Skip to main content

The Latest

  • Foraged apples of 2014
    Apple foraging in action
    While 2014 wasn't a good year for mulberries or acorns, it was a banner year for apples. We had many more than we could possibly process, and had to leave some trees untouched. We have over 400 pounds of apples (about 8 bushels) either already...
  • Minnesota State Parks: A forager's paradise!
    Minnesota State Parks: A forager's dream!
    Foraging on public lands may or may not be legal, depending on the location. In Minnesota, though, it is always legal in state parks and state forests.I had always heard that it was, but I wanted to make sure so I searched through Minnesota's...
  • Culled apples
    How to get orchard apples for a fraction of the price
    Do you want to try some high-end apples at bargain basement prices? Culled apples are the way to go!In my article about urban foraging, I mentioned asking produce sellers for "canning" or "freezing" grade fruits and vegetables,...
  • Rediscovering lost apples
    Rediscovering "lost" apples
    It can be nearly impossible to identify unknown apples, especially feral ones. There are a few ways to narrow it down, but Seed Savers Exchange orchard manager Dan Bussey is writing a book about 20,000 named apple varieties in the US, and there...
  • A peck of peppers
    A peck of peppers (pickled and preserved)
    A friend recently gifted us with a bag of peppers from her garden. She had used all she could, and decided it was time to "share the wealth". We snapped them up.To be fair, there wasn't quite a peck. A peck is actually 2 gallons, or...
  • Identifying apples
    How to ID that unknown apple
    We've been acquiring a lot of apples lately, and some of them are just plain mysteries. They're either from old properties, gifts, or sometimes it's just from "that tree in the yard".A local man sells apples in his driveway,...
  • Feral foraging
    Feral foraging: not-quite-wild fruit
    Have you ever driven down the road and spotted an apple tree on an empty piece of land? That's what I like. Finding an old farm, or where a house used to be, anywhere people planted fruit in the past but are no longer around to harvest it.I&...
  • Making use of your wild plums
    Making use of wild plums
    Last week I wrote about how to find the wily wild plum. Once you've located them and picked your fill (with your homemade fruit picker, of course), you'll need to find a way to make use of your bounty. Here are a few ideas.Click on the...
  • On cider, scrumpy, and Scotland
    On cider, scrumpy, and Scotland
    I was chatting with my friend Polly from Glasgow, Scotland (imagine Craig Ferguson's accent, but prettier. A lot prettier.), and I mentioned that we had given our children some apple cider. She was horrified. "Ye do that with your weans?...
  • Using up those tomatoes
    Freezing tomatoes before they freeze
    Fall is hitting early and with a vengeance (we've had frost warnings the past two nights) and we're picking a lot of tomatoes right away that we'd otherwise harvest in waves.Some will still be not-quite-ripe or even green (it's...
  • Making your own fruit picker
    Making your own fruit picker
    The main problem I have with fruit trees is that they very seldom stop growing at 8' tall. Most of the best looking harvest is far above that, so I need a way to extend my reach. Enter the fruit picker.I have a very old one my father passed on...
  • 11 Ways to go foraging with your children
    11 Ways to go foraging with your children
    Foraging is an activity we've been doing a lot of lately, and while many of the preparation steps are for adults or older children only (like peeling, paring, chopping, and boiling), there are a lot of things children can do to help out as...
  • Review of "Wild Berries & Fruits Field Guide"
    Review: "Wild Berries & Fruits Field Guide of MN, WI, & MI"
    Wild Berries & Fruits Field Guide of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan by Teresa Marrone is by far the most indispensable foraging book I have ever owned, or even seen. It is well written and perfectly organized.From the author:"We all...
  • The wily wild plum
    The wily wild plum
    I took my children to Lake Shetek State Park in southwestern Minnesota today, and while chatting with the Park Ranger she mentioned there was a plum tree in the park, but she didn't know where. We had a quest! We drove along the gravel roads,...
  • 12 ways to preserve your pears
    12 ways to preserve your pears
    The pears are falling from the trees, so it's time to collect as many as you can and put them up for the winter. Here's a roundup of ideas I've tried (or will be trying very soon!)Pear butter, crockpot stylePear butter, stovetop...