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
With the holiday shopping season upon us, consider supporting small farms and independent artisans this year. At www.betterfarm.org/shop, you can check out our undyed, organic alpaca yarns, scoop up some sweet reads, sponsor a rescued farm animal, pick up “Better” swag, or plan a visit for you or a loved one to Better Farm.
Initial solar consultation with @apexsolarpower is complete. Technical site visit next, followed by a finalized contract to get @betterfarm 100% solar-powered by 2018.
Introducing the magnificent Seaborn Beck Weathers, who made his grand entrance at Better Farm last Friday on a 17-degree day. Since then, Seaborn’s tolerated emergency care to raise his temperature, days spent bundled up with Mum in the betterArts gallery, and more thermometers and scales than anyone should have to. Yesterday he and Augusta got to go outside for the first time since Friday afternoon, and weathered the overnight temps just fine. This little survivor has earned his namesake! Welcome to the world, Seaborn!
Living wall installation, phase one.
Oh honey honey! Email email@example.com for ordering info while supplies last! 🐝
Vegan tamales featuring Better Farm-to-table ingredients fresh out of the garden. 👩🏻🌾👨🏻🌾
Camelids in the midst.
Better brewers at work 🍻
I got your back.
There is nothing finer than enjoying a freshly picked apple on a gorgeous, crisp autumn day.
Killer first garden harvest for sustainability student Adam Brooks!
Better Bees! The hive is healthy, happy — and prolific! Around 30,000 strong and counting, with a robust supply of honey to get them through the winter. #betterbee
Every year, Better Farm plants at least 100 trees on the property in order to improve soil and air quality, grow fruit, provide shade and nesting grounds for animals, control runoff and to replenish forests. Due to extreme winters, ice storms and other variables, we have a steady stock of standing-dead trees we can cut for heating the main farmhouse. Planting new trees ensures a steady supply of firewood in the future and expands our efforts in regenerative agriculture.
Here today, gone tomato.
Pigs have complex personalities with intellect levels similar to dogs and chimpanzees. They possess specific personality traits, are capable of following direction, and can suss out a person’s emotional state based on body language. Oh—and as you can see here, pigs are excellent at recognizing (and remembering!) their friends.