Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Afternoon Garden Club 8.20.2010

Western sand cherry, Prunus besseyi
It’s FAC time in The Art Garden!  Grab your favorite beverage and pull up a chair.  You didn’t really want to work this afternoon anyway, did you?  Leave a comment to join the garden party.
Today’s topic:
Are you a forager? There are a number of native plants that have edible, ripening berries at this time of year including chokecherry, currant and buffaloberry.  (Although edible is a relative term---most of these fruits need a big infusion of sugar to make them palatable to modern Americans.)  One of my favorites, pictured above, is western sand cherry. The ripe fruits are about 1/2" in diameter and are lustrous black in color. These native shrubs, and the dwarf cultivar 'Pawnee Buttes', are widely used in xeric landscape plantings, so you may not have to look far to find them.  

What do you forage for (Pssssst--no need to share your secret gathering spot!), and how do you prepare it?

For a good article on what NOT to eat, read this article on toxic weeds from Horticulture magazine.


Les said...

One of my favorites is Serviceberry (Amelanchier), and I eat them straight off the tree. I just need to get there before the birds and raccoons discover it.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers said...

I agree! I have an "Autumn Brilliance' serviceberry right outside my office window, so I've always got my eye on it. Still, the birds get a lot more of the fruit than I do!

Allison said...

Huckleberries! They're even in our dog park this year. We do have to watch for bears even there, as the wild blackberries and raspberries are abundant this year as well.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers said...

Oh, lucky you, those ARE yummy! Do the dogs ever eat them?