Edibles again: HuckleberriesJune 30th, 2015 at 3:11:37 am
Basically wild blueberries, although technically not a blueberry, only related. Much more flavor-packed than a blueberry. Honestly, pretty miserable to pick in VA due to heat and humidity this time of year ... but for some reason I really get into it. I may or may not pick raspberries or blackberries, usually don't, but huckleberries I dig. Not sure why but probably because I don't know anyone else who does it.
Yesterday it was slim pickings as you can see. Note also the berries are much smaller than commercial blueberries. The trick is to catch them at their peak, a small window for sure for that, but then it is [barely due to weather] worth doing.
I can really post a lot on this subject if encouraged [you have been warned LOL]
Dandy Edible Plant ReconsideredApril 15th, 2015 at 3:23:46 am
I decided to give dandelions another try after bashing them in the last post. Didn't care for them when I tried them before, but I had tried them too late too, this is actually the time of year to do it.
This time I took a tool and dug some up properly instead of half-ass. When you cut off the roots and wash them off, this is what you get.
I made a salad and sampled the dandelions 'on the side'.
*The book says you should find the blanched part [next to the root] tasty but the rest maybe not. I found as I ate past the blanched it was still good, but stopped from eating it all just as you might with a green onion [scullion]. As the Spring wears on I suspect the other end gets less and less palatable.
*The contribution to the salad was similar to arugula. I wouldn't want an entire salad of dandelions or arugula either one, but as an ingredient.
*The nutritional value is there with various vitamins, including C. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2441/2
*They are certainly plentiful.
Final conclusion: might as well harvest some this time of year along with the wild onions. They are coming up while the regular garden is just getting started.
Edible Wild PlantsApril 7th, 2015 at 6:59:05 am
I have a book on edible wild plants, and it comes in handy. Although I agree in general with anyone who says you really need to know someone familiar with harvesting any particular item*, sometimes the book suffices. A particularly nice feature of this book [a Peterson guide] is that it warns you about poisonous lookalikes.
Take dandelions: an unmistakable edible [not that I am a fan]. However, if you knew nothing about them prior to picking up the book, the book is not that much help, even with photos. Once you know a dandelion when you see it, though, you never mistake it again for anything else.
On the other hand, the book was helpful with wild onions, which I have nearby in abundance. The book clearly indicates that that there is really no mistake to make. It's a "looks, walks, quacks like a duck" thing. You know when you've got an onion out of common sense, and you can't accidentally pick a poisonous one.
Here are some just picked. I can't tell the difference in taste from what you'd buy in the store, they are no stronger. The only tender part, though, is the white part, once you get to the green I notice it is very tough typically compared to what you buy.
I might blog on edible wilds, and my garden ... we'll see.
*don't even think of harvesting mushrooms without help, except maybe the Morel
DyssomniaFebruary 12th, 2015 at 8:04:49 am
good ol' google, I was going to see if I could coin a word: dysomnia
I put it into google and as it goes with that wonderful function it has, google tossed up the correct spelling. I guess it's not too surprising it's been around, Dyssomnia
I had been thinking about it, my minor sleep disorder is not insomnia, in fact it's instead a problem how fast I go out and start snoring. It seemed wrong to call it insomnia.
I typically get no more than 5 hours of solid restful sleep; that does cover the critical REM period etc., and is basically enough to stay healthy I think. I may or may not go back to some light sleep for an hour or so after the 5.
Failing that coining attempt, I think I can coin an acronym, PESS, borrowing from PTSD which we all know. I hereby declare PESS to be Post Employment Stress Syndrome. This is the sleep-killing appearance in a retired person's dreams of all the problems and cares of his working days - in my case often ending sleep at the 5 hour mark ! And a syndrome, something less than a disorder.
This whole coining claim is kind of tongue in cheek, but I really would like to get rid of my PESS!
I also declare the below PESS acronyms inconsequential LOL
The Frankenstein ThingOctober 4th, 2014 at 10:34:55 am
To explain a post,
The Frankenstein Thing
How I Learned to Quit Worrying and Love the Bomb Torch
Maybe because of the Frankenstein movie where the villagers have a bunch of torches as they search for Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, or some other forgotten reason, always wanted to make a torch. Never had much real reason to do so, though.
Well, I was notified by way of a painful sting that I had a yellow jacket nest in my yard; a steady stream of the insects in and out of a 4 inch wide oval hole in the ground had been approached too closely to suit.
Well, I read up on it and was able to get products for wasps seemingly similar to what was recommended. After dark [this is when it started to feel Frankenstein-ish] I shot a whole can into the hole; next morning at first light dusted the hole with insect dust, all as recommended. Well, it didn't get rid of all the activity, some was still nearby, different area slightly. So, after dark again I tried to find what must have been some other alternate hole but could only identify a general area. I was a little miffed that any were still alive anyway, but the stuff recommended was supposed to be heavier than air, and I had been able only to get something with different ingredients.
Knowing the 'country' way of getting rid of these things, it was on. Kerosene dumped all over the general area after dark, then set aflame. And I wanted that flame to get going quick by tossing something burning into it. A rolled up newspaper dunked in kerosene works, but now was my chance to make that torch! I also had a bunch of wood ready and built a bonfire and kept feeding the fire for nearly 24 hours.
The damn sting spot never raised a lump, but kept itching. The pain soon came in the form of bruise-like pain. After that finally left, on and off itching continued for a total of about 10 days after the initial sting. Live and let live was out of the question.
BTW, if you ever use flammables for any similar reason, you should always use kerosene, not gasoline. Not only is gasoline way too explosive, it also is unsatisfactory for starting fires in that it may use itself up too quickly. Kerosene at normal temperatures does not give off an explosive vapor; you'll sometimes notice it is reluctant to catch fire using a match. But it burns steadily once it starts, lasting a good long while and will get even somewhat wet wood burning. Yet it is also true that both substances come with warnings not to use them for making fires. That is reasonable since there is one circumstance that makes kerosene potentially disastrous, besides the obviously risky business of splashing it around a fire that is already going. Know what this other thing is? If you don't, you are at risk using it.
never pour kerosene on hot coals, as this does make it exposive. People have blown up their stoves doing this