Archive for September, 2009

Again with the Tweets

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Follow me! The fall has just begun. Here are the twitter feeds, in reverse order.

Plenty of pears. And they are pretty ugly. Almost none of them are ripe, which is good. My root cellar is just beginning to be cool.

Eat Jerusalem Artichokes raw, cooked and mashed, in stir fries, in soups, roasted, baked. I clean them with a small brush and lots of water.

The tubers are high in iron, inulin, tasty, store well in the refrigerator. Just don’t wash or clean them before storing in a plastic bag.

Jerusalem Artichokes aren’t exactly wild but yet they become wild. Dig up all the roots you can find, wipe out the patch. They will survive.

Another weed walk scheduled for a week from today Sat Oct. 3. Register by Wednesday. 3-5 at Barton Pond, you have to pre-register. $10-20

This year I’ve been tasting nearly every crabapple I see. An amazing variety of flavors. Great fun to just taste, a nibble is enough usually

A new blog entry on Staghorn Sumac http://bit.ly/14pDsY

Want to tackle a messy, hard, and difficult task? Black walnuts. Amazing, almost smoky, lovely taste. Lots of work. I hear them falling.

Goldenrod is finally fading after a long show. Dry flowers for infusions, tincture it for later use. Immune system, digestive system, more.

Large class tonight, to the question how to grow herbs if live in an apt. – consider the whole city and wildcrafting!

Lots of Sumac, leaves turning red with the fruit. Will use photos in tomorrow’s blog.

Long walk in the Arb. A tasty tart apple near the meadow, too soft rosehips and crabapples seemed almost rotted in this humidity. Acorns.

New wildcrafting blog http://bit.ly/WX0DZ

Wildcrafting – recent tweets

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Follow me on twitter or just check back here ever week or so when I will post the compiled tweets since last time. Also look for my expanded blog posts on annarbor.com I’ll post the links here, but if you want more current info just search for wildcrafting or Linda Diane Feldt. I post three times a week, usually Monday Wednesday and Friday but I’m not strict about it.

To the tweets – most recent first.
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Fall arrives at 5:19 pm today. Happy equinox, it is an auspicious day for harvesting.
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If you want to do foraging but don’t get around much, partner with someone who bikes, or who walks a lot. Tell them what to look for.
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Free class this Thursday “Nourishing and Medicinal Herbs” Crazy Wisdom 7-8:30, & so begins another year (18th?) of the Herbal Wisdom series
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Another category of food (local organic sustainable) – neglected. Like in the back of your ‘fridge. Like fruit left to rot. Eaten years ago.
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This would be Staghorn Sumac, lovely red berries in a sort of cone, slighlty furry berries and staghorn antler like fuzzy branches.
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Sumac is reday for harvest for sumacade. Add to you water bottle, 30 min and taste. Or sun tea for a few hours, or dry and use cooking or T.
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I need to work on my publicity. No one signed up for the weed walk today. Next chance until spring — Oct. 3. Register before Oct. 1.
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My bees were so very happy today. They were dashing about wildly in the sunshine, finding asters and the last of the goldenrod and ??
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Pondering why the article on acorns has been so popular. Because everyone can identify them? Surprise that something plain has use? ??
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My recent favorite pear tree has no pears this year. Now I need to keep an eye out. I’d like to store a couple hundred pears at least.
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And yet more acorn shelling. Tried to watch Princess Bride at the same time but the DVD player crashed. Told jokes instead.
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Ended up in a park in Brighton and had a friend taste autumn olive berries. She loved them and picked a handful to enjoy. Seed to spit out.
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Blogging about acorn pancakes with other wild and local ingredients http://bit.ly/XQsNd
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Weed Walk this Sunday, Sept 20, 3-5 pm. So far no takers so it is in danger of being canceled. Sliding scale $10-20. Register b4 noon Friday
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Breakfast of acorn pancakes with black raspberries, served with maple syrup I made in March. Made with local raw goat milk and eggs. Yum!!
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Latest wildcrafting blog on annarbor.com http://bit.ly/cKnL9 A little foraging philosophy – expecting the unexpected.
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Got to tromp around in the woods and wetlands for HRWC this am. Lots of rose hips, elderberries, heard a recipe for elderberry flower tea.
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http://bit.ly/4iCxpL latest blog on wildcrafting for annarbor.com

Uterine Artery Embolization Failure?

