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Forage Missoula

Greg M Peters


Joined: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 74
Anyone know about good foraging in and around Missoula.  No, I'm not asking for your secret places, more like food stuffs and the time of year and ecotype where you can harvest them. 

For example, nettles are an early season forage item that comes to mind.  Also dandelions

Certainly mushroom hunting is good all through the summer and fall. 

Other thoughts??
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14945
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Michael Pilarski is coming to missoula - i wonder if he is speaking on something like that?


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Greg M Peters


Joined: Feb 16, 2010
Posts: 74
Who is Michael Pilarski and when/where is he coming?
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
I know that some of the parks are rich with burdock & choke cherries & elderberries,
are we officially allowed to pick them?

                  


Joined: Feb 15, 2010
Posts: 121
Location: Missoula, MT
As far as I know, there are no restrictions on picking the berries and I do it when I can. Unfortunately, someone gets impatient for chokecherries and I usually find the trees stripped bare weeks before they even ripen. Otherwise, I have been collecting a lot of information on this subject and am compiling a book for "urban foraging". If anyone would like to work on it together, that would be fantastic. I've looked all over and not seen any books that cover this subject specifically, yet there is great interest.
Emma Olson


Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 155
Mushrooms are great to forage, but it is particularly important to know what you're looking for. Of course morels are one of the easiest to identify. They grow well under cottonwoods and alder along stream beds. There are many species in Glacier right now. I found a King Bole a few weeks back that was absolutely delicious.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14945
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
Greg M Peters wrote:
Who is Michael Pilarski and when/where is he coming?


I made a web page about Michael Pilarski.

                  


Joined: Feb 15, 2010
Posts: 121
Location: Missoula, MT
Pears and apples are good right now, though most of them have worms. You'd have to decide if you want to deal with that. Trees overhang in many alleys or you can ask at houses that appear to be drowning in fallen fruit. Usually the owners are more than happy to let you take a few armfuls off their hands.

On a side-note, I forgot to mention that the stripped chokecherry trees are kind of sad. I'm sure you'll know this, but please be respectful when foraging. Birds, squirrels, insects, and all sort of other creatures (including other humans) might need that food too.
Chris MacCarlson


Joined: Sep 02, 2010
Posts: 56
Location: Missoula
    
    1
The Serviceberries are also amazing this year - the biggest ones taste almost like blueberries, but the season is passing fast.

I've also collected a few pounds of currants from some bushes in the lower 'Snake..
Maximilian Smith


Joined: Sep 02, 2010
Posts: 3
Destini Vaile wrote:
As far as I know, there are no restrictions on picking the berries and I do it when I can. Unfortunately, someone gets impatient for chokecherries and I usually find the trees stripped bare weeks before they even ripen. Otherwise, I have been collecting a lot of information on this subject and am compiling a book for "urban foraging". If anyone would like to work on it together, that would be fantastic. I've looked all over and not seen any books that cover this subject specifically, yet there is great interest.


Hey Destini, I think what you're doing is amazing.  There's another beautiful handbook I ran into earlier this summer--it's from the UK (http://www.growsheffield.com/pages/groshefhandb.html). 

What do you think about group foraging?  Are you interested in organizing volunteers and events next year around gleaning?  You'd have the support from 1,000 New Gardens (a group I volunteer with) chaps.  We could definitely be your minions...helping to assemble a young army (university hipsters time their arrival in September with the ripening of many fruits!)...and help you and another band do the great dirty work of foraging, pressing, dehydrating, and fermenting stuff during this or next fall season.  It's been one of my dreams to map out all the edible trees and bushes across Missoula.  What a great opportunity to turn some gleanin' events and a map into some serious fun before Peak Oil hits...we need to build up some skills and reverence (culture) around organizing different foraging events and whatnot! 

What do you think about these possibilities?  What other visions do you have of a foraging culture in Missoula?
Chris MacCarlson


Joined: Sep 02, 2010
Posts: 56
Location: Missoula
    
    1
I'd also like to add chickweed and purslane to dandelion, as a list of edible garden weeds....they add nice variety to salads.  Purslane is also high in omega-3s.... 

Kim Williams, longtime Missoulian and writer, was an avid food forager.  She had a weekly radio program, talking about collecting and eating wild plants, and published a book on the topic, "Eating Wild Plants" which I'm sure you could find used at the book exchange....

If anyone is going out for a gleaning trip, let me know!  I could probably arrange the use of a hand cider press for a weekend.  We could set up a pressing/cleaning/sharing center, and glean across the streets of Missoula! 
                  


Joined: Feb 15, 2010
Posts: 121
Location: Missoula, MT
Thanks, Maximilian! I've been longing for some group effort. Some jobs are just impractical with one person and the more people involved, the more knowledge we can share, right? If you guys want to, I'm ready to start with what's left of this season. That cider press sounds exciting. Maybe we should set up an in-person meeting?
                  


Joined: Feb 15, 2010
Posts: 121
Location: Missoula, MT
Does anyone really want to make a group effort at this before the weather gets too cold? I'm thinking we won't have time to organize some gathering if we wait too much longer...
Maximilian Smith


Joined: Sep 02, 2010
Posts: 3
I'm down to meet up, but won't be in town at least until next Saturday.  I'm living in Bozeman at the moment...

Contact: the girls and boys at the Great Bear Foundation.  They have a starter list (of Rattlesnake fruitful households and volunteers).  They also have a press on site--that is, a block from the footbridge.  Should we need another press to really kick production into gear (if there's a small amount of time or a sizable harvest) we could also reserve MUD's press.

