Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wild Food & Fish Foraging Weekend

June 24-26th, we hosted a Wild Foods and Foraging Workshop at the North Cascades Basecamp.  Through the lush summer greenery we tromped about, searching for and sampling the botanical bounty of the Basecamp.  Along the way we plucked greens, gnawed stems, and dug roots.  By the end of the day we eleven learners were all the more aware of the array of natural foods available to us throughout the time and place that is the Basecamp.  

Our menu for the weekend included:
Friday 6/24
Dinner ◦ Slow cooked ham locally grown and harvested ; ◦ Roasted garden potatoes and yams; ◦ Cabbage, carrot, apple slaw with sweet cicily roots; ◦ Emmer rolls; ◦ Rosehip & Mint tea; Dessert
◦ Vanilla ice cream with elderberry syrup

Saturday 6/25
Breakfast ◦ Egg strata w/ sautéed fireweed greens; ◦ Strawberries; ◦ Elderberry scones; ◦ Strawberry/Blackberry leaf tea

Lunch ◦ Wild rice with feta, cow parsnip stalks and wild bulbs; ◦ Salad of wild greens and flowers; ◦ Watermelon; ◦ Coconut-Chocolate Dibs cookies

Appetizer ◦ Salmon skin chips with herbed cream spread

Dinner ◦ Cast iron rainbow trout with foraged wild mushrooms, bacon and herbs; ◦ Smoked wild salmon with stinging nettle sauce garnished with miners lettuce; ◦ Nettle gnocchi; ◦ Asparagus and bracken fern fronds; ◦ Dandelion-Sorrel tea; Dessert ◦ Apple/ Rhubarb cobbler with gingered whipping cream

Sunday 6/26
Breakfast:  ◦ Emmer waffles; ◦ Homemade blueberry-applesauce; ◦ Yogurt, toasted sunflower seeds, syrup; ◦ Cantaloupe

Dana Visalli taught us mushroom identification, Steve Bondi discussed the ecology of Mazama and the wild foods we collected, and Becky Selengut discussed sustainable fishing with the group as well as demonstrated a fabulous culinary dinner on Saturday night with the foods we harvested.  

Edible plants (leaves, roots, stems, bulbs or flowers) found and sampled during our weekend workshop at the Basecamp
  • Serviceberry
  • Elderberry
  • Chokecherry
  • Thimbleberry
  • Raspberry
  • Sticky currant
  • Balsalmroot
  • Oregon grape
  • Tiger lily
  • Cow parsnip
  • Sweet cicily
  • Wild rose
  • Wild mint
  • Lamb’s quarters
  • Salsify
  • Lady fern
  • Bracken fern
  • yarrow
Salad mix
  • miners lettuce
  • stream violet (yellow)
  • dandelion
  • white clover
  • plantain
  • slender hawkweed
  • pineapple weed
  • cleavers (bedstraw)
  • sheep sorrel
  • wood’s violet (purple)
  • sedum (stonecrop)
  • rock cress
  • oxeye daisy

Mushroom sampled:
  • Black morels
  • xxx
  • rose hip and mint
  • dandelion and sorrel
  • raspberry and strawberry leaf
Others sampled and discussed but not seen on site
  • Spring beauty
  • Fireweed
  • Chocolate lily
  • Glacier lily
  • Stinging nettles

Friday, June 10, 2011

Natural Currents: Harlequin Duck Females on the Methow River

Over the pond from North Cascades Basecamp and through the woods to the Methow River we go.  From the strategically setup bench, our eyes followed a Spotted Sandpiper flying over a long bobbling log floating stationary in the river.  On its southern wooded tip, two female Harlequin Ducks were resting with their heads down tight, as the motion of the river currents put them fast asleep.  Suddenly, another alarming female came flying in from down river to make a controlled crash landing in the turbulence of the river next to the log.  She jumped up and onto the jam and joined the other two females to groom herself in preparation for a good nights sleep upon a soothing, yet wild, water bed.
To know more about the life history of the Harlequin Duck, please check out the following Audubon Link:  Seattle Audubon Society