Spring Offerings



Stinging Nettle

Early February through late June
This gift of early spring is synonymous with health and flavor, its benefit to the body matched only by its versatility in the kitchen. Its robust taste is comparable to a minty spinach and is excellent sauteed, used in stuffings, or as a soup. Used for centuries worldwide as a health tonic, nettles are a nutrient powerhouse, boasting high iron and chlorophyll content, as well as calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamins A, C, D, E and K. We harvest the only the very top growth from young plants for superior flavor.
 

Ladyfern Fiddlehead

Early March through mid June
The young growth tips of native Northwest ladyfern are picked before they unfurl into full leaves. The color of the fiddlehead can vary from light green to maroon. We recommend them first blanched, then sauteed with bacon and spring garlic as a side dish. additionally their crisp texture and succulent flavor make them good pickled or marinated in salads. These products should not be eaten raw in large quantities.

 

Ostrich Fern Fiddlehead

Early May through Early June
This classic Northeastern fern is another quintessential sign of spring. Shaped like an ostrich’s plumes when fully unfurled, we harvest this fern’s young, bright green tips, which have a lovely, snappy texture with a slight, sweet asparagus flavor. Like Washington’s native ladyfern, these are great sauteed after blanching. Pair with lemon zest, sea salt and olive oil. Also great with ramps or morels.

Wild Watercress

Early March through late June
This spicy, crunchy green is found throughout the world in streams and mountain springs. We harvest only the top succulent growth with as little stem as possible. It is washed and sold loose, and ready to use in salads, soups, sauces or sauteed. A 2014 study from the Center for Disease Control labeled watercress the world’s most nutrient-dense food, topping the list of healthiest fruits and vegetables.

Japanese Knotweed

Early April through Mid May
This highly invasive member of the bamboo family is a delicious edible, its tart flavor reminiscent of rhubarb and celery. We harvest the top of the shoots as they emerge from the ground, when they are at their peak tenderness and crispness. An easy substitute in place of bamboo shoots, it is great in tempura, baked or sauteed, its hollow center makes it an an attractive garnish, and it can be stuffed as well.

Ramps/Wild Leeks

Late March through Late May
Nature’s greatest wild allium, this versatile plant is entirely edible from root to leaves. The leaves are great in sauces, raw, or braised as a green. The bulbs are excellent pickled, roasted and grilled whole. Because we harvest the entire plant, we pick in Appalachia and the Upper Midwest in large tracts of timberlands slated for clearcuts, of which have a much greater impact on the land then picking.

Goosetongue

Late April through Mid June
The leaves of this salty sea grass bring a strong flavor of the ocean. Its briny taste and hearty texture (think of a green onion) make it an excellent accompaniment to fish. It is also tasty grilled or sauteed in a warm vinaigrette. Packed with minerals and vitamins A and C, in Alaska it is the prefered spring food of brown bears, though we harvest ours locally in tidal flats.

Spruce Tips

Late April through Late May
We harvest the fresh growing tips of Sitka spruce trees during springtime. These bright green, tender tips are a fine addition to syrups, alcohol infusions, as teas, and can even be used fresh like an herb. Their flavor profile is citrus-like, bright, and almost floral. They are packed with vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium and have long been used by native tribes to treat coughs and sore throats.

Miners Lettuce

Early March through late June
The striking beauty of Miner’s Lettuce is always a welcome sign of renewal in the Pacific Northwest. This delicate wild green grows in many varieties but can be identified by its sweet flavor and lilypad-like shape. Best served simply dressed with olive oil and lemon, or as a garnish with fish, its name refers to its use by California Gold Rush miners who ate it to prevent disease. We use clippers to cut only the top growth and sell it loosely.  

Wild Ginger

Early February through Mid June
This trailing plant’s rhizomes are picked with their attached heart-shaped leaves, which we sell separately as a tea. The thin root has a strong peppery-ginger scent that is more mild than traditional ginger root, to which it is not related. The roots can be candied, for syrups, or used to add a subtle flavor to sauces and curries; the leaves make an excellent poaching liquid and for teas. This is the Western version, Asarum caudatum; it should not be infused into alcohols.

