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Backyard Foraging

8/7/2014 12:04:00 PM

Tags: Urban Foraging, Urban Homesteading, Quince, Fruit Jams, Erin Sheehan

After last year’s successful apple foraging and our small but tasty butternut harvest from neighborhood trees, we have become a lot more aware of the possibilities for “found food.” We work hard to get food from our gardens, but we love foraging.

This month’s urban foraging escapades are on our very own property: sunflower seeds and quince. We feed sunflower seeds to the birds every winter. Inevitably some get dropped near the feeder and others are buried by industrious squirrels. We had quite a number of sunflowers come up spontaneously this year both below the feeder and along the edge of the garden. We let the seedlings grow and they flowered beautifully. We somehow managed to keep a few heads from the birds for our own harvest.

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sunflower

Sorry, birds, but sunflower seeds are delicious! We’re waiting for the heads to dry and then we’ll roast the seeds in the oven.

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quinceEarlier this week we discovered that our backyard quince trees have fruit for the first time. Our own fruit trees on our small homestead, how exciting!

 We understand that quince aren’t really all that good for eating fresh, but I have read that they are high in natural pectin, so I can make quince jam without added pectin. We’ll only have a handful this year, but if we get lucky, maybe in coming years we’ll have enough to make quince wine. We do love our fruit wines.

We are thrilled to add quince and sunflowers to our food supply. Any food we can forage is something we don’t have to buy. What tastes better than homegrown? Homegrown and FREE!



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