Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc

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Sundancer7
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2003/06/25 17:40:47 (permalink)

Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc

I saw a post a few minutes ago relating to diminishing fruits, etc. What came to mind was down the street from my house are a couple of persimmons. I alway gather a couple of bags of them each season if I can beat the crows, squirrels, ants and other hungry varmits. Makes a great bread and pudding. One piece of advice regarding persimmons. Let them get real ripe before tasting. If you do not, it will improve your pucker power I understand possums like them also.

Then I thought about the blackberry harvest now in session around Knoxville. I alway look forward to my first wild blackberry cobbler with a little cold sweet cream whipped of course. Blackberry picking can be hazardous to your health. One of the meanest insects in the world and possibly one of the smallest tends to inhabit the blackberry thickets and that would be the chigger. Folks up north may not be away of them and if you have never experienced them, you are missing something. The buggers bite you and you don't see them and they will deliver agony for at least six days. Department of defence ought to raise them on a farm and drop them on portions of Iraq and Afghanistan. That would cause them to reexamine their priorities. I have also found copperheads around the thickets, but they tend to be nocturnal. Does that mean it is against their rules to bite during the day

I have already got all the Morels I can get dadgum it.

I hope the walnut harvest is good this fall. I really enjoy the nutty different taste. The rascals sure make nut extraction difficult. There is a street up from me that has little traffic on it and they always run over the walnuts and you can pick them up with the staining husk off of them. I let them dry in the garage for several months. I use to do the same with some huge hickory nuts, but they are really work to extract.

I am sure that there is a huge variety available in other parts of the country. I would appreciate knowing the wild harvest available in your part of the good ole USA.

Thanks
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
#1

21 Replies Related Threads

    mayor al
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/25 18:03:59 (permalink)
    Paul,
    We have two Persimmon trees, both quite old, on our property. So far we haven't done anything with them. I tried a sample from them, before and also after the frosts last Fall and decided that I must not understand what to 'look for' when eating one. Basically mushy and no real flavor at all.
    We have a Blackberry thicket about 40 ft across. The berries are very small, and you're right they are a nasty jungle of bugs and thorns. So last year we dug some out and planted a row about 60 ft long, trimmed them last winter, and WOW what a difference. The berries on the transplants are much larger (turning purple now), and because they are planted in a row instead of being in a large expanding circle,We can get to the crop with a minimum of damage to us. We also brought down a row of raspberries from what was my Grandfather's berry patch in Michigan. Those berries had been wild for 20 years, until a cousin started caring for them about 10 years ago. That one row has about a 70% survival rate and pretty small crop, but we will keep working with them and I think they will come back.
    There are Walnuts and Buckeyes in the area, but we have none on our property.
    #2
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/25 18:12:06 (permalink)
    Mr. Mayor, I do not believe we have buckeyes in our area. I thought they all were in Columbus, OH.

    We have some type of wild grapes that my grandfather use to make brandy with before his churchgoing days. Don't know why he stopped then cause it made great medicine.

    We also gather ramps earlier in the spring. Great tonic and bug repellant. Great with eggs and terrible for your sex life.

    We do not have a lot of wild raspberries here although I have seen them.

    You make a great point about domesticating the blackberries and raspberries. Production will improve about 1000%. I watch the highways and watch the berry pickers. When they are ripe, you see a lot of cars parked doing their thing

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN


    #3
    Cosmos
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/25 18:41:16 (permalink)
    These days I spend the vast majority of my time with my butt attached to an office chair, but your thread reminded me of my youth. As a kid my friends and I would wander all over the fields and woods near my house in Cortland, New York. We would harvest wild apples, pears, strawberries, and raspberries during our adventures. One time we rigged ropes around our waist, tied to trees so we hang off a rock ledge over Skaneateles lake harvesting enough raspberries for his sister to bake us a pie.

    The closest I get to that now is the stray tart little wild strawberry that might escape the lawn mower's wrath.
    #4
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/25 18:48:02 (permalink)
    Cosmos, we have those little strawberries and I considered them weeds and have tried to spray to keep them away. Are they edible? My grandmother called them snakeberries and bacause of this, I have always removed them,

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #5
    EliseT
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/25 18:53:17 (permalink)
    Thanks for the great idea, Sundancer. Next time I have some fresh walnuts, I'm just gonna put the bag in the driveway and run them over! What a timesaver!
    #6
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/25 18:57:09 (permalink)
    In addition to that Elise, your fingers or gloves do not get black. Mega tannin in those suckers.

    Old foks use to use it as a dye. I am sure you know why.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #7
    RubyRose
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/25 19:21:34 (permalink)
    We have a big black walnut tree on our property. I also use the auto tire method in a little used cemetary parking lot in our neighborhood. You don't get as much meat as the brown walnuts but I save it to make sand tart cookies at Christmastime.

