Category: Food From The Wild

Acorns – The Preeminent Wild Plant Food

Acorns – The Preeminent Wild Plant Food By Jim Moore       Wherever the Oak Tree grows in abundance, the nut of these trees, called Acorns by English speaking folks, were the preeminent plant based food of hunter-gathering peoples in the northern hemisphere. This was especially true for the pre-European peoples living here within the Northeastern California Mountain and Valley regions.    In NorCal the nutritious acorns were gathered in great abundance from the following Oak species: Black Oak, Valley Oak, Blue Oak, Oregon Oak, Canyon Live Oak, Interior Live Oak, and Tanbark-oak. Acorns of each oak species had their...

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Blackberry Picking Tips and Tools

By Melissa Wynn    Late August is the time for wild blackberry picking in our neck of the woods and an excellent time of the year to wander outdoors. Wild blackberries are delicious, nutritious and plentiful throughout Mountain Valley Living territory. Wild blackberries are ripe and sweet when they turn a deep purple and are full of juice. If you plan to make jam out of the berries remember to pick a few red berries that are not quite ripe as they hold more natural pectin and will help your jam to better set. When planning a serious picking...

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The Versatile Cattail

By Jim Moore, Entomologist When I first made my home in the Mountain Meadows Basin thirty-some years ago, I, like many new-comers to the Basin, began to acquaint myself with the wonders found within the surrounding woods and mountain meadows. My favorite explorations were along the shore line of Mountain Meadows Reservoir, also called Walker Lake by the local folks.  This is where I had my first close observations of the curious looking Cattail. Occasionally I would cut some brown cattails and bring them home for use in dried flower arrangements. The wildlife, plants and animals, in and around...

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Food From The Wild Elderberries

By Jim Moore, Entomologist Long ago in a far away land in Europe there was a mildly sick little boy. While his mother made him some fragrant Elder flower tea, the friendly old man who lived upstairs told the boy the amazing story of the little Elder Tree Mother.  When the story was finished the boy could not decide whether the story was real or just a dream. Here in Northeastern California, in the midst of a clearing in the woods, near where I live , is a little Blue Elderberry shrub.  I have not found another anywhere around...

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Crawdads, Crayfish, and Mud Bugs!

    By Jim Moore, Entomologist These are three common names, amongst others, for the same little wild fresh water crustacean that has helped put the state of Louisiana on the world map of fine culinary cuisine.  They are actually called ‘Crawfish’ by folks in Louisiana. There, crawfish biologists  have done an excellent job of perfecting the skills, and it is almost an art form, of farm raising crayfish on a massive scale, producing over 90% percent of the US commercially raised crawfish. Folks in Northern California mostly use the names Crawdad, or Crayfish. Nor Cal crayfish farmers, using rice...

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