I went to Tucannon on Saturday which is a part of the Blue Mountains. It’s a decent foraging spot but the only place that has arnica. Arnica has been used as a pain reliever for ages so we thought it would be fun to get our own.
We found the plant easily enough. I had forgotten my camera so there are no pictures.
We didn’t start with the arnica and I feel like I should start our journey at the beginning. Before you reach Tucannon there is a small farm that sells eggs. My mom wanted to pick up fresh eggs because there is nothing better than “real” eggs. The small store had chicken eggs, duck eggs and strawberries.
My mom talked with the woman about eggs and then looked over at the strawberries. She had picked up a fresh picked basket but I saw a larger basket that was reduced in price. The berries were still beautiful. The woman was appalled that we wanted strawberries that she had picked two days before. She couldn’t take our money for them so she gave us the berries.
While talking everything over, I asked her about her sign that said she had rabbit for sale. She had live rabbits that I could take home and butcher but she had just done a few the day before. I snatched up a partially frozen bunny to take home and try.
I want to raise my own meat and rabbits is an easy way to do that – except I’ve never had rabbit before and I’ve never butchered anything on my own. I thought trying her rabbit would let me know if it was something we would eat and then we’d work out the hows later (especially since I’m not sure they’d let me raise rabbits in my apartment).
As we headed up the mountains, we found lots of elderberry trees so we stopped for some flowers. The flowers are supposed to make great tea but we didn’t want to take away the berries. We picked far less than we could have so that later this summer we’d have plenty of berries (looks like a bumper crop this year).
We were amazed at all the thimbleberry and huckleberry bushes. The ground was covered in strawberries as well. Speaking of strawberries, those outdated berries from the shop were the best berries ever. They were deep red, sweet and so juicy. There were a few sour ones but they were few and far between. None of them were going bad. I couldn’t believe how good real berries are because the ones in the store do not even come close.
We found a couple of mushrooms and a bucket full of arnica flowers. We also got some pineapple weed and I picked a handful of wild mint. I’m trying to think of what else we left that mountain with. We finished the day with some trout fishing. The three of us caught a fish each and a little boy caught two for us so we went home with five fish.
I got the plants and my mom took the fish. She’s currently pickling them. I cleaned up the mushrooms, salvaging what I could from the worms. We had boletes which have a spongy section. That I dehydrated so I can grind it into seasoning. The rest I cleaned and sliced to cook this week (maybe tonight).
This is a week of kitchen projects that I can’t wait to share with you. From our trip, I’ll be making arnica salve (the flowers are currently sitting in oil) and tea from the pineapple weed and mint.
Last night I found a patch of mullien which I’ll be drying for tea for Rob. It’s supposed to be good for the lungs so we’ll see. Some people dry and smoke the leaves so it goes right into their lungs but we’re going to drink it as tea.
Rob cut up a pineapple last night. He saved the rind and core for me. It’s sitting in the freezer until I have a moment to start making some vinegar with it.
What else – I’ll be making a kombucha mother this week so that we can make kombucha soon. And I’ll be taking my Tropical Traditions coconut oil and making chocolate. There will be tons of posts coming. I just have to remember to take pictures.
Things might be a little slow since I need gallon jars for both the kombucha and the vinegar (I have one currently clean). My remaining jars are filled with milk bath but that can easily be packaged and prepped for the Farmer’s Market. We’ll be attempting to get a table coming in July.
Just wanted to touch base and let you know what was going on.