Forage Friday #34 Birch

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image was taken specifically for Forage Friday. All of the photos are my original work and are available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

One of the treats for a young person growing up in the Appalachian Mountains is reaching out to pluck a birch twig during a hike. Not just any birch but one of the sweet birches. The property I grew up on had plenty of black birch and it is the strongest flavored in my recollection but the property I have now has yellow birch on it. Both are wintergreen flavored and the inner bark can be made into a tea. The wintergreen flavor comes from methyl salicylate which functions like aspirin and therefore can be used for pain relief.

One of the surprises that I learned several years ago was the existence of birch beer. It’s called beer but it’s technically a wine. The birch tree is tapped like a maple and the sap is then boiled down into syrup just like maple and to make the birch beer it’s allowed to ferment into wine. I can’t really speak to the flavor of birch syrup or beer/wine but it’s mentioned in several of my guide books.

The curly bark of a yellow birch in my property.

The bark of a yellow birch has a distinctive look. The long curls of lose bark are kinda hard to miss. Birch bark here in the USA is thought of as the construction material for Native American canoes but I think that they used the tighter bark of the white birch with is more of a northern species. The bark was used for making cooking vessels as well. A square tray made from birch bark can be coated with the birch resin and made waterproof enough to cook soup by placing it directly in the fire. Even though birch bark is extremely flammable the water inside keeps it from burning and thus you can cook in it.

Speaking of birch resin, a very useful substance that’s commonly called “Birch oil” is a resin extracted from the bark. The method used is to coil the Bark in a can with a hole in the bottom. This can us placed over a second can or glass jar that’s in a hole in the ground and the whole thing is covered with hot coals from a fire and baked slowly. The oil collects in the bottom jar. In the 17th and 18th centuries people living in Russia used it to waterproof leather and I’ve heard it referenced that during World War 2 Jews who escaped into Russia was able to extend the life of their footwear with the aid of birch oil. A 5000 year old artifact found in Finland turned out to be chewing gum made from birch tar. Which shouldn’t be surprising because the Neanderthals used it to fletch their arrows.

What gardener doesn’t hate snails and slugs? They’re nothing more that living stomachs that destroy our gardens but the birch resin can come to the rescue here too. Mix up a little birch resin with petroleum jelly and paint a barrier around your food plot to keep the slimy critters out. (It’s said to last for months but it’s not a trick that I’ve tried yet. )

Birch resin is also used in making some perfumes but I haven’t researched into that yet.

Lastly, in the more northern climates birch is host to the true tinder fungus. Also known as Chaga. When we get into medical uses for anything I mot only feel the need to urge you to do your own research nut to be extra cautious about the advice you get. Chaga is one of those useful plants that has been hailed as a cure-all. There’s a lot of treatments cited and while I’m sure that there’s a lot of things that it helps I find a claims to be a little overblown and just way too enthusiastic about results. However, this parasite of birch trees was found in the kit of Otzi the ice man. Not only could it be used as incense to keep insects away but it actually helps build fires as tinder ( hence the name true tinder fungus) and he was apparently using it as food and medicine himself. I have included it in this post because of its close association with the birches. Those who study it say that it’s medicinal qualities come from it’s ability to concentrate Betulinic acid that’s produced by the birch tree. Studies are being done that say Betulinic acid may help some cancers but again, this is outside of my understanding enough that I have to ask the reader to seek out a professional for any advice about the validity of that claim.

One last image that I have to share is one of the more interesting trees on my mountain. It’s what’s called a false graft. Normally a graft can only occur within the same species but on the edge of my yard I have a yellow birch and a magnolia that are mechanically joined. Just how this happened I don’t really know for sure. It’s common for trees that are close to each other to grow around one another but here the magnolia is actually growing a horizontal trunk into the birch.

The odd mechanical graft on my property.

I hope that you have enjoyed tonight’s Forage Friday post. When I started Forage Friday I stated that I would continue to post them as long as I could find wild edible plants to feature and I do plan to continue #ForageFriday indefinitely. However, as the winter months are upon us I might have to post an alternative here and there to keep from having to post duplicate photos. I have held back some photos so I can try to stretch the content for as long as possible but we’ll have to see if it was enough. Good night and be blessed!

