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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Paw Paw

As I was looking through photos that I uploaded and meant to publish, I ran across this pic of paw paws which are a native fruit to Oklahoma.  They are hard to find and when you do, if you are lucky, there will be a few left for you.  They taste a little like a banana and a mango to me.  The uglier and squishier they are, the better.

Gathering curly dock seeds

I gathered these seeds earlier in the fall and planted some for micro greens just because I had so much and wanted to experiment.  So far, so good.  They are growing and I still have a lot left over for flour.

A Home Made Christmas

 I had a lot of fun making hand lotion and deodorant the other day.  I found some easy recipes on the internet and put my own spin on them by combining a few that I liked with the ingredients that I had on hand.  They turned out great and I never have to worry about adding strange chemicals to my body.  Oh, and they work great too.  Along with that I took the Sage that Scott trimmed out this fall and added a little lavender to it to make some great little smudge sticks.  Then..... I took my jars of dried tea fixin's and made tea.  That included fig and mulberry leaves, lemon grass and passion flower vine all gathered from my back yard.  The tea was delish, by the way.  Merry Christmas from me to friends and family.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Smudge Sticks

It was time to trim everything back in the garden and I was happy to make use of the Russian Sage and Lavender.  I thought the two of them together might make a nice smudge stick.... and it did!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Making cottage cheese with fig leaf rennet

I was doing a little research on