    We are also overrun with a redcap bushes. I think they are a variety of wild red raspberries. They're very seedy so I boil them with a little sugar and water and strain the juice and use it for raspberry milkshakes or a sort of peach melba dessert.
    #8
    mayor al
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/25 20:15:35 (permalink)
    Paul....BIRD ALERT !!!
    This afternoon my one summer apple (Mutsu-Crispin) that had about a dozen apples on it was hit by some Tennessee Birds on their way somewhere...hehehe The pecked the hell out of each apple. The apples were in the 2" size range, so they had a few weeks to go to maturity. But the Birds didn't wait!! I say they were from Tennessee cuz I've heard that old birds from there love sweet young things ????
    #9
    Cosmos
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/25 22:36:20 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    Cosmos, we have those little strawberries and I considered them weeds and have tried to spray to keep them away. Are they edible? My grandmother called them snakeberries and bacause of this, I have always removed them,

    Sure they're edible. Like any strawberry they have a short life span, but if you get one just at the right time they have a great sweet and sour taste, other wise they can be quite tart.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #10
    seafarer john
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/25 22:55:15 (permalink)
    My God, Man! Didn't you ever watch Bergman's Wild Strawberries?
    Get down on your knees and eat those little bastards - they are a delight - although they may lead you to perdition....
    #11
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/26 04:52:41 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

    Paul....BIRD ALERT !!!
    This afternoon my one summer apple (Mutsu-Crispin) that had about a dozen apples on it was hit by some Tennessee Birds on their way somewhere...hehehe The pecked the hell out of each apple. The apples were in the 2" size range, so they had a few weeks to go to maturity. But the Birds didn't wait!! I say they were from Tennessee cuz I've heard that old birds from there love sweet young things ????


    That dog don't hunt

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #12
    scbuzz
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/26 08:25:51 (permalink)
    I have a great big black walnut tree and I haul most of the walnuts off to the dump ! They are hard to get the meat out of and I don't really like the taste of walnuts.

    I have a turkey fig tree that is full. The birds and the june bugs usually get to the figs before I can. My grandmother used to cook them down in a homemade syrup concoction and we would eat them on hot fresh made buttered biscuits !

    I have a pine thicket nearby that is FULL of blackberries ! And I totally agree with Sundancer on the chiggers !!! BAD NEWS!!! Never had a problem with copperheads, but have sure met up with some big ole king snakes (maybe they keep the copperheads out). kings will not bite but when you come across a 6 footer curled up under a bush you just lifted up .... it gives ya quite a startle !!!! have had to go back in the house and change my drawers on a few occasions !!! I love blackberries, but hate picking the seed out of my teeth for the next week. Guess I could strain them, but that's too much work !

    My last fruit is my big scuppernong vine in the back yard next to the black walnut tree. Super sweet ! My father tried to make wine once .... and failed !!! We poured the wine out and the whole time we looked over our shoulder to see if the EPA was bearing down on us !!! I bet the wild critters in that area have never been the same .... come to think of it, I don't think there is any wild critters in that area anymore
    #13
    ocdreamr
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/26 16:59:38 (permalink)
    on the wild strawberries, make sure they have white flowers, then they are strawberries, if the have yellow flowers they are cinqfoils & really aren't the best thing to eat. It would take an awful lot to make an adult ill, but if you notice the birds don't touch these either.
    #14
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/26 17:00:51 (permalink)
    OCDreamer. you may not know the answer to this, but I wonder why my grandmother called them snakeberries???

    Scbuzz: what is a scuppernong?

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    scbuzz
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/27 09:34:44 (permalink)
    A scuppernong is a muscadine grape !!


    We call them scuppernong's around here, I guess it must be a regional thing !
    #16
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/30 14:33:12 (permalink)
    scbuzz, glad you explained that. I am aware of muscadine's as we have them here and my grandfather made brandy from them as well as peach, apple and probably a few other fruits that I did not think about.

    Paul E.Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #17
    mayor al
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/30 15:25:57 (permalink)
    Man, As soon as the warm weather hits my fruit production possibilities drop to zero...
    1st- My Apples..Disappeared one day...I mean 100% of all (about 50) on about 8 trees. There is not a trace...but we did see a crow and a mockingbird making off into the Wild Blue with chunks in their mouth(s). OK now Tweety-bird is on the endangered list along with Bambi !!
    2nd...I checked my vineyard (one row of three varieties of grapes, 18 plant total) on Friday evening. Saturday at noon I was mowing near it, and noticed that a gazillion (at least) Japanese Beetles had devoured the top ends of several plants. I cutoff the mower, hooked up my tractor sprayer and blew those Pearl Harbor raiding SOB's to the Promised Land (used Sevin----if it flies, it dies!!).
    Sheesch !! There are times when this 'Gentleman Farmer" job really sucks.
    #18
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/30 17:14:44 (permalink)
    Mayor, the crows did our apple trees in. They did not wait until they were ripe. They pecked hell out of them while they were still green and they were not selective. We picked about two dozen on the grown that were partially devoured.

    We got the beetles also. I usually use Sevin, but I hate any chemicals.

    It is fun, but maybe Walmart's fruit section is a bargain.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #19
    Bushie
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/30 17:27:43 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Al-The Mayor-Bowen

    Man, As soon as the warm weather hits my fruit production possibilities drop to zero...
    1st- My Apples..Disappeared one day...I mean 100% of all (about 50) on about 8 trees. There is not a trace...but we did see a crow and a mockingbird making off into the Wild Blue with chunks in their mouth(s). OK now Tweety-bird is on the endangered list along with Bambi !! ...


    Mr. Mayor, that makes me sick to hear about your apples! However, for posterity's sake, I'm including a picture of one of the Mayor's young apples. This little girl was apparently trying to save it from the ravens...

    #20
    mayor al
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/30 17:42:50 (permalink)
    Thanks, Bushie...That is one of my better photo's of the fruit..Glad I got it before the bad-guys struck. I have seen some folks in this area who build what looks like a Batting Cage with anti-bird netting over their whole garden area. I don't think I want to do that. Hopefully as the trees and the crop gets bigger, the birds will leave us some fruit also!!
    #21
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Gathering wild fruit, nuts, etc 2003/06/30 17:52:14 (permalink)
    I believe the lady bugs are aphid eaters and as far as the netting goes, that is what we use over the figs, blackberries and raspberries. The rascals are really creative on finding ways to crash the party.

    Mayor, great photo of the ladybug.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #22
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