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

Eight years ago I had a basketball sized Fibroid embolized. This involved being mildly sedated, radioactive dye being injected through the femoral artery, then a device threaded into my abdomen and injected plastic blocks to the blood supply for the fibroid. A smaller tumor on my left side was also embolized.

Over the next year, the tumor shrank dramatically, about 80% reduction in size. This was a quick and easy procedure, a few days to recover, almost no pain, and a complete cessation of symptoms. Those symptoms were excessive bleeding and flooding, urinary urgency, and of course a large belly.

So here it is almost 9 years later. The right tumor is back, almost the same size. The left one is larger than before, by my estimate. Failure?

Well, not really. A repeat UAE is not an option. Myomectomy (removal of just the fibroids) isn’t either. Too great a risk of lots of bleeding. I’ll need a very large abdominal incision and removal of the uterus, fibroids and all. 9 years ago I wanted to maintain fertility. I wasn’t ready for surgery requiring 4-6 weeks of recovery. The UAE worked immediately and gave me quality of life again.

It seems to be rare for it to totally fail. And why it was OK for almost 8 years and then not is a bit of a mystery. These tumors have mostly grown back in the last year only. First slowly, and now more aggressively. I’m also in peri-menopause, so hormones are weird and up and down. It seemed possibly manageable a few months ago, and then suddenly wasn’t. I didn’t realize they were as bad as before, it took a surgeon to tell me that. I’m also about 50 pounds lighter than I was before. I guess I didn’t take that into account.

Because this type of failure is rare, and the UAE is so easy by comparison, I think it is still worth doing. Given the odds, I would do it again.

If I had been willing to give up all possibilities of pregnancy 10 years ago, a hysterectomy might have been a better choice. But I wasn’t, and even though UAE may make pregnancy difficult or impossible, it certainly still provides better odds than a hysterectomy. But given a simple, easy, quickly resolvable solution with minimal invasion, I would still have tried my luck with the UAE. Far better than this major surgery I now face.

So I continue to be an advocate of UAE as an alternative to hysterectomy.

I am in far better shape today than 10 years ago, as far as being ready and able to deal with major surgery. and being 50 pounds lighter is a major part of that. My cardiovascular health is far better, I’m exercising daily, my iron levels are down butnot too seriously, it is all just better.

And now, I have two months to improve even more, be as strong and healthy as possible before surgery, and deal with what is ahead. It is the right time, the right surgeon, the right procedure, and I’m in the right place. Since it is what is required, I’m looking forward to making this go as smoothly and as well as possible. And I know how to do that.

Tweeting HomeGrown Festival, and more.

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Follow tweets on wildcrafting ideas and information, or check here every week or so for a compilation. I also blog the tweets with expanded explanations on annarbor.com. I’ll post the link here, as well as on my twitter feed.

Rosehips. The outer part is edible, inner part with the seeds is not. Better after the frost, but start tasting now. High in Vit C.

Eating cattail shoots and laterals as part of dinner. Lots of compost small sweet mild lovely bits to eat. And fun to gather.

Foraging Friend Gary was shelling acorns, amazing that what was a staple 100 years ago is now so totally mysterious. Less so after tonight!

I had “ugly apples” on hand. Many said they had passed on blemished apples, thinking they were bad. They’re good! More converts to wild.

We passed out wild black raspberry jam. Saw dozens of people with expressions of ecstasy on their faces.

HomeGrown Fest gave me a chance to talk to 300+ people about wildcrafting. Loved it when people said they would now look for edibles.

I’ll be at HomeGrown Festival tonight. Stop by say hi, buy a discounted copy of my cookbook? Demoing acorn preparation, ugly apples, more.

Propolis is made from tree resins, so an allergy to tree sap would be a contra-indicator. Bees use it to seal and protect their hives.

Using propolis from bees came up twice today. Used for gum infections especially. One friend had an allergic reaction – rare but possible.

HomeGrown Festival at the Farmer’s Market. There will be music, food, great people, demos, things for kids to enjoy, come celebrate with us!11:44 PM Sep 9th from web

Come to the HomeGrown Festival this Saturday. I’ll be there with reprints of the blog, plants, and my cookbook for sale – only $10. 5-10 pm

Blogging about mint for annarbor.com http://bit.ly/KXijT

Yellow Dock has at least three “seasons” to pick the leaves. Spring, mid summer and fall. The larger leaves are back and ready to be used.

An alternative to basil for pesto is Rumex Crispus, narrow leaved Yellow Dock. Easier to pick, more nutritious, and I prefer the taste.

