I’m finally getting around to doing the foraging that I talked so bravely about at the beginnings of 2008. I dragged the significant other along for company and we headed over to the Pt. Washington State Forest just a short walk from out house. I took note the other day of two guys getting out of a pick-up truck, dressed in camouflage, along side the road. I surmised it’s still hunting season and best to don my bright orange bicycling jacket. I carried a backpack with water, my Leatherman, clippers, gloves, plastic bags and my plant identification books. The Sig. brought his camera and off we went to forage.
It’s winter here, though you’d never know it. Passiflora vines are popping up in my yard, the roses are sending out shoots, and the Red Marconi peppers are still growing in my driveway. I’m in zone 8B by the coast and any frost we’ve received has yet to make an impact. Looking through books at night, trying to familiarize yourself with plant families is nothing like being in the field. The flowers are few and far between this time of year and 75% of the vegetation is evergreen and sort of all looks alike.
What you see in the photo is what I positively identified as edible: Longleaf pine needles (tea), Red Bay (spice), and hearts of Saw Palmetto. There were other plants like Yaupon Holly and small herbaceous things, but for my first adventurous forage, I decided to just gather a few things to try. Don’t want to be too greed.
And the golf balls…well, that’s interesting. I gathered those as we walked too. Seems someone was practicing their swing out at the State Forest. What’s even more interesting is that more times than not, when I venture out into nature, I come home with golf balls. I find them at the Bay, at the beach, in the water, on the side of the road, in the woods. It’s like someone’s trying to send me a message. No kidding. In my storage shed, I have a bucketful of golf balls that I have felt compelled to pick up since living in Pt. Washington.