Putting Away the Pear Harvest

Putting Away the Pear Harvest

This is a bad year for apples in our neighborhood. The Golden Delicious tree I usually pick from only produced a handful of apples at the highest branches (ten pounds at the most), and the tree with the red Jonagold-type fruit produced only about 100 apples, most of which the bees and worms got to first. I’ve picked maybe a dozen … Read more

Apple season has begun!

On my walk today, I passed five apple trees. Three of them had a few fruits on them that were mostly ripe. I couldn’t resist picking some, even if it’s too early in the season for them to have developed sweetness. I like my apples tart, anyway! Only one made it home with no nibbles from me. Another I had eaten down … Read more

Upcycling 101: The Annual Garbage Gleaning

Upcycling 101: The Annual Garbage Gleaning

It’s that time of year again, when consumer goods grow on the curb and around dumpsters as if by magic, all sitting there just ripe for the picking. In other words: the leases downtown are almost up, university students suddenly realize they have no desire to move all their crap with them, and they end up throwing perfectly good stuff out as trash: … Read more

Parsley, sage, rosemary and bee balm (or, How to eat the prairie)

Parsley, sage, rosemary and bee balm (or, How to eat the prairie)

I was walking by the river near my house today and was delighted to see one of my favorite prairie plants blooming along the banks: Monarda fistulosa, also known as bee balm or wild bergamot. This charming flower is native to most of North America — and if you don’t have it in your neck of the woods, you might have one … Read more

Juneberries: A Best Kept Berry Secret

Juneberries: A Best Kept Berry Secret

It’s almost the end of June and I haven’t written about juneberries, my favorite foraging fruit next to blackcaps. Juneberries are small, round berries that look like tiny purple crabapples, but that are soft like a blueberry. They grow on shrubs or small trees. Where I live they are often called serviceberries or amelanchier (after their Latin genus name Amelanchier), probably because they don’t really … Read more