I went back to Debbie's farm, this time to learn about picking up edible flowers and mushrooms. It was a very eye opening experience and had the loveliest time learning about all these natural resources that we can use at home for different culinary and practical purposes.
1. Nettle: Helps reduce inflammation and good for allergy relief. Nettle leaves can be plucked when the plant is not flowering and be cooked for tea. Once the nettle plant has flowered, only the seeds are edible.
2. Sorrel: One of my favorite discoveries. This is an edible leave which has a tangy and citrussy flavor, would make a great addition in salads.
3. Tansy: Another fantastic find! This flower is not edible, but can be practically used at home since it repels mosquitoes and fruit flies. Debbie always keeps one close to her fruit bowl.
4. Sage: Apart from its culinary use, this herb is a good anti-septic. Chew one leave and youll notice how clean your teeth feel afterwards. Provides good relaxation before sleeping if cooked in tea (combines well with mint leaves).
5. Plantain: Debbie uses its seeds on top of breads, but the leaves can also be used to prepare an ointment good for the skin. Good remedy for insect bites, rashes and cuts.
6. Hawthorn: Its flowers are edible during summer. In autumn the berries can be used to make hawthorn leather, a natural sweet, rich in vitamin C.
The adventure moved on when we walked through both a potato and corn field looking for elderberries. This brought us to our first mushroom encounter (luckily its the season now and we could learn some around that topic too).
Tip: Even though its not 100 accurate, Debbie tells how mushrooms have a particular smell to them. If you find one with a funny scent to it, better stay away.
A couple mushrooms we learned about:
1. Parasol mushroom: Edible, big in size, has a skirt underneath, meaty and easy to recognize. This is what Debbie would call a beginners mushroom.
2. Horseshoe mushroom: Non-edible, but can still be put to good use at home. This mushroom is an effective fire starter since it produces a good ember.