• Letter to Readers
  • Letter to Readers

    It was a day like today in June of 2007 that we published the first print issue of Vermont’s Local Banquet magazine. The word localvore had newly been coined and folks were engaged in localvore challenges in an effort to reduce the distance food travelled, thus the carbon footprint, and to support a growing farming economy.

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Articles tagged with: Foraging

Make It a Wild Summer

Jasmine Kosele | May 15, 2017 | Summer '17 | Issue forty-one

dandelions

For wildcrafters and other wild food junkies summer is time for the “main course,” when a treasure chest of rich, green, jeweled wild plants adorn the landscape. Wildcrafting is simply the “art” of collecting wild plants for food or medicine, and many common “weeds” are not only delicious and nutritious, but also offer a plethora of internal and external medicines.

Set the Table with Dandelion Greens

Helen Labun | February 19, 2014 | Set the Table

Dandelion harvesting at Zack Woods

I’ve spent years walking past any dandelion greens I see for sale, on the grounds that I will not pay for something that’s growing everywhere I look all spring and summer. Granted, I never stop to pick those free dandelion leaves, so inevitably, a vegetable that I won’t buy because it’s too common ends up not being at all common on my plate. It’s the Dandelion Paradox. This past winter, I wanted to unravel it.

Weed Eater

Jen Rose Smith | June 01, 2012 | Summer '12 | Issue twenty-one

Knot Weed Fool

‘What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

I planned the dinner with Emerson’s optimism and an eye on my backyard. Through spring’s soaking rains I watched Japanese knotweed swell beside the garden shed and was cheered by the sight of garlic mustard peeping up between the raspberry canes. When slender stalks rose amidst the mustard’s heart-shaped leaves and a few early flowers appeared, it was time to send out the invitations.

One Wild Potluck

Diane Grenkow | June 01, 2011 | 2011

Rhus typhina L. (staghorn sumac)

The Peterson Field Guide Edible Wild Plants has a recipe for clovers that says clovers are not very digestible but can be soaked for hours in salty water to make them so. Christopher Nyerges book Guide to Wild Foods and Useful Plants tells you that the seeds of the plantain, a common weed around these parts, can be soaked in water until soft and then cooked up like rice. It goes on to say that the result is slightly “mucilaginous and bland.”

Last Morsel—A Farmer Forages

Julia Shipley | September 01, 2009 | 2009

cattails

During cross-country excursions in college to nuclear reactors, desert lettuce fields, the Glen Canyon dam and other heartbreaking landscapes, I decided the best way not to perpetuate the hell of modern life would be to learn to grow my own food. To that end, I spent my 20s working as an apprentice on small organic vegetable farms and dairies, then eventually purchased six acres in Craftsbury on which to exercise my dissent. For the past five years I have been raising milk and beef cows, lambs, meat and laying hens, turkeys, and vegetables, in addition to teaching and writing.

A Gathering Storm

The future of Vermont’s wild ginseng

Rick Enser | September 01, 2008 | Issues Archive

Illustration: American Ginseng

In 1716, while serving as a French missionary near Montreal, Father Joseph Francis Lafitau made a discovery in the journal of a fellow priest serving in China. He read about a plant, Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), that the Chinese cherished for its medicinal value, and he believed he could find this plant or a similar one in the temperate woodlands of southern Canada. He eventually did, and in doing so added a new chapter to the annals of natural resource exploitation that accompanied white settlement in North America.

Cooking the Sting Out

Meg Lucas | March 01, 2008 | Issues Archive

Illustration of Nettle plant

If you take care, and wear the proper gear, you can harvest an abundant and fascinating wild edible. Folks who have been stung by this rascal know what I’m talking about, while those who haven’t had the pleasure of eating it will undoubtedly come to appreciate this nutritious and tasty plant.

Sub Rosa

| September 01, 2007 | 2007

Illustration of a rosehip

If you walk along the back roads and country lanes of rural Vermont this fall, you’re likely to encounter wild roses. Sometimes you’ll find them near old cellar holes and abandoned roads. You can easily distinguish the wild rose because, unlike its hybrid relative, it has only five petals.

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