Foraging may not be the perfect rainy-day event, but we got a kick out of it and actually learned tons about what's growing right in our own backyard! Here's what we gathered yesterday afternoon:
Nearly all parts of the milk thistle plant can be consumed as a food without harm. The plant is however, best known for its medicinal benefits such as increasing appetite and aiding in digestion. It is also used to cleanse the liver, treat gall bladder disease, jaundice, cirrhosis, hepatitis and poisoning. Most of the plant can be eaten raw or cooked. The leaves for example, make a great spinach substitute when steamed (be sure to remove the sharp leaf-spines first). The seeds, when roasted, make a great coffee substitute. Side note: This plant almost looks identical to burdock.
Unlike Poison Sumac, which can be identified by its white drupes, the fruits from the Smooth and Staghorn Sumac form dense clusters of reddish drupes. The dried drupes can be ground to produce a tangy , tart purplish spice used in a variety of foods, including salad dressings, meats, rice and hummus. Sumac is also used to make a beverage like tea. This drink is made by soaking the drupes in cool water, rubbing them to extract the essence, straining the liquid through a cotton cloth and sweetening it.
The cattail is one of the most useful wild plants that aid in survival through edible, medicinal and other functional purposes. Cattails can be found all over the world in places with year-round standing water or wet soil, and can be identified by their characteristic brown seed head located a few inches from the top of the plant. In late spring to early summer the female flower spike (which later develops into the characteristic ‘cattail’ seed head) can be broken off and eaten like corn on the cob once boiled. Additionally the rootstock can be eaten raw or boiled – simply dig up the cattail and clean off the dirt from the root. Check out the small, pointed shoots called ‘corms’ coming off the root, which can be peeled and eaten or added to a salad.
Lastly, we came across milkweed. We found that you can actually harvest the unopened flower buds (which look like miniature heads of broccoli) and put them in soup, casserole, stir-fry etc, or simply boil them.
For more information: http://www.ediblewildfood.com
Augusta and Inez. ❤️
Bittersweet send-off for our August #betterarts resident @jct.photos as she moves on to new adventures! SUCH an amazing month, so. Much. Art. Thanks for sharing your work with us, Jodie! You’ve got family here now. #vivabetter
@jct.photos at work on her @betterfarm docuseries. This morning on the mics: Lana and Mike Babcock of Plessis, NY. 🎬
Epic show by #betterarts resident @jct.photos in the Art Barn at @betterfarm this evening.
Morning walks with Ramona and Winnifred. 🐽
This Friday from 5-7 pm, stop in at The Art Barn to check out the work of betterArts resident @jct.photos that features interviews with @betterfarm residents past and present, examinations of consumption and waste, and much much more. Light refreshments provided! More info on the blog: www.betterfarm.org/blog
A lovely addition to our new barn! Big thanks and eternal gratitude to @klav1967 and his electrical prowess (and @lauracaldwell5936 for the ridiculously gorgeous chandelier!). Place is shaping up! #barnwedding
Lazy morning belly rubs with Winnifred. 🐽
Tas Cru is playing a free live show on air right now in the betterArts barn, come on down or tune in to 88.5 FM Better Radio!
New friends 🤝
Beautiful photography show by @jct.photos yesterday! “Consumed” takes a look at waste in America, exploring the commodification of desires and the volume of consumption and waste in western culture. Jodie is staying with us for the month through the betterArts Residency Program — stay tuned for her next show toward the end of the month! More info on the artist at jctphotos.com, and the residency program at betterArts.org.
@bpfiddlefreakout and family return to @betterfarm for hangs and tractor time ❤️
Saturday mornings at Better Farm 🙌🏼
Q. Why should you never tell secrets in the garden?
A. Because the corn has ears and the beanstalk.
Greetings from the kiddie pool 🤦♂️
Quite a looker. Just a few steps, a deck and a handful of chandeliers to go...
One of our @etsy customers (and award-winning designer!) @alpacaloopholes shared these photos featuring organic corespun huacaya alpaca fiber from Better Farm’s herd (specifically, Inez and Frankie Blue Eyes). The fiber was then felted, increasing the rug’s size from 32” to 37” in diameter — plenty of extra room for cat model Gus to stretch out on! All our alpaca fiber is the result of annual shearing (necessary for helping the camelids beat summer’s heat), and profits go directly back into care for these rescued animals that have found sanctuary here. Intrigued? Check out our shop at etsy.com/shop/betterfarm
Chicagoan David Glynn of #emptycanband playing some tracks live on-air in the #betterradio station (podcast of his performance coming soon!). Learn more about Better Radio at www.betterarts.org/better-radio and on Facebook @fmbetterradio
Special live broadcast on #betterradio today with singer/songwriter/guitarist David Glynn of Empty Can Band from Chicago 🎸