Elderberry Toxicity and Edibility

red elderberry berries

Hank Shaw published an article at Hunter Angler Gardener Cook on elderberry fritters. I created this post to share my own discoveries about the Red Elderberry and foster some further discussion in the comments below about the edible and toxic parts of this plant. I’ve been investigating the edibility of many local, wild plants. The red elderberry is one that has caught my eye recently. Looking in Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast, it mentions that the “stems, bark, leaves and roots” are toxic, but…

Fishing for Lingcod, Cypress Island Washington

Heading out to Cypress Island in Washington to one of our favorite Lingcod fishing holes. Fishing from a sailboat is challenge, but bottom fishing for Lingcod can be especially difficult. Ken and I have spent several years perfecting our style and have learned the best times and tides for us to fish for this wonderful fish. One of the places we make a point of visiting during the Lingcod fishing season, is at Cypress Island. There are several very productive holes around the Cone Islands…

Clamming Tools

This article helps explain the different clamming tools available to those who are interested in foraging for clams Clams were a staple food for the Native Americans who lived around the Puget Sound. Think about it. Clams can’t run away, they can be harvested dependably at every low tide, they can also be harvested without much effort, and they taste great. It makes just as much sense for modern people to harvest clams as it was for ancient peoples. However, modern clammers have many more…

Sea Cucumbers, Oysters, Cattails & other Wild Foods

Last weekend, Sherrie & I took off with no particular destination nor itinerary in mind. It was mid-May, Mother’s Day weekend and the weather was great. Multiple fishing and harvesting opportunities were present, with Ling Cod, Halibut, Shrimp, Clams & Oysters (check the red-tide hotline: http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/sf/biotoxin.htm ), Cabezon, and other seafoods available for the catching. Ok, our fishing luck was pretty poor, with a total of one nice rock cod (not allowable and thus released unharmed), and a few sea cumbers. Winds and tides were…

Harvesting Seaweed to Eat – Ulva Sea Lettuce

This article shows how to identify, harvest, dry, and cook with sea lettuce, an edible sea weed. Ulva sea lettuce is one of the most prevelant and easy to harvest wild seaweeds in the world. Like almost all edible sea vegetables, it’s easy to dry and store. It’s texture and color is similar to blanched spinach, and it’s completely tasteless if prepared correctly. Sea Lettuce Facts According to Pacific Feast, ulva sea lettuce is high in both protein and carbohydrates, fiber, and nutrients. It’s also…

Foraging for Wild Food: Fennel Fronds

This article shows how to identify, process, and store wild fennel. After collecting several fennel fronds, I blanched, dried, and vacuum packed the wild fennel for use in future dishes. I ran across a description of wild fennel in Pacific Feast several months ago and wondered what the heck they were. I had never heard of wild fennel, never seen it in a local field guide, and of course wondered what is fennel good for. However, I came across a tasty looking plant while walking…

Our love of the San Juan Islands; Passing it On.

Opening day of freshwater fishing and we had the grandkids out for some fun. We are fortunate to have three of our grandchildren living on Fidalgo Island with us. They are Daneil age 7, Darrin age 5, and Serenity age 4. Daneil and Darrin have become old salts on our sailboat having spent most every weekend last summer with us out sailing. Daneil really surprised me when he decided that he wanted to fish with my favorite light fishing pole (a christmas present from Ken)…

Wild Nettles on my menu!

What are nettles? We are fairly new to serious foraging for food. While I have been something of an outdoorsman for most of my life, I never really had a need nor a burning desire to fully utilize the natural bounty that wild food foraging can benefit us. For 40 or 50 years, I have known that wild nettles were edible. All of the books said so. Still, upon moving here 5 years ago and finding a nettle herb patch in our driveway, I had…

Square Cove – Guemes Island

Square Cove opening

We did a short day trip today. We thought we might spend the night out and had prepared for such, but with 3 grand-children and neither of us feeling all that healthy, left the options open. We weren’t sure where we were going when we left the dock. It was Vendovi, Saddlebag Island, or someplace in-between. We departed our slip at Cape Sante Marina with supplies for lunch, dinner, s-mores, and more. As we were transiting Guemes Island en-route to Vendovi Island, we looked at…

Frittered Maple Flowers

This article discusses my experience with making some very tasty frittered maple flowers while on my boat, the Rock ‘n Row, in Watmough Bay on Lopez Island I was on a walk-break at work this last week and I saw that the buds had burst on a particularly large bigleaf maple tree. Out of the buds were popping these little adolescent flower clusters. I knew that the sap of these maple leaf trees was edible and I had heard one could even shuck the whirly-gig…

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