Catherine’s Foraging Journal

Catherine's foraging journal
Wild Raspberry Bushes

Catherine’s Foraging Journal. When I was a kid, my family and I picked berries by the bucketful. For breakfast the next morning, we ate a bowl of berries and a slice or two of Mom’s overnight bread. It was a treat for us and the inspiration for the breakfast at the Cathillon farm.

Catherine’s Foraging Journal

Raspberries and Blackberries

We had our favorite patches, but if you go foraging for wild berries, you can find them at the edge of the woods, along the roadside, or among the tall grasses underneath overhead powerlines. Make sure to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and boots because the stalks are thorny. Also, remember, humans, aren’t the only animals to eat berries, and watch out for bears and snakes.

In Western Pennsylvania, black raspberries (above) begin to ripen around July 4 and a couple of weeks later, blackberries (right) become available to harvest.

Blackberries are much bigger and have bigger seeds.

Catherine’s Foraging Journal: Hemp-Agrimony

Of the myriad of species collected,  Francisca relied on Hemp-Agrimony above all others, collecting the leaves and flowering tops in August before they opened and dried. Vitamin C in plants such as Hemp-Agrimony staved off scurvy and colds during the long Vosges winter without fresh fruits. For uses read more…

Catherine’s Foraging Journal:

Wild Spinach or Lambsquarters

Prolific, abundant, and delicious, the top edible “weed” is Wild Spinach. It grows with little effort in almost any disturbed soil and is one of the most nutrient-dense plants ever analyzed. It is rich in potassium and magnesium and has more vitamins A and C, riboflavin, and calcium than domesticated spinach. Learn more…

Catherine’s Foraging Journal:

Soapwort (Wild Sweet William)  

Soapwort (Wild Sweet William)
Soapwort (Wild Sweet William) growing in my backyard

Early in the summer, you will find Soapwort, wild sweet William. Look for it in rich, well-drained soil along the edge of the meadow where it is shaded from the strong afternoon sun. The leaves are slightly hairy with flowers forming atop the smooth stem. Little fingers appear to reach out from the stem and grab weeds near it to reach its full height of three feet. Left undisturbed, it can be invasive. The prolific pink, sometimes white, flowers burst forth from June to October attracting butterflies and honeybees with their sweet, spicy aroma. Learn more…

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