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

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.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click here to visithttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

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 message me on Facebook oruse 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=238248269630914251

Lastly, 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 photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Forage Friday #33 Oaks

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “White Oak In Crimson” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Oak is a wild edible plant that I have not actually ever gotten around to trying with one I’ll fated exception that’s covered in the article. All of the information about it’s food and medicine value comes from years of reading and listening to other people who have shared their knowledge with me. As always, I only intend to give you an interesting conversation starter and recommend that you do further research before trying any wild edible plants.

The young warrior moved cautiously between the boles in the early days of Fall. He hadn’t really perceived any danger but stealth had become a way of life. It wasn’t for him enough to remain unseen and unheard but instead he had to be a ghost. That meant that he had to move without leaving any signs of his passing. As he crept along the deer path he placed a hand on the corky bark and gently rubbed off the powdery dust from the ridges. The twigs ended in crown-like clusters of buds and the few leaves that were still on the tree had rounded lobes without any burs at the tip of lobes. He gently raked back the leaf litter to find the nuts. Many of them have already sprouted but he also saw that the woody caps covered more than half of the shell. These were white oak acorns and that was why he braved entering a forbidden grove. From under his tunic he produced a coarsely woven bag and began to gather the nuts. Before he gathered the second handful he felt knobby end of a staff touch his shoulder with just enough force to get his attention. He dropped the bag and rose to his feet to see his master’s grinning face. The game was a training exercise. If the young warrior had been able to gather the bag of acorns without being caught it would have meant that he’d mastered the art of stealthily crossing enemy territory. But today’s failure meant that he’d have to scrub out the cooking pots again after the acorns had been made into the morning meal.

Anyone familiar with myths and legends of Northern Europe knows that the oak was a significant tree. It’s said that the title of “Druid” means “he who knows the oaks” and while I’m not certain of how accurate that is I do know that the oak is important to every culture that has access to them.

Today the oak is mostly known for it’s wood. It’s generally considered to be among the strongest lumbers. In my opinion the red oak has the most beautiful grain in the wood but is actually slightly less rot resistant than the white oak. That’s because the white oak has a tendency to be found in wetter conditions than the red oak and so the vessels hat transport water throughout the tree tend to be smaller and tighter to lock out fungus.

White Oak was also preferred for bending. The classic examples are bent wood furniture and tools like hay forks. White Oak wood is heated until it gets limber like a noodle and then it’s placed in a form until it cools down and holds the desired shape.

Oak bark is the source of cork. There’s entire plantations of cork oak. The outer bark is stripped away and processed into flooring, bulletin boards and if course wine corks. The stripping doesn’t harm the tree. It’s akin to getting a haircut and the bark regeneration sequesters carbon dioxide.

The inner bark has been used by herbalists for washing wounds and poison ivy rash. One of my guide books suggests that a strong tea made from oak bark us used as a mouthwash to treat bleeding gums. The medicine comes from the tannins in the bark. Now I’m of the opinion that an oak based mouthwash is the act of a desperate person. And here’s why. When I first started reading up on foraging for food and medicine I read that acorns were edible. And I love nuts. Plus, I live in a forest that’s full of oak. So one day I found some beautiful acorns. They big too! So I pulled out my pliers and cracked the nut open and popped the nut meat into my mouth. Not only was that nut astringent but it was bitter and that awful taste was in my mouth for hours. Even after a lot of coffee, vanilla extract, and even hot chillies! But I had all of the experts rave about acorns. What I had missed was the leeching process. All of the bad flavor was from the tannins but, those tannins are water soluble. Removing the tannins would have been as easy as soaking the nuts in water for several days until the water no longer changes color. A strong solution of the tannins can be used to tan leathers but that’s something that we’ll cover some other time. The other method to remove the tannins is to simply tie them up in a porous sack and toss it into moving water for a few days. A modern method is to use a food processor to chop the nuts into a fine powder ( after shelling) and place the powder in a nylon stocking before leeching out the tannins. Because this increases for the water to act on it makes for less time leeching.

Main thing acorns are used for today is acorn bread. There’s plenty of recipes online but basically you’re substituting the acorn flour for wheat flour and some people mix the two.

Tonight’s feature image is a white oak. Don’t let the color of Fall leaf fool you. That’s not genetic it’s a result of the wavelength of light. Red oak can have a yellow leaf and vice versa. But red oak leaves are usually more pointed in the lobe and they tend to have a little needle-like bur at the tip.

