Monday, December 08, 2008

Of muscadines, bok choy, and persimmons

One of the great pleasures of my recent life has been the foraging of food otherwise ignored, forgotten, or simply unfound. After arriving at my currently temporary location, I discovered the grand herald of the southern summer, the muscadine, still clinging to the vine. While most of these were inedible, at least not palatable to me, there were a few still green that the frost had turned wonderfully sweet.. these tidbits immediately took me back at least six months to the summer if not years back to the times I collected these as a child along the banks of an exciting creek full of child inspiring wonder..

At the same time, I have been practicing other forms of what would otherwise be considered urban foraging, except that I am hours away from any place anyone would mistake for even remotely "urban."

I have been enjoying the persimmons which are simply inedible until after the first frost, as well as bok choy planted int he garden which is bolting but still very tasty..

I have collected dried black eyed peas, which would be ignored by the owners as undesirable (they collected what they wanted fresh), and I could collect black walnuts were I more patient.. ( I expect that next year I will be..)

This ignores many of the wild edibles of which I am still learning, such as green briar (a nice bit of vengeance that is.. eating the damn vines which leave me cut to ribbons..) and others..

On a tree once planted I am certain by one of the early homesteaders of this site, there stands a persimmon tree, which produces fruit which is simply not edible until the frost comes and converts the starches to sugars producing a delicious if seedy treat.

All of this in December, when the winds are howling, the cold threatening, and the climate simply unwelcoming..

So in these troubles times I ask, are you really taking in all that you could for a comfortable and even gourmet lifestyle?

I am doing what I can.. give me a year and I will be living a fine life than most kings throughout history, for less than the most modest welfare queen!


ChristyACB said...

I hear you on the Great Greenbriar Vengence. I can't believe some of the marks I've gotten now, one a giant backwards C on my leg as if I carved my initials in there. Ridiculous! (Good thing those things fade well on me)

When I found out you could eat the new tips...I relished doing so. Maybe now we'll come to an understanding. ;)

Storm said...

I am eagerly awaiting the new growth so that I get my revenge for the blood lost over the winter while collecting timbers..

Thanks for the comments.. sorry about the delays in responding..