangerous! 🙂

  7. Teri

     /  January 9, 2013

    I LOVE reading these posts, it’s a very interesting subject. Makes me want to take a nature walk.

    • Teri, it makes me very antsy for spring! There are a few things growing here now, but it’s too damp and cold to get out and dig around without getting sick.

      Seeing all the wild foods bursting out in spring is the best cure for the winter blues that I know of!

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