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The Backyard Forager

Winter on the Pecos

We got our first real snow on New Year's Eve and if this doesn't look like a winter wonderland to you then I don't know what does! Our satellite dish had so much snow on it we had to make do without internet for two whole days. Somehow we muddled through.

You know what's more challenging than two days in a cabin without internet? Winter foraging! At least it can be, depending on where you live. But even with all this snow, I've been able to harvest a few delicious wild edibles. Sure those rose hips might look wrinkly and dry, but the tastiest rose hips I've ever eaten came through a Rocky Mountain winter. If you're lucky enough to live where wintergreen grows, now's the perfect time to harvest. (I miss wintergreen. Note to self: go visit your family in New England and harvest wintergreen.) And dock seeds not only cling to their stems through most of the winter, but they're easy to spot against a blanket of new fallen snow. 

Of course if you live someplace where the ground is NOT frozen solid or covered with snow, you have even more choices. But for those of you feeling like you couldn't possibly forage in the depths of January, think again. I took a walk this afternoon and the sun hitting the bark of the ponderosa pines released that sweet, alluring, vanilla scent. There's got to be something I can do with that, right? I can't wait to start experimenting. (Please let me know if you've played with this already.)

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite winter wild edibles to keep you occupied and well fed. 

Happy Foraging!

P.S. I'm working on a new video, so stay tuned...
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rose hips covered with snow

Rose Hips

Rose hips might be my favorite winter wild edible. They look so pretty in the snow and their flavor is improved by cold weather.


Wintergreen requires acidic soil to thrive. If you're lucky enough to forage where wintergreen grows, here's what you need to know.
oyster mushrooms on tree

Oyster Mushrooms

Even if your oyster mushrooms are frozen on the tree they're worth harvesting. Just thaw them out at home.

Dock Seeds

The bright orange-brown color of dock seeds makes them easy to spot against a snowy background. Use them to make a gluten-free flour.
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