Even though this article went a little longer than normal I’m certain that I’ve overlooked some little bit of information or trivia so I do encourage you to take a look online if you think you want to try acorns.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

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.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click here to visithttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

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 message me on Facebook oruse 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=238248269630914251

Lastly, 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 photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Forage Friday #9 Wild Grapes ( just the vine for now )

Last weekend we missed Forage Friday due to a weather event so this Friday we’re going to pick up where we left off.

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Wild Grapes and Snake Tongue “. The image was taken specifically for tonight’s post. All of the photos on my blog are available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

We’re all familiar with Grapes. The fruit of the vine permeates our culture world wide. Everything from fine wine to to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich uses the grape berries. I have recently learned that the leaf is a huge Mediterranean delicacy. A quick internet search revealed that other parts of the world use the leaves in a lot dishes. However, the leaf is not the focus of tonight’s post. It’s the tendrils that I’m interested in on this foraging excursion.

As a kid we called them snake tongues. And it was probably while doing a silly snake impersonation and using the forked tendrils for a prop that I discovered the flavor.

The tendrils of wild grape resembling the forked tongue of a snake.

The taste of local wild grape tendrils reminds me a little of sweet tarts candy. I normally only grab a few while walking around the mountains. The candy like flavor helps me with dry mouth and it’s a little pick-me-up. Although that later trait is probably due my association with childhood.

I have been curious to chop a few up and toss them into a salad but so far I’ve just used it as a trail nibble like most of the wild edible plants that I’m familiar with.

I believe that the particular variety of grape in the feature image are Porcelain Berry. The reason why I think that is because the property where I took the photos is thick with Porcelain Berry.

Porcelain Berry looks nothing like the grapes in the grocery store.

The Porcelain Berry is a really interesting grape visually. The cluster often contains a variety of blues and reds in multiple tones. They are edible raw or cooked but I’m told that the flavor of the fruit is somewhat disappointing so I have never bothered to try it.

One last thing about the actual leaf. Specifically on Porcelain Berry. Because I have just discovered that grape leaves are edible I did a little digging around the internet and Porcelain Berry leaves are said to only be edible when cooked. Porcelain Berry is not a true grape even though we commonly call them wild grapes. True grapes are in the genre vitis. True grapes leaves can be eaten raw while Porcelain Berry (genus Ampelopsis ) leaves cannot be. I also need to warn you of a toxic look-alike to any kind of wild grape is Canadian Moonseed which contains a substance similar to curare. For more information about Moonseed here’s an old video from my YouTube days.

As always please do independent research and keep in mind that Forage Friday is only intended to be used as a starting point and a conversation starter.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

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.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click here to visithttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

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 message me on Facebook oruse 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=238248269630914251

Lastly, 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 photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Forage Friday #6 Wild Mustard.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my blog! Tonight’s feature image is untitled however all of the photos are my original work and are available as prints by following the instructions at the bottom of the article. The feature image was taken specially for this post. You’ll find my best work by exploring my blog and Frameable Greeting Cards in the links below.

When most people in the United States think about mustard the image of a spicy yellow or brown condiment comes to mind. Especially in the urban areas. However, in the rural areas wild mustard is either a salad or a cooked green.

A little research shows that there’s almost as many mustards as there are opinions in the world. For the purpose of Forage Friday we’re going to lump them all together under the umbrella of “wild mustard”. Even Peterson’s Field Guide uses the generic “Brassica Spp”.

The seeds can be used to make a spice just like the domestic varieties but as with any wild edible plant the flavor might not be what we’re used to.

The young seed pods can be pickled or tossed fresh into a salad.

The leaves can be a little bitter but can be eaten raw and that is my current experience since I have mostly focused on salad greens. I recently learned that the flower heads can be eaten like broccoli. That shouldn’t have surprised me because they are the family of plants. ( Which also includes cabbage BTW.)

The bright yellow flowers are always a welcomed sight in the spring when I spot them standing proudly near the roads. You might think that the mustard that you buy for your hot dogs is yellow because the mustard seed itself is yellow but it’s not so. Yellow mustard is yellow because it contains turmeric powder. Natural mustard seeds are grayish. It’s complicated process and it’s unlikely that you find them in a high enough quantity to make it worth the effort but a rich edible oil can be processed from the mustard seed. The process is said to leave behind a high protein powder which is also edible.

