Wild Food

Spice From Our Woods

Now is the time to gather the ripe berries of our native spicebush, Lindera benzoin, for use as tea, room fragrance or spice, a plant that has also been used medicinally both by local American-Indian tribes and European colonists. Spicebush grows all the hills here, […]

Post Card from the Hedgerow

Trifoliate orange (hardy citrus) grows like an evergreen weed around here. The harvest is ending… What should I make with them this year? (last year I made liqueur)

More on Pawpaws

My favorite banana custard involves no cooking whatsoever. No, it doesn’t involve opening a package of store-bought “custard” either. In fact, it requires a stroll along the creek with my nose up in late summer: I am looking for native wild pawpaws (Asimina triloba) that […]

Post Card From The Woods

In season now: pawpaws – ripening along the creeks                     a creamy luscious fruit redolent of mango, guava and banana…

Berry Season

There is no question that we are well into berry season. Strawberries are the first berries to ripen for us here in the Northern Virginia Piedmont. The most common ones that you are likely to grow or buy are the June bearers. They produce a […]

A Good Year For Morels

A Good Year For Morels

It’s been a good year for morels… they are even reported to be growing in people’s front yard or back yard or back door. Not mine though. Keith has to go hunt them in the woods. It’s such a good year in fact that our […]

Ode to the Autumn Olive

I have know for a while that autumn olives (Elaeagnus umbellata) were edible. I just never took the time to go after them. But this year seems to be the year when I started to forage more consistently (bird cherries, wineberries, elderberries, chestnuts, Japanese quince, […]

The Other Wild Food

A guest post from the resident hunter, Keith. Hunting season starts October 3 this year. Sylvie. This (past) weekend we hosted an English Shakespearean acting troupe which inspired me to write on hunting. These were young city-folk who were hosted by families in The County. […]

Elder Blossom Lemonade

A plant of our hedgerows and abandoned fields that are being reconquered by the forest, the elder favors the sides of ditches and embankments – especially those with a bit of shade. Oh, it grows well enough in full sun, but it seems to appreciate […]

Tis the Season

I know. I am supposed to post the recipe for Pork Rillettes. But I am too tired. It’s spring after all, with its myriad tasks: making new beds, planting like crazy, transplanting like there is no tomorrow, watching the chicken scratch through the weeds, weeding!, […]