Licorice Fern

Early April through mid June
Found growing tucked into the moss of deciduous trees, the young spring growth of this fern is harvested with sweet anise-scented rhizomes attached. The rhizomes work well for sauces, syrups, poaching liquids and teas.

 

Wood Sorrel

Early April through mid May
This delicate green plant bursts with flavor, its clover-shaped leaves adding a nice, lemony zing to any dish. Young, tender leaves and flowers are picked for use in salads and sauces. It should be used somewhat sparingly due to its oxalic acid content.

Wood Violet

Late March through mid May
This peppery tasting green is found blooming in meadows each spring with beautiful sprigs of tender leaves and yellow flowers. Use sparingly as salad or garnish, or candy the flowers to add flourish to a dessert.  

Big Leaf Maple Blossom

Late March through early June
The pale yellow clustered blossom of this quintessential Pacific Northwest tree is harvested when its young and bursting with pollen. The blossom itself is a sight to behold, its subtle taste has a hint of green tea and maple syrup. Great lightly battered, fried and dusted with powdered sugar for fritters or infusions, or put into ice cream.

Spring Beauty

Early April through late May
Growing from a small edible corm, a young sprout emerges each spring. The tender sprout grows only one set of leaves with small pink and white flowers. Use as salad or garnish.

Wild Oyster Mushroom

Early April through mid May
A true wild oyster mushroom is much more delicate and flavorful than its cultivated cousins. Growing from decaying alder, it has a short season each spring and fall. Excellent sauteed and roasted.

Devil's Club Shoot

Early April through mid May
This formidable, spiky-stemmed plant is often something you would not want to encounter in the wild - if you’ve ever felt one of its thorns lodged in your skin, its Latin name, Devil Horrible, needs no explanation. Fortunately, the young tender buds that form each spring are a choice edible before they unfurl and reveal their signature large leaves. It has a very unique pine scent and is excellent sauteed, in salads or pesto, its resiny, spruce-like flavor is highly pronounced, with a consistency similar to asparagus tips. Natives have used this plant for centuries for its wide health properties, it is also called Alaskan ginseng.

Coral Mushroom

Early May through early June
This beautiful mushroom is named after its resemblance to sea corals. An often-overlooked spring mushroom, it has a mild flavor, firm texture and is found throughout the east side of the Cascades. We harvest two distinct species, one yellow, the other rose colored. Good fried or roasted until crisp, it lends itself well to many cooking techniques.

Snowbank Mushroom

Early May through early June
This broad sized mushroom grows at the edges of receding snowbanks. It is rust in color and has a flavor very similar to that of a morel. Often the first spring mushroom to grow each year it should not be overlooked as it is very versatile due to its size and pleasant flavor.

Natural Black Morel

Early April through Mid June
The mushroom that really needs no explanation, these prized beauties have a cult-like following worldwide for a reason. Black morels grow naturally on undisturbed land, not in forest fire areas— in the Pacific Northwest they are mainly east of the Cascade Mountains. “Naturals” have thick flesh, multiple walls, a robust, earthy, caraway-like flavor and meaty consistency.

Spring King Bolete

Mid May through early July
In the Western United States, this distinct spring porcini grows on the east side of the Cascades and remains underground until full maturity. Often found in large clusters, it is the firmest of all the king boletes found throughout the year. Its nutty flavor and tender texture makes it superb in nearly every preparation. Use buttons shaved raw into salads. Slice the larger mushrooms for grilling, sautéing, or sauces. We like to call it the veal chop of the woods.

Conica / Burn Morel

Early May through early July

The most prolific of all morels, the conica abundantly grows in woods the year after a fire. Burn morels tend to be very uniform in size with thinner flesh than the natural morels. They have a smokier flavor that pairs well with spring vegetables like peas, fava beans and asparagus, pasta or salmon.

Sea Bean

Early May through late July
Also known as marsh samphire or glasswort, this interesting tideland plant grows in large beds throughout coastal areas and smells and tastes like the sea. The first several inches of crisp, young growth are harvested before it flowers and the stems toughen. Use blanched for a salad, with fish, in brothy soups or pickled for use year-round. Don’t add salt! 

 

Please remember we strive to deliver the freshest products.
Wild foods have limited and often unpredictable availability,
so please place any orders as early possible.