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 “rules” to forage by. I thought I’d answer some of those questions and talk about my experiences foraging in the city.
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 are flopped over. Everything is soaked, soggy, and drooped. Even the mulch had shifted so much that it had left a wave pattern. Davin helped last night by raking the mulch back into position and cutting out excess squash leaves to create better airflow. I’m very allergic to prickly cucurbit leaves and can only work among the dense late-summer foliage if I am wearing long sleeves and gloves.
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 then to sign up. Please note that you are in the draw if you are already receiving the weekly newsletter.
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 are familiar with their smell.
Did you know that linden flowers make a sweet and delicious honey-like herbal tisane? The tea, made from dried flowers is popular in Europe, but virtually unheard of here in North America. It has soporific properties, meaning that it makes you sleepy, and is often used as a nighttime drink to calm and relax after a busy day.
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 really reap the benefits of several, generous sowings that I did early in the season.
In among the greens that I harvested were two nutritious greens that I did not need to sow. The first (shown on the left in the above photo), lamb’s quarter aka goosefoot (Chenopodium album) is a common North American and European “weed.” It comes up abundantly in my garden regardless of how diligently I weed. Chances are good that you’ve got it growing in your garden, too.