Forage Friday #128 Groundcherry

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Groundcherry 1001a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Please remember that Forage Friday is presented as trivia and not to be mistaken for medical advice.

⚠️ Additionally, I have not fully Identified the plant in tonight’s Feature Image. I’m pretty sure that it’s groundcherry but the image was taken with a telephoto lens and I was not able to take a sample for positive ID. If it is groundcherry it’s the first time I’ve encountered it and I never consume any plants until I’ve had a chance to get a positive ID. So while the information in the article will be accurate the photo is my best guess on the ID.

While scanning the underbrush through my long lens for interesting insects and any other subjects that may be lurking beneath the tangled vines and stems I recognized a fruit body that so far I’ve only encountered in books. The papery shell of a groundcherry. Now this excited me somewhat because it’s not really plentiful in my area. At one time long ago it was popular among Native Americans who I believe were masters of land management. They cultivated the earth in such a way as to work so closely with nature that a cultivated plant blended into the wilderness. Their methods were so efficient that for generations after Columbus and eventually The Long Walk their little patches continued to produce and self sew. At least that’s my theory anyway.

Groundcherry is a relative of tomatoes and tomatillo and has a tomato-like berry under that papery sheath. The ones that I’ve seen in books and on the internet are yellow and more spherical than a tomato in addition to being much smaller than a modern tomato. The flavor is said to be much like a tomatillo.

Again, I should emphasize that there’s a lot of guesswork in tonight’s article. With that said, my presumption is that groundcherry would be good in salsas, pies and preserves.

In addition to the standard range of vitamins groundcherry is a source of anti-inflammatory agents that are believed to assist in fighting certain cancers. However, only the ripe berries are edible. The leaves, stems and unripe fruit are considered toxic and being a member of the nightshade family that is to be expected. So how do we know that it’s fully ripe? Well, it picks itself. The berries drop off the stems when they’re ready to be eaten. So the best way to harvest them is check the plants daily and simply pick up the berries.

I’m still learning about groundcherry myself and I don’t really know how many dangerous lookalikes are out there. The main one that I am familiar with is horse nettles. Unlike groundcherry hose nettles are covered in thorns and the yellow ball shaped fruit isn’t covered by a sheath. So if the plant has thorns it’s not groundcherry.

Another one is Chinese lantern. Again I don’t have first hand knowledge of Chinese lantern but from what I’ve found it has a red sheath where groundcherry is yellow.

That’s it for tonight’s #foragefriday! I’m certain that a lot of people are more familiar with this one than I am so please feel free to share your knowledge in the comments. I really want to learn from your experience.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Announcement 2.0

For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.

We also have the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe that is set up as a fully functional community. There you’ll not only be able to see and connect with me but you can also make your own posts and interact with each other.

I want you to join my group on MeWe: https://mewe.com/join/lloydslensphotographydiscussiongroup

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To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

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Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographerThank you again for your support of my page!♥️

Forage Friday #127 Milkweed pods

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Milkweed Pod 1009a” and was taken specifically for Forage Friday. All photos found on my website are my original work unless otherwise specified and are available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Please remember that Forage Friday is presented as trivia and not to be mistaken for medical advice. As an additional warning, milkweed does contain toxins that may have an adverse effect on your heart. Also, anyone can be allergic to any plants so if you choose to try a new plant please try very small amounts first and monitor yourself for adverse reactions. Please review the Universal Edibility Test provided by Backpacker in order to get an idea of if you might experience any issues with allergies. If you’re a cardiac patient then you should probably avoid this one.

There are few better things to enjoy other than a patch of milkweed being visited by monarch butterflies. I’ve always enjoyed milkweed as a source of butterflies and bees but I recently learned that if they’re processed right the young pods are not only edible but frequently enjoyed by a wide variety of people. In the spirit of full disclosure I haven’t tried them myself but they come with such wonderful reviews that it’s definitely on my list of things to try. I’m going to advise one more time that you pay close attention to the disclaimer at the top of the page and always check with multiple sources. Keep in mind that some people are going to be more sensitive to a plant than others. I recently saw a post on social media from a person who was knowledgeable and experienced in foraging wild mushrooms but the first time she tried hen of the woods she had a bad allergic reaction to it. Hen of the woods is a mushroom that’s extremely popular with people who forage and even brings top dollar in high end restaurants so it was a huge surprise for the person who got sick from it. So a little extra caution is always OK for the first time.

