Category Archives: Wild Things

Spring Greens


Winter Cress, Yellow Rocket, or Barbara’s Cress (Barbarea vulgaris, R. Br. member of a large family of plants, cruciferae, brassica and mustard) Named for Saint Barbara since the herb can be harvested during the cold winter months, Saint Barbara’s Day is December 4 and used as a salad green.

Surprising how quickly we forget the use of wild foods when it is so simple to fill our refrigerator with store purchased produce. Late in April, during the Intro to Farming workshop we wanted to include some fresh and foraged foods in our meal so Rick took a group of students to the nettle patch. It was a prosperous harvest, as they also came across a large area of Winter Cress that was beginning to form florets.

Rick had them harvest a shopping bag full of cress, along with another paper sack of nettles. Continue reading

Serviceberry Flower Infusion


I love ingredients so this idea of playing with Serviceberry flowers is my idea of fun.

Serviceberries are one of the tastier wild fruits at Quillisascut and the easiest for us to savor fresh from the bush (think about elderberries, rosehips, Oregon grape, and chokecherries which all need additional sweetener and you will understand the context of tasty) Serviceberries are slightly sweet with a hint of bitter almond. Last year I was eager to make bitters so I tried macerating the ripe berries in vodka and it did give a slight almond flavor to the infusion. Today while the trees are still flowering I steeped some of the flowers in vodka and others were infused in simple syrup. The flavor is wonderfully bitter almond! Continue reading

Wildflowers

Spring with all it’s forceful energy can be overwhelming so I decided to take a little break and pick you a bouquet of wildflowers.

These flowers, Arrowleaf Balsam Root, Serviceberries, and Wooly Britches, all grow along the driveway here at Quillisascut. It is a favored time of year for a walk through natures beautiful garden. With every shade of green you can imagine, soft textures and the toughness to endure. I think it is the perfect garden all it requires is to open your eyes, see the transformation and enjoy. Take a walk with me down the driveway. That is easy work!