How Turtles Use Wild Plants

This is going to sound “VSCO girl”, but I LOVE turtles! The turtles I see regularly around these parts are painted and snapping. I’ve shuttled many painted turtles with cracked shells to rehab, and if lucky, back home. Roads are the primary cause of turtle mortality in Ontario. (Find out how to help turtles cross […]

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Ostrich Fern (Fiddlehead) – Matteuccia Struthiopteris: Top Fern of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Ojibwe, waagaagin, ostrich fern is the usual fern called fiddlehead. It’s a traditional dish in Quebec and New Brunswick and the sprouts are a delicacy called kogomi in Japan. It’s the first fern in our edible and medicinal plants series! Growing 2-6 feet tall, this popular fern may even be found in grocery stores around […]

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Wild Leek – Allium Tricoccum: The Top Locally Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant

In Ojibwe, zhigaagawanzh+iig means onion, wild leek is a popular foraged plant by people who aren’t otherwise foragers around here. Some properties have carpets of them. Others have been stripped of them as people don’t know offhand how long the bulbs take to grow and how easy it is to devastate a population of ramps. In […]

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The Wood Folk Diaries: Volume 1, Chapter 6: See You Later, Makwa

Dear Wood Folk, Oh my, is this Makwa’s last appearance? I snapped this photo of him before he focused on his denning for the winter: He did not come back the following year. Or did he? There were bear tracks, a couple of bear signs I noticed in 2019. It could have been him just […]

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Stinging Nettle – Urtica Dioica: First Misunderstood of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, bepadji’ckanakiz’it ma’zana’tig, stinging nettle tends to make a bad impression on first meeting, as the name suggests. But there’s way more to this needled edible and medicinal plant. The Chippewa name given refers specifically to the slender leaf subsp. The sting never lasts long for me, but I’ve heard of it lasting for days […]

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Quaking Aspen – Populus Tremuloides: A Popple’r Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant

In Chippewa, asa’di means aspen. “Balm of Gilead” can be made from various poplar buds including tremuloides/quaking aspen, a common edible, medicinal and useful tree in our area. Last month we talked about balsam poplar. But quaking aspen was my first ID’d poplar. I noticed a set of trees on the one-acre wood that softly trembled […]

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