Milkweed Pod 100921b

The first thing I learned about foraging milkweed pods was that you want the young pods. How young is something I’m not sure of yet but if you open the pod and see fibers it’s probably too late for foraging. The silky floss inside of a pod that’s too mature will make it stringy and probably not be a pleasant experience for you. However if you find them that are young enough the final product has been described as having the texture of a jalapeño popper without the spice. The inside of a properly cooked milkweed pod should be creamy like the cream cheese in a popper. So age of the pod is important.

Milkweed Pod 100921c

Next is that milky sap that gives milkweed its name. Not only has it been used to remove warts in the past but it’s the source of the toxins. Fortunately, the toxins are water soluble and can be removed by boiling the pods. At least 2 changes of water are recommended by most sources but if you’re still seeing cloudy water after the second boiling then a third treatment will be a good idea. I’ll be including a video from an experienced person at the end of the article.

Milkweed Pod 100921d these pods may be too old to be foraged. They are turning dark on the ends wich is a sign that they are starting to dry out.

The flavor of the milkweed Pod at this point is said to be a bit bland but other people say it tastes like a pea Pod. But you can add your spices in the next step. You’ll want an egg to make an egg bath and a four mixture with your spices. Depending on how spicy you want it to be red pepper, paprika, salt and pepper, and Sriracha have all been recommended. Of course you’ll heat up a pan with oil and then brown the pods.

Before I close with the video from my friends at WVPBS I do want to point out that milkweed and the the highly toxic dogbane are in the same family and confusing them could be a fatal mistake. The toxins of dogbane are strong enough to stop your heart! Steffi Hone does an excellent job of showing you the difference between the two as well as a great way to cook the milkweed pods.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Announcement 2.0

For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.

We also have the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe that is set up as a fully functional community. There you’ll not only be able to see and connect with me but you can also make your own posts and interact with each other.

I want you to join my group on MeWe: https://mewe.com/join/lloydslensphotographydiscussiongroup

Click the link below to jump to the Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe.https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/guide-to-mewe/embed/#?secret=GJGnIQEVHc

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

WELCOME TO LLOYD’S LENS PHOTOGRAPHY

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Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply use the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographerThank you again for your support of my page!♥️

Forage Friday #126 Kudzu

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Kudzu 100221a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Please remember that Forage Friday is presented as trivia and not to be mistaken for medical advice.

They call it the “vine that ate the south” but tonight I’m going to show that the south just might be able to extract a little revenge. Now because invasive species is a bit of a sensitive topic in some circles I want to be clear that I am definitely not advocating for anyone to introduce this pest into their landscape. To do so is definitely going to cause harm and us most likely illegal. However, if you’re already fighting this monster then there are definitely some uses for it.

Kudzu was actually brought to North America on purpose in 1876 as an ornamental, for erosion control and as a foraging crop. The government of the first half of the 20th century was actually paying people to plant Kudzu because it was hard to establish. There was even a Kudzu Club of America by 1943 that was founded by a journalist named Channing Cope. But by the 1950s the invasion was well underway and damage to large stands of forest was causing losses to the timber industry. The full account is really worth looking into.

Kudzu was actually a well appreciated resource in Asia. The stem of the vine was used for paper and textiles. The stem isn’t really edible and neither are the seeds but almost every other part of the plant is.

The vines can be woody and they are covered in little hairs which in the words of Green Dean gives it some “texture issues.” But the leaves themselves can be used like Spinach, cooked like colards and finely chopped to be added to a variety of dishes.

The flowers smell like grapes! They’re often candied by crystallizing them with sugar or used in jelly or syrup.

There are different varieties. I believe that the variety I have here is Pueraria thomsonii and produces an edible tuber. In very mature stands of kudzu that tuberous root can be up to 300 pounds. The root is very starchy and can be made into a gluten free flour for baking. On a side note here, James A Duke of the Peterson Field Guides states that kudzu root doesn’t mix well with alcohol and even suggests that it might be used to treat alcoholism through gastric distress. He believes that the experience is so uncomfortable that it makes the consumption of alcohol too unpleasant to desire.