With all of the good things that comes from this humble little plant it makes me wonder why it’s classified as a weed? The only negative thing I can find online is that when dairy cows eat it the flavor of the milk is somewhat off making the milk unprofitable.

As I try write my closing line tonight I can’t help think about all the efforts that go into feeding the hungry people of the world. We pour money into government programs and charitable organizations that are intended to be resource for families who are struggling. And yet every day chemicals are sprayed to prevent the growth of food producing plants that thrive worldwide, like the mustard plant. It’s even been found growing near the earth’s magnetic pole. Could it be that the reason why people go hungry is because we’ve taken the wrong approach with food production? Perhaps instead of suppressing vigorous plants like mustard we should find ways to support them and turn our world back into a garden.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

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.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click the web to go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message mehttps://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

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 message me on Facebook oruse 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 photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page! 😊

Forage Friday 5… Dandelion

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Sun Seed” and the image at the bottom is titled “Make a wish and blow” both are available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the page.

If you’re in the Eastern part of North America then I’m willing to bet that the first flower the you ever picked for your mom was either a daisy or a dandelion. While much maligned by those who want a yard that looks like a putting green the humble dandelion is a wild edible plant that just keeps giving.

Living in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia means that I grew up listening to my grandparents generation singing the praises of the dandelion. Every Spring the rural yards were dotted with happy yellow flowers. I remember hearing one of the other kids comment that it looked like pieces of sun fell off and took root.

Even though the local reputation for dandelion was a positive one we didn’t consume it in our house. It wasn’t until went on a wilderness survival camp in Civil Air Patrol that I tried it for the first time by nibbling on the leaves and flowers. The leaves are a little bitter. The flowers had a dry texture that didn’t really appeal to my tastes at that time. I was aware of dandelion as a wild edible plant but that first experience with the flower kept me focused on the leaves.

It wasn’t until I got really bad sick with pancreatitis and liver problems that I tried anything more than a few nibbles of the leaves or stem. I had read in a few manuals that dandelion was good for the liver. I began to keep dandelion tea on hand. I can’t credit it with curing me completely because I also took the medicine that my doctor prescribed. But do think it helped me and every so often I enjoy a cup or two for maintenance. ( I am not trained herbalist or medical professional of any kind. If you’re sick please seek a professional for advice. I’m only telling you about my own experiences with dandelion)

The roots of the dandelion are said to make an excellent coffee substitute when roasted. While it might look like coffee and even taste like coffee it has no caffeine. That makes it an unsuccessful substitute for coffee in my opinion. But it’s fine as its own thing.

Speaking of that tap root, it’s very long. A dandelion root can get as long as eighteen inches. And it’s great at breaking through compressed soil and pulling up nutrients that locked up deep underground. Left alone, the dandelion can help revitalize overworked land.

And as we all know it’s plentiful! It’s odd to me that in some parts of society humans spray poison in the yard to prevent the dandelion from growing for free but go to store and buy salad that’s shipped in from far away. The dandelion tea that I mentioned earlier had to purchased because it was the dead of winter and there was no wild ones to be found. For organic dandelion at a specialty store the price was $6.00 per box. Something to think about before spraying the lawn with Roundup.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the Dandelion Festival in White Sulphur Springs next month. It’s a pretty big celebration in honor of the happy yellow flowers who pop up in Spring. The festival features one of Appalachia’s most unique products; dandelion wine. I’m not really a wine connoisseur so I can’t really judge the quality of the wine however it does have a great reputation as both a wine and a tonic. The festival itself consists of parades, music and handcrafted items of all kinds.

Last but not least, Dandelions are a source of wishes. Think real hard about your wish and blow on the seed head. The seeds will carry your wishes to heaven.

Make a wish and blow!

⚠️Please remember that my blog is about the photos and that Forage Friday is only intended to entertain you and not to make you an expert forager.⚠️

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

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.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click the web to go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 message me on Facebook oruse 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=238248269630914251

Lastly, 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 photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page! 😊

Forage Friday 3.. Redbud

Hello Friends!Tonight’s feature image is titled “Redbud 33019”. All of the photos are my original work and are available as prints by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

One of the true joys of an Appalachian Spring is the blooming of the redbud. In fact one of minor reasons why I chose the property that I live on now is the presence of reddish pink pops of happiness in late March to mid April. After a long gray winter the colorful redbud is a very welcome sight for sore eyes.

