How to ID that unknown apple

We’ve been acquiring a lot of apples lately, and some of them are just plain mysteries. They’re either from old properties, gifts, or sometimes it’s just from “that tree in the yard”. A local man sells apples in his driveway, and one of his varieties is called “Tree #2” because when he bought the house […]

Rediscovering “lost” apples

It can be nearly impossible to identify unknown apples, especially feral ones. There are a few ways to narrow it down, but Seed Savers Exchange orchard manager Dan Bussey is writing a book about 20,000 named apple varieties in the US, and there are probably many more out there that are lost to time. And […]

Getting orchard apples for a fraction of the price

Do you want to try some high-end apples at bargain basement prices? Culled apples are the way to go! In my article about urban foraging, I mentioned asking produce sellers for “canning” or “freezing” grade fruits and vegetables, which are the “not-so-perfect” ones. Some orchards do the same thing with apples — they’re called the […]

Apple foraging in action

While 2014 wasn’t a good year for mulberries or acorns, it was a banner year for apples. We had many more than we could possibly process, and had to leave some trees untouched. We have over 400 pounds of apples (about 8 bushels) either already processed or waiting, with more on the way. They were […]

Finding next year’s asparagus

May is when you’ll be harvesting wild asparagus, but the time to find it is now! Starting in June and July, wild asparagus grows tall. It branches out and goes to seed, looking very much like a spindly Christmas tree (complete with little red and green seed ball decorations). If you know what you’re looking […]

New test kit detects toxins in wild mushrooms

Have you always wanted to forage for wild mushrooms but you were afraid of accidentally collecting a poisonous variety? A new crow-funded invention could change all that. Most would-be mushroom hunters are generally discouraged from the hobby when introduced to the activity without the aid of an experienced mushroom hunter or guide in fear of […]

It’s asparagus time!

The wild asparagus has finally arrived in our part of Minnesota. It was late this year, and we had checked for weeks with no sign. But when an asparagus spear appeared in our garden, we knew it was time to look again. We had our previous patches marked on our map, and as they turned […]

Finding spring asparagus

While it’s easier to find asparagus in the summer or late fall (when it’s too late to harvest), you can find it in the spring as well… if you know what you’re looking for. The spears of asparagus are nearly impossible to see from the road, unless they’re so tall they’re starting to go to […]