Friday, June 1, 2012

Foraging in the Woods Today

Today Nathan discovered that the Farkle Berries(Sparkle Berry, Tree Huckleberry) were beginning to ripen, so we went on a foraging expedition around our woods.

 It took a while to figure out exactly what kind of berry we had and to find out if they were even edible...But I am almost positive that it is a Farkle Berry. 
As far as the edible-ness of them, we like them. They are blueberry like, a little tart, a little sweet, not lots of flavor, but fun to pick and great for wildlife. 

The tree is very attractive all year round. The leaves are green shiny and oval and they often turn orange and red in the keeps some of it's leaves even in the winter. 
The bark is a peeling type that is smooth and redish-orange. In the spring bunches of little bell/lantern shaped flowers hang from the branches and the fruits start to ripen in early June just like blueberries. The trees are full of many tiny green fruits right now that the kids are anxiously waiting to ripen so that they can pick. 

We used some of them yesterday in a fruit salad that we made with peaches, plums, and a sprinkle of the berries for color. I think the rest of them will be made into muffins.

In addition to our farkle berry find, we also picked up a few blackberries, and some wild cherries. Sadly, there really aren't enough blackberries to do much with except eat off of the branches, and most of the cherries are so high in the tree that we just can't get to them, but the birds are really enjoying them. So we are enjoying the ones that we could reach and hope to find more soon. If you look closely in the cherries Nathan also found a pint sized friend for us to play with for a while. 

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