A closer look at the redbud flowers

Redbud is often planted as an ornamental shrub because of its early and colorful pea like flowers. And, it is a nitrogen fixing legume that is often used for reclaiming strip mines and helping to heal the soil.

Of course, this is Forage Friday and that means that redbud is also a wild edible. I have only used it as a “trail nibble” by picking a few raw flower buds here and there and popping a few in my mouth. However, I do think that it would be an interesting thing to add to a salad. I’ve been watching the bloom spread up the mountain and I think that I’ll try it as part of a salad soon. Being a legume I expect that redbud is rich in protein. I haven’t tried the pods yet either but Peterson’s Field Guide suggest a ten minute saute of the young tender pods which look somewhat like snow peas hanging below heart shaped leaves. (As always, make sure of positive ID. Before trying the first time. Trees like black locusts have similar pods and are considered toxic)

A word here on timing. The flower is only in its prime for a few weeks and once the pods reach a certain maturity they become leathery. I have also read that some people have canned the pods like green beans but it’s not something that I’m experienced with and as with this whole series I really recommend that you do further research before going out with a basket to try a new and exotic food from the forest.

Okay, don’t skip the disclaimer.

Forage Friday isn’t really intended to teach you everything you need to know about wild foraging. It was conceived as a way for me to showcase my photos while providing a few interesting tidbits of information to peak your interest and start a conversation in some of the forums that I share with on Facebook.

If you have eaten redbud flowers or pods of if you have a question about wild edible plants the comments are open to the public.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

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.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click the web to go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me onFacebook or use the contact form

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 message me on Facebook oruse 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=238248269630914251

Lastly, 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 photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page! 😊

Wood Violets Forage Friday 2

Hello Friends. Tonight’s feature image is titled “Yellow Wood Violet 41909” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Because we live in such a litigious society I’m obliged to remind you that Forage Friday is only intended to be a conversation starter and not a guide. Having a positive ID on a plant is essential for safety and some of the plants coveted in this series do have poisonous look-alikes that might fool a novice. Wild foraging is a great way to get out and explore but be safety minded and do further research. I also recommend that you keep a copy of Peterson’s Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants handy.

In my part of the Appalachian Mountains one of the most abundant wild edible plants is the wood violet. In fact it’s so prevalent on my land that I have decided to consider it a volunteer salad crop. On their own the leaves are a little bland but they’re also rich in vitamin C as well as vitamin A. The leaves are basically a great substitute for spinach. Not being a huge fan of cooked greens I tend only eat them raw but they can be useful as a pot herb. The leaves and flowers are the only recommend parts. As a type 2 diabetic I avoid sweets but the flowers are often rolled in powdered sugar and eaten as candles. I’ve also recently been told of violet preserves and violet syrups has peaked my imagination.

I know that some people are looking at the yellow flowers in feature image and thinking that it’s the wrong color to be a violet. I have been told that it must be a pansy. Well, actually, both pansies and violets are in the genus Viola and both come in a variety of colors. One of my favorite violets is known locally as the Confederate Violet because of the grayish color.

Confederate Violet

Aside from color the leaves tend to be a little more round. But the shape of a leaf and the shape of the petals can vary depending on the soil nutrients and growing conditions.

Of course I have plenty of the common Blue Violets as well.

The blue violets are so competitive here that in some parts of the yard there’s more flowers than grass. I figured that was God’s way of making sure that I have plenty to eat so I let them have what they want.

One last word on safety and foraging for food. Be aware that we live in a post industrial world and that means that contamination is always a hazard. Chemicals that are used to control weeds can be found even in the most seemingly pristine setting and that includes farmlands. What looks like a park today can be hiding a place where illegal dumping has occurred. So look around before collecting and if something looks off then you might want to forage elsewhere.

So, tell me your experience. Have you ever tried violets as part of a camping trip or maybe an expiriment with Victorian cuisine? The comments are open to the public .

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

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.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click the web to go tohttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me onFacebook or use the Contact Form on my website

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 message me on Facebook oruse 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=238248269630914251

Lastly, 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 photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page! 😊