The Chinese agree with Dr. Duke. They’ve used it to treat alcoholism for thousands of years. They also use kudzu for treating diabetes, menopause, neck and eye pain as well as the common cold. The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center seems to indicate that strong anti-inflammatory components in kudzu are the secret to it’s medicinal values. I’ve included the link above because there are some situations where kudzu can do more harm than good so please take a look at the warnings they offer.

Image Titled “Kudzu 100221b” showing the overall growth patterns.

Before closing I do want to restate that this plant should never be propagated. In spite of being a member of the bean family and being really good at fixing nitrogen in the soil the environmental damage it does is just not worth the risk. Especially when it’s already so plentiful. It’s so invasive that even just accidentally dropping a piece of the vine in the wrong spot could result in the loss of a piece of habitat.

That’s it for tonight’s #foragefriday. Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Announcement 2.0

For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.

We also have the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe that is set up as a fully functional community. There you’ll not only be able to see and connect with me but you can also make your own posts and interact with each other.

I want you to join my group on MeWe: https://mewe.com/join/lloydslensphotographydiscussiongroup

Click the link below to jump to the Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe.https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/guide-to-mewe/embed/#?secret=GJGnIQEVHc

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

WELCOME TO LLOYD’S LENS PHOTOGRAPHY

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Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply use the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographerThank you again for your support of my page!♥️

Forage Friday #125. Silky Dogwood

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Silky Dogwood 92521” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Please remember that Forage Friday is presented as trivia and not to be mistaken for medical advice.

In my mind’s eye I see them. Bare feet in thick mud pushing their way through the thick reeds. Some of them balance delicately on dugout canoes as they gather the blue drope berries in hand woven baskets. The abundance of the silky dogwood berries won’t last long. They’ll need to race the birds to them. But for the paleo people of North America the silky dogwood is available.

It wasn’t until recently that I even knew that a dogwood with small flowers and dark blue berries existed. I had known that the flowering dogwood with it brilliant red berries was a favorite of wildlife but the tiny hard berries didn’t seem like they were worth the effort. Later I learned of the Cornelian Cherry and it’s also a dogwood but with large sweet and sour berries that are about the size of a grape. I’d learned that if I wanted to find a dogwood in Fall that looking for red berries was a good start. When I found out that some dogwoods have a blue berry I was pretty intrigued. Unlike the flowering dogwood (Cornus Florida) it has a pretty “fleshy” berry and unlike the Cornelian Cherry (Cornus Mas) the berries hang in dense clusters. Another thing that seems unique to silky dogwood (Cornus Amomum) is that it seems to prefer swamps. Not far from where I took the photo I’m told that large shallow stone bowls were found and that they belonged to a people that were probably from the Mississippian Era of North America. They were probably either Hopewell or Adena. I imagine that since no mounds are in the immediate area that this was a place where they camped in summer through early fall and that they processed and preserved the silky dogwood along with the fish and turtles in the swamp. I have found one source that said some people have experienced a rash from contact with silky dogwood but I personally haven’t had any problems. I’m pretty confident that given the types of foods found in the swamp that natives would have used the berries in pemmican and maybe even traded the final product with other tribes as they traveled towards Kentucky and Ohio for winter.

I wish I could tell you from personal experience about how delicious they are. I expect that they’re similar to Cornelian Cherry which for me is kinda citrus but sour like sweet and sour candy. However for 2 years in a row I’ve been beat out by the wildlife. One person has told me that they see deer come to the silky dogwood daily to check for ripe berries.

The berries are said to be very tasty and can be eaten raw or cooked.

The bark was once used as a substitute for Quinine and as poultice for external sores.

The flowers appear shortly after the flowers of the flowering dogwood fade away and so it’s a great landscape plant. However, the flowers are much smaller and resemble elderberry bloom. It’s also more tolerant of wet conditions than flowering dogwood.

That’s it for this week’s Forage Friday!

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Announcement 2.0

For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.

We also have the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe that is set up as a fully functional community. There you’ll not only be able to see and connect with me but you can also make your own posts and interact with each other.

