Nature’s Splendor at Home

Yellow rose

I have been pretty down lately trying to figure out how to get a new camper this year, and finally coming to terms with the fact that I will have to rebuild the old one.  But getting outside and seeing what is going on as nature shows off her spring productions really helps lift my spirits.

Not only are flowers blooming and fruit trees putting on fruit, but the wild edibles are popping up everywhere, too.

Baby Japanese plums

I took 125 photos yesterday, but will post the ones that symbolize the season best.

Pine

Young poke salad plant

Rosebud

This is where Metamucil comes from (psyllium husks)

Wild strawberry flowers

Our neighbor raises honey bees. I wonder if this will give an oniony flavor to his honey! 🙂

This greenbrier shoot was so tender and juicy that I broke it off 8 inches down the stem. The whole thing was tender and sweet. A real treat!

Blackberry flower beginning to unfold

Blackberry flower

Indian strawberry flower and caterpillar

Flowers fading and fruit forming. Not sure if these are crabapples or hawthornes.

Baby black cherries

Wild Black Cherry Syrup

ripening wild black cherries

Ripening wild black cherries

Late this afternoon I checked out our wild black cherry tree.  It looked like a little over a third of the cherries were ripe.

Usually I hold the branches down and pick the cherries by hand.  But it’s pretty time consuming.  So today I put a tarp under the tree and whacked the branches I could reach with a long stick.

It worked, but a LOT of the cherries rolled off into the grass.  And I also got unripe berries, twigs, leaves, two kinds of spiders, inchworms, and a tiny grasshopper in the mix.

It took a while to clean them.  I may have done just as well to pick them by hand.

wild black cherry syrup

Wild black cherry syrup

We don’t eat a lot of jelly, so I decided to make syrup with them.  It didn’t take too long.  I boiled the cherries about 30 minutes, poured everything into a jelly bag and let it drain another 30 minutes.

Then I mixed the cherry juice 50/50 with sugar and simmered it for another 5 minutes.

I made two jars, plus enough left over for immediate use.

I’ll probably use it in tea, lemonade, over ice cream, and to flavor other desserts.

The rest of the cherries should be ripe soon.  I love having wild food growing free for the taking!

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