Latest wildcrafting blog http://bit.ly/25RlIu

smart car fun

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

For the first time, I was followed by a smart car as I drove from Barton to Broadway on Pontiac Trail. A bright yellow smart followed me, then turned left onto Broadway. I thought it was cool, and it would have been fun to watch us.

Rumor is that a smart plant may be opening in Michigan. Which would be great as the national headquarters is here, and it is in a LEED certified building. The environmental awareness incorporated into not just the design but the manufacture of these cars is just wonderful. I would love to see that mentality in Michigan.

Meanwhile, I have gotten more comments and questions about my smart the last week or two, as people are in town again. Even had a 6’3″ guy try it on for size and it fit. He was asking questions behind Stadium Hardware, and with the hardware guys right there as well as Nala I thought why not? He was excited and said he wants one.

Later in the week someone thanked me for just driving it where she could see it.

It’s a fun car. Latest gas mileage, 38 mostly city, mostly with AC.

weird cat behavior

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

I had a cat that would bat at water, but never one who went this far.

See more funny videos and Cute Animals Videos at Today’s Big Thing.

Wildcrafting tweets

Monday, September 7th, 2009

Follow me on twitter, or check here for retweets.
Here is what happened in the last week or so —

What to do with all the comfrey leaves before winter? Dry them for infusions to drink, apply as compress or bath in. Put in vinegar 6 wks.

Don’t forget the purslane. Great in salads. Also many gardens have Amaranth on their borders, tasty when cooked as a pot green.

Nala was let loose in a fenced garden. In no time she had found an ear of corn, shucked it, and was eating it cob and all. Dogs as foragers.

My apple trees at the lake are full of apples. A good year for them. Ugly and full of dips and bumps, but most important they taste great.

Ground Cherry, (Physalis alkekengi var. franchetii) nearly ready for harvest. Use for Chutneys, Salsa, like a tomatilla. Lots by my lake.about 24 hours ago from web

Made a salad from Farmers’ Market veggies, topped with grated orange and yellow carrots, flowers of Chicory, Goldenrod and Queen Ann’s lace.

Why go on about fruit trees? For some even that is radical – picking fruit from a “strange” tree. Eating what has fallen to the ground.

Wrap each pear individually in tissue for root cellar storage. Last year my stored pears were still good in February. Really good.

Haven’t yet mentioned pears. Many street trees are pear trees and the fruit is delicious. Make pear butter, slice & freeze for future tarts

Blogging about the HomeGrown Festival http://bit.ly/23eSmb I will have a table, selling cook books giving reprints of the wildcrafting blog

My foraging friend reports picking 10 pounds of tasty apples from along Eisenhower Blvd. He just made one of his wonderful apple pies. And ?

The sumac pop was OK, milder than I would like. Apparently strong flavored juice/beverage to start is important. It is a learning process.

Wildcrafting Tweets – learning about wild foods

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Here are the latest tweets. For an expanded version follow my blog on annarbor.com, or you can follow me on twitter.

I made sumac berry carbonated pop. I’ll know tomorrow if it is any good. I’ll start some ginger brew tomorrow and see how that goes.l

The apple harvest is serious now. I’ve found some almost sweet crabapples as well. I’m ready to bring some home, but it means a lot of work

It is Sept. 1 and I found one more mulberry on my walk. That’s a record in my experience. It even tasted OK.

Last time I bashed my knee this badly was in the Catskill mountains. Found oil made from yellow dock root. Again tonight. Very helpful.

Blogging on learning about plants http://bit.ly/LWEic

Found the Lady’s Thumb. Maybe it is out of season? Tasted like a green plant. The seeds were interesting texture, wouldn’t recommend them.

Tripped on a raised sidewalk – right knee took the damage, not my head. Plaintain poultice, burdock leaf is next, then comfrey. But owwww!!

Learned a new edible plant, common name Lady’s Thumb. I have had it in my garden, never knew it was edible. Hope I can find some tonight.

Doing laundry, and every pair of my pants has acorns in the pockets. Glad I checked first. How old am I? Seems like a great kid thing. 😉

Treated friend’s cut with Jewelweed, picked red raspberries, contemplated cattails, saw some sumac turning, Sand hill Cranes. Good outdoors.

two places to avoid harvesting … Near railroad tracks and power lines. Often sprayed with herbicides.

Current blog expanded tweets http://bit.ly/sxjhD