I want you to join my group on MeWe: https://mewe.com/join/lloydslensphotographydiscussiongroup

Click the link below to jump to the Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe.https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/guide-to-mewe/embed/#?secret=GJGnIQEVHc

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

WELCOME TO LLOYD’S LENS PHOTOGRAPHY

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Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply use the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographerThank you again for your support of my page!♥️

Forage Friday #124 When In Doubt.

Hello Friends! Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Ghost In The Woods 91021a” and is available for purchase by clicking the thumbnail and reaching out to me on the contact page.

Please remember that Forage Friday is presented as trivia and not to be mistaken for medical advice.

⚠️ I have not positively identified this particular mushroom.⚠️

The old saying is when in doubt, leave it out. I’ve said before that mushrooms are a bit of a weak spot in my knowledge base. The ones that I have experience with I know well. I’ve been able to pick them and smell them and confirm that there’s no dangerous lookalikes or that they exhibit some feature that separates the specimen from all other possibilities. However, I’ve not yet gone after oyster mushrooms. Which is a little odd because they’re one of the top choice forage mushrooms out there. However, most of my knowledge of mushrooms is theoretical. I know that in addition to being edible and flavorful that oyster mushrooms can eventually remove petroleum from the environment. But I just haven’t taken the time to positively identify some and get to know them. Foraging anything new should be approached like a first date. It’s always best to get to know that person before you make any long term commitments. And in the case of mushrooms there’s a good possibility that you’ll spend the rest of your life with it. The danger is that the wrong choice could make the rest of your life a measure of minutes.

In September of 2004 an incident involving the lookalike of oyster mushrooms, the Angelwing mushroom was responsible for a string of deaths in Japan. The 59 victims that died had a history of liver problems and in those cases the rest of their lives worked out to between 13 and 29 days after they first noticed that they were sick. Which leads me to observe that anyone can have an underlying issue that makes a wild edible toxic to them but not others. Up until then the Angelwing mushroom was considered safe to eat and so older references don’t have a warning or if they do it’s not a strong one.

But there’s something going on here that makes me think that this is a oyster mushroom and not an Angelwing. That’s what it’s growing on. You see, the hazardous Angelwing mushroom grows on conifer trees and especially hemlock. The huge mushroom in our photo is definitely growing on a maple tree as seen in the next photo.

Image Titled Ghost In The Woods 91021b.

The small twig emerging from the right of the photo and behind the tree is covered in maple leaves. It’s growing out of the same tree as the mushroom and oyster mushrooms favor hardwoods.

Ghost In The Woods 91021c.

As we can see in the above photo this mushroom has gills and a pretty stout looking stem as well as a pinkish tone. The gills stop at the base of the stem which means it could be an Elm Oyster Mushroom and they are known to grow on maple trees. Elm Oyster isn’t a true Oyster Mushroom but it’s not toxic either. The fungus was growing in a state park and in a spot that was only accessible to me through my lens so I left it alone and didn’t collect any samples for closer study but if you think that you have a positive ID please drop a comment and give me your opinion.

Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.

Announcement 2.0

For those who have been following me on Facebook and know of the struggle content providers have to get circulation from big tech I’ve been recommending for people to adopt MeWe as a social media platform. One of the problems I’ve run into on MeWe is that people don’t know how to navigate the platform. So to help with that I’ve created a permanent page on my website as a basic Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe I’ve tried to anticipate all basic questions there and You can bookmark the page to have as a reference and if you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to contact me. I do still have a day job and I help admin several pages on both platforms so replies might be a little slow but I will answer you.

We also have the Lloyd’s Lens Photography Discussion Group on MeWe that is set up as a fully functional community. There you’ll not only be able to see and connect with me but you can also make your own posts and interact with each other.

I want you to join my group on MeWe: https://mewe.com/join/lloydslensphotographydiscussiongroup

Click the link below to jump to the Basic Beginner’s Guide To MeWe.https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/guide-to-mewe/embed/#?secret=GJGnIQEVHc

Hey Friends! Just a quick reminder that Lloyds Lens Photography is available for portraits!

To book me simply reach out using the Contact Page and we’ll set a date. If you’re within a 50 mile radius of Summersville West Virginia all travel fees are waived.

If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

WELCOME TO LLOYD’S LENS PHOTOGRAPHY

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/embed/#?secret=ZBipPVJdZw

Click here to visithttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply use the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographerThank you again for your support of my page!♥️