Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ten days of foraging

Set up my good old pyramid tent with a woodstove and a cot. Was very comfortable through lots of rain, a little snow, and a fair amount of wind.

I packed along flour, honey, sourdough starter, salt, jerky from last fall's moose, eggs from our coop, rice, ghee made last year, and a couple good books. 

As usual, there was never any shortage of things to make tea of: Pine, hemlock, berry brambles, rose hips, wintergreen, sweetfern and mint.


Red currant "raisins". 

It's a remarkable year for hickory nuts. I almost rolled down hills on them. 

There were plenty of misshapen apples still hanging on scraggly trees where old farms used to be. They weren't pretty, but the bad parts were cut out. 

I collected enough oyster mushrooms to fill two five-gallon buckets. What wasn't used fresh will be dried, and the family will enjoy those all winter. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few red raspberries this late in the year. 

A tremendous quantity of red oak acorns had fallen into a lake and been concentrated in low spots by wave action. I was hopeful that their immersion would have already leached the bitterness out of them, but no such luck. I boiled a few and ate them just to say I did it, but they were bland at best.

Tried unsuccessfully to trap crawfish. Maybe the water was too cold. 

On the fifth day, I shot a small whitetail buck. Mmm, mmm, Aunt Bea, Aunt Bea.

Things I could have harvested but didn't: Freshwater mussels, countless squirrels, three raccoons, a 'possum and a garter snake. Rock tripe, partridge berries, cattail roots, various inner barks.


Anonymous said...

Have you ever eaten raccoon? If you get the chance to smoke one I highly recommend it!

Oblio13 said...

I ate one during the survival portion of military flight school, and thought it was delicious. But then, I hadn't eaten much besides prickly pear pads for several days.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Great post,I'm really jealous, and really stuck in the city.

Freedom Defender said...

NO! Raccoons are the best pets ever! They are good smoked though.

Fletch said...

Excellent post.

Unfortunately I can't specifically identify why I enjoyed reading this particular post so much. I'm not sure if it's good writing style, envy of the subject, or both.

Thanks for writing it.

Okiedirtfarmer said...

My dad had an old black man working for him when I was young. I shot a raccoon and he wanted it to eat for Christmas dinner so I let him have it. It put a really big smile on his face!