Pink Peppercorns

Foraging for Pink Peppercorns

A few years back, we spent a week at Rancho la Puerta, a spa in Tecate, Mexico, an hour or so south-east of San Diego, California. I had a great time exploring the landscape of the coastal Baja California desert chaparral and the many fascinating cultivated and wild plants that thrive there. I didn’t do

Homemade Black Walnut Ink

Make Your Own Black Walnut Ink (+ Giveaway)

Header hand drawn by Davin Risk Over the last year I’ve posted about some of my experiments in dyeing fabrics and threads with plants gleaned from my garden to be used in my winter, off-season stitching projects. Since then I have expanded beyond my own garden to use plant materials foraged from the world beyond.

Foraged Apples

How About Them Apples? Foraging for Free Fruit

Illustration by Davin Risk If you’ve been following my Instagram over these last weeks, you will have noticed that I have gone out foraging for apples with a friend on a couple of occasions. In that time I have received a few requests for more info, i.e. how I do it, what are the subtle

Apples Foraged by Gayla

Late Summer Preserving, Canning, and Seed Saving

More squashes have joined the pile since I took this photo! Can you tell the real squashes from my ceramic collection? Earlier in the week, Toronto was flooded for the second time this season. We needed the rain, just not that much all at once! My garden is a mess. Vines that weren’t properly secured

backyard medicine

Backyard Medicine Book Winner (+Newsletter Giveaway)

Lara was randomly selected as the most recent book giveaway, Backyard Medicine: Harvest and Make Your Own Herbal Remedies by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal. I’ve decided to extend this giveaway to one person on the newsletter list. I’ll be randomly choosing a winner on the morning of Monday, July 22, so you have until

Linden Flower Tea

Foraging for Linden Flowers (+ Giveaway)

I live smack dab inside an urban forest of linden aka lime (Tilia) and at no time is that more obvious than mid-June-July when the trees are dripping with blooms. Their sticky sweet, floral scent is so strong, my bet is that even if you have never noticed the trees, chances are good that you

lambs quarters and orach

Edible “Weeds”: Lamb’s Quarters and Orach

Left to Right: Lamb’s Quarter (Chenopodium album) and Garden Orach (Atriplex hortensis). It was overcast and warm this morning, so I took advantage of the mild conditions to harvest and wash greens for salad. A combination of rain and warmth has the greens going gangbusters over the last few days and I am starting to

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Almost Free Foraged Hard Apple Cider

One of the first homemade brews I made last year when the bug for fermenting things caught me was a jug of hard apple cider. I played it safe that first time out of fear and trepidation, which in hindsight could have entirely ruined those good bottles of expensive, unpasteurized, organic cider had it not

Photo by Davin Risk: All Rights Reserved

The Gleaners and I

Foraging dandelion blossoms. This was originally written as a guest post on Free Range Chicken. “My mother’d say, “Pick everything up so nothing gets wasted.” – from The Gleaners an I I recently stumbled upon “The Gleaners and I,” a documentary that I first saw several years ago about the ancient tradition of gleaning, or

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Violets Galore

The new yard came with violets… lots and lots of violets. They’re blooming now and even though the yard continues to look like the excavation site of a dead body on a television police procedural… I’m in heaven. I have longed to have the space to grow enough violets to make cheerful springtime jellies. A

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rights Reserved

Thrifting the Garden

I grew up in a household that frequented thrift shops out of necessity, and like many kids in that economic bracket I was deeply embarrassed by our sorely out-of-date second hand outfits and household goods. Somehow between ages 14 and 16 and I did a mental 180° and found myself embracing thrifting as a lifestyle

Photo by Gayla Trail: All Rishts Reserved

File Under: Weird Food

Earlier this year I discovered that the fruit from the Kousa Dogwood tree (Cornus kousa) are edible and I’ve been waiting until the end of summer to get a taste. The first fruit on my friend Barry’s tree are starting to ripen and I managed, over the weekend, to collect a few from out of

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