A Delaware County, NY man reported missing over the summer may not have wanted to be found. Reported missing on August 31st after failing to return home, multiple law enforcement agencies searched for the man and his vehicle. [Read more…] about Missing Man Found Unlawfully Harvesting Wild Ginseng
Among summer’s many sweet offerings are wild berries. And among these, blueberries are my favorite. Years ago, I took to carrying large, empty yogurt containers in my car – and smaller vessels in my backpack – so I would have something to fill should I pass a good berry patch. My children became used to my meandering travels along back roads and woods trails as I foraged opportunistically. [Read more…] about Wild Blueberries: A Primer
Why do we hate lions? For reasons that are beyond any logic I can see, we have been convinced that dandelions are posies non grata in our landscapes. Yet they are a critical food source for native pollinators, vitamin-packed culinary delights, and multi-purpose herbal remedies. I’d say that’s not bad for a “weed.”
In fact, dandelion is so well-respected that it bears the Latin name Taraxicum officinale, roughly meaning “the official remedy for all disorders.” It has many reported health benefits, including as a liver support, for alleviating kidney and bladder stones, and as a poultice for boils. I don’t pretend to know every past and present medicinal use of the plant, and I recommend consulting an herbalist, as well as your doctor, before trying to treat yourself. [Read more…] about In Praise of Dandelions
First domesticated in Central Asia some six-thousand years ago by ancient cultures looking for the best way to ruin shirts, mustard has evolved from zesty warm to blistering hot to the point that it’s now being developed as an ultra-low emission jet fuel.
Given the large size of the mustard or Brassica family – some 3,000 strong, according to Cornell University – it’s no surprise that it comprises historic food crops, showy flowers, noxious invasive weeds, and more. [Read more…] about Mustard Power: An Historic Food Crop
Through a cooperative relationship involving the New York State Department of Health, non-profit organizations like Feeding New York State’s regional food banks and deer processors, hunters contribute nearly 40 tons of venison each year to needy families across the state. [Read more…] about Hunters Can Help Fight Food Insecurity
A walk in the woods during fall is likely to reveal an array of forest fungi. Ranging from delicate, tan mini-umbrellas to fleshy, white softballs to foot-long, orange-yellow shelves growing out of rotten logs, they come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Fungi are critical to the health of the forest, decomposing woody debris and helping trees obtain required nutrients. [Read more…] about Forest Fungi: Native Mushrooms and Forest Health
Each fall there is roughly the same amount of yellow foliage, since in most woody plants Mother Nature sees fit to cache yellow pigments beneath the overpowering verdancy of chlorophyll.
While yellow is a stable commodity in the forest, red is a different story. Trees go through considerable effort to create the assortment of red pigments known to nerds as anthocyanins, so it’s not like red is just hanging around, having a beer with yellow as they wait for chlorophyll to fade. It’s a bit more complicated, which makes it less unreliable. [Read more…] about Seeing Red During Fall Leaf Change
Puffballs are distinguished from other mushroom groups by the fact that they lack many of the features or characteristics that other common mushrooms possess. A puffball has no stem. It has no cap. And no external gills. All of the spores are produced inside of the fruiting body. The most common way in which they release their spores is through impact; the external force of rain or falling debris landing upon them or of animals stepping on or brushing against them, thereby compressing and/or breaking the peridium; the protective layer that encloses the spore mass inside the fungus. When that happens, as the name puffball implies, the spores are ejected in a large puff. [Read more…] about In Pursuit of Giant Puffballs
In these difficult financial times, many people are expanding their options for putting food on the table (or in the freezer). One of the most abundant sources of food has been, and continues to be, in the lakes, ponds, and streams near our homes. [Read more…] about Fishing and Food Security: From Stream To Table
Although it’s possible dandelions arrived on the Mayflower, they do not get the esteem they deserve as plucky immigrants that put down firm roots in a new land, or as a vitamin-packed culinary delight, or as a multi-purpose herbal remedy. [Read more…] about Call the Dogs off the Lions