Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pine Pollen Pancakes...

A gentle breeze blows through my backyard...creating a plume of yellow pollen in the air.  While those that suffer from allergies are reeling in horror...all I can think of is how each gust is robbing me of my precious harvest!  The pollen plume is coming from the male cones on my Gray Pine (Pinus sabiniana).

So I ran to my kitchen...grabbed some plastic bags and some clippers.  I cut the male cones off gently as to not shake out too much pollen...then I drop it into my plastic bag.  This time I filled 4 bags with cones.  Afterwards I will sit and using my middle finger...I flick the pollen off of the cones into the bag.  Later I will put the pollen and remaining debris into a flour sifter to get rid of cone pieces and any bugs.  (and bugs are common...because they know a good thing!)  Don't leave the cones in a plastic bag for long...because they have moisture in them which will condense inside the bag.

So why do this? is highly nutritious.  It is high in protein and reportedly in testosterone!  It is really fine so it doesn't require milling which is it can be added directly to most anything you are baking. It also is a really cool bright yellow...which turns the things you bake...well...bright yellow!  Last season my children marveled at their yellow pancakes on the way to school.  I just used part wheat flour...and part pine pollen in the pancake recipe.  I should also mention that in my also tastes good!

If you have a pine tree near ought to try it out.  Do know that the window of opportunity can be fleeting as in just a few days...the wind can blow it all away.  Happy foraging!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Oil Among Friends...

I spent the day with my Buckeye Gathering friend Matt Berry and family on Saturday!  He and his wife operate "Sierra Living Skills" up in the Grass Valley area.  They are starting up a wild foods CSA and are running all kinds of primitive living skills and other related classes.  Check out the link to their site to see what they have going on.  Great people doing very worthwhile endeavors.  He is also going to be one of the instructors on a Morel hunting class that will be held in May for forageSF that I will be well as an instructor at Buckeye this year.

I had a wonderful time with them...chatting about some of my discoveries tinkering around pressing acorns for oil...and all kinds of other plant stuff.   I'll tell you...a lover of ethnobotany can end up feeling kind of like a stranger in a foreign land with no one to talk to.  So when someone can actually speak the common's rather therapeutic and invigorating!  You can read about our visit in a fun article that Matts' wife Rachel put together at the link above.

Come to Buckeye this year and you can make friends like these too!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Saturday Walk...

While I have been doing foraging on my own...I haven't been scheduling any walks with others for several months.  That break ends this Saturday!  I'm going to do a walk on the Hinkle Creek Nature Trail at 1pm at 7100 Baldwin Dam Road, Folsom, 95630.  We'll meet in the parking lot in front.  It's just thrown together...and a last minute there should only be a handful of people.

This walk can be free...or you can donate something towards my addiction to Amazon books!  Whatever.  

The walk will be a mile over moderate terrain.  There will be some muddy areas.  There are no restrooms on the path.  Any questions...just leave them in the comments!  Thanks....Stephen