Birds · Wildflowers

Snacking Off The Land

We might be in the throws of winter, but my gardening head has started to think of spring. I have planted my first seeds and am making plans for what vegetables I should grow this year.

I love the fact that we have some things growing at the cottage that are edible. The quantity and the fact that the animals get first pickings wouldn’t allow us to live off the land, but I have been able to have a few snacks, which is rather fun!

dsc_2024black-raspberries

Black raspberries were the first edible discovery I made. They are quite small, but very tasty. My other family members don’t seem so keen on them, which is good for me! I sometimes manage to find enough ripe ones to add to my breakfast cereal and that seems like a real treat to me. Apparently they have really high antioxidant levels, so they seem like a good treat to snack on.

It took me awhile to figure out what this fruit actually was. They look like a raspberry but they turn black when they are ripe. The easiest way to tell the difference between blackberries and black raspberries is by the core. Blackberries have a white core, but black raspberries are hollow when you pick them, just like raspberries.

dsc_1833blue-berries

I was very excited to find wild blueberries on the property. Unfortunately I am not the only one who loves blueberries and the animals seem to get there first. I have had two on one occasion and four on another! Still, they were a welcome treat and all the more enjoyable because they are scarce.

blueberry-bud blueberry-flowers

Blueberry bud and flowers.

dsc_0585winterberries

Wintergreen berries and leaves are edible, but I can’t stand the taste of wintergreen. We have lots of these, so I am rather sad that I can’t use them. They aren’t something you would want to eat a lot of because the flavour is so strong. They are more to flavour things like tea or cordial. Maybe that is why there are lots of them. Perhaps my animal friends are not that keen either!dsc_3499strawberry-leaves

We have lots of wild strawberries growing, but I have only once found an actual strawberry. I was so excited to actually eat a wild strawberry from the cottage that I picked it before running for my camera! Normally we just see the leaves and know that someone other than us is nibbling.

dsc_3547apple-tree

And then we have our dear apple tree, which we had a small snack on, but we will finally take it down this year. It is so rotten and even though it surprised us by producing a small amount of fruit last year, the Blue Jays got to eat it before we did.

dsc_4130blue-jay-in-apple-tree

We found several half eaten apples on the ground and it seems that the blue Jays were pecking at the apples. Some then fall to the ground where the ground squirrels and chipmunks, along with the ants and wasps, continue to enjoy them. We had a flock of five or six blue jays in the tree and watched a couple of apples fall.  The next visit all the apples had gone!

dsc_3497juniper-berries

Some berries that I am afraid to eat are the juniper berries. Some are edible, but some are poisonous. I am not sure what type we have, so I won’t be snacking on them.

I am sure there are any more edible plants that I don’t know about and we also have some edible animals too. We have already sampled the fish a couple of times and of course bullfrogs are edible too – but I won’t be adding them to the list of things to snack on!

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