Thoughts?  I'll find 3 young hipsters to join in the fray.  Who else is with us? Greg? Paul? Dianne? Emma? CHCarlson?  Can you each recruit 3 friends?

Destini, do you have time to scout out non-'snake households throughout the week?  My thinking is that with a group of 10, we may make it through 20 trees a day.  And that is a half-assed estimate!
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14945
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I'm in.

I'll be gone to the northwest permaculture convergence and some other stuff about the 16th through the 27th.

                  


Joined: Feb 15, 2010
Posts: 121
Location: Missoula, MT
Non-snake?

Someone just posted about the Great Bear Foundation. First I've ever heard of it, but I will check it out. Also, I think the homestead has an apple pressing festival pretty soon. The guy who runs that is sitting directly behind me, so I will ask when...
Chris MacCarlson


Joined: Sep 02, 2010
Posts: 56
Location: Missoula
    
    1
I could definitely recruit three friends to help, and can bring a bike trailer for shorter hauls.  I will be out of town this weekend, but am interested in getting something set up the following weekend?  We should get a show of hands for a date, and for who wants to help organize logistics.  I'm thinking we need to have a plan of which fruit trees to hit, arrange a location for pressing, and a few other small things.  I'll send Great Bear Foundation folks an email today and see what they say.

Someone linked to the Grow Sheffield project earlier, and their pamphlet has a lot of good tips for logistics (separating 'firsts' from 'seconds', etc.

If we're mostly interested in apples, we'll need to wait until after the first frost to really get the most delicious cider we can.  Pears and plums also get better after a light frost.  I'm thinking a communal batch of hard cider is called for as well.





                  


Joined: Feb 15, 2010
Posts: 121
Location: Missoula, MT
I am ready for a Saturday or Sunday after 3:00. Anyone interested in a pre-frost trip to pick something other than apples? I didn't know about the frost thing, so I guess it's good we didn't start that out this weekend afterall.
Chris MacCarlson


Joined: Sep 02, 2010
Posts: 56
Location: Missoula
    
    1
I contacted the Great Bear foundation, and they said that they're in the process of organizing gleaning parties.  I told them we have 3-8 people we could pull together, and they said that we were welcome to use their press, and keep any fruit that we gleaned from the event.  So maybe we should organize an event in coordination with the GBF folks?  Let me know what you think!

-Chris
                  


Joined: Feb 15, 2010
Posts: 121
Location: Missoula, MT
Do you know when they'll start? That sounds like fun!
Chris MacCarlson


Joined: Sep 02, 2010
Posts: 56
Location: Missoula
    
    1
Hi all, I started a new thread, with updated info on a gleaning/pressing day with the Great Bear Foundation:

http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/5181_0/missoula-eco-forum/fruit-gleaning-with-great-bear-foundation-friday-924

                  


Joined: Feb 15, 2010
Posts: 121
Location: Missoula, MT
Is anyone still interested in this? As I explained in the gleaning thread, I am down for the season, but it would be so awesome if a group of people could get this sort of harvest walk going this year. Maybe it could be something that would happen a couple of times of year as different foods ripen?
Emma Olson


Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 155
I am very much interested in a knowing the more about the wild edible foods in and around Missoula. I don't have much expertise to contribute. Maybe we could contact one or two of the Missoula nonprofit organizations and see if they have any naturalists working with them who would be interested in leading it (maybe the Clark Fork Coalition or MUD would know someone)?

Also, their season's over, but I saw that someone was posting about edible weeds and my garden was so overrun with Lamb's Quarters this year that a neighbor thought I was growing them. They are really good and high in nutrients, but a bit bland raw and better sauteed.
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14945
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I wanted to ask Mark van derMeer - but he seems super busy these days.

Helen Atthowe would be great - but she isn't in the area anymore.

Emma Olson


Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 155
I asked Bethanne of MUD if she knew anyone who could lead the foraging expedition. She recommended:

Chuck Jonkel (of the Great Bear Foundation)
Lori Parr (Lavender Lori) _1.406.396.1514; no email address
Ask the Montana Natural History Center

Does anyone know the first two people? Would you feel comfortable asking about a trip, maybe next weekend (weather permitting)? Are people still interested in doing this?
paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 14945
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I got an email from Helen Atthowe.  She said that she was in town for a few days and might be able to spare some time for us.  But she won't know until later.  For all of those that are interested, please reply to this thread.  Then, when I have more info, I'll reply and you will get an email.

                  


Joined: Feb 15, 2010
Posts: 121
Location: Missoula, MT
I am interested provided I can move around a bit by then.  Paul, did you mean she is in town right now?
Emma Olson


Joined: Feb 18, 2010
Posts: 155
I'm very interested. Thanks for arranging this!
Chris MacCarlson


Joined: Sep 02, 2010
Posts: 56
Location: Missoula
    
    1
I would come along!  Let me know
Rebecca Dane


Joined: Aug 31, 2010
Posts: 211
Location: Missoula Montana
I would be interested to know where are good places to forage mushrooms?  Went to Jerry Johnson hot springs a week ago and I couldn't believe all the big beautiful mushrooms! 


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Melany Vorass


Joined: Apr 10, 2013
Posts: 11
Location: Seattle, WA
Hey all, I see this thread is quite ancient. I came across it while looking for opportunities to talk about urban foraging near Missoula. If anyone's still interested, please hit me up. I just authored a book "The Front Yard Forager" on the subject and teach workshops up and down the west coast. I'm looking for an excuse to visit Missoula this summer.
Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2492
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  60
Melany, did you give a talk in Missoula? Any one else out there have a good wild foraging teacher in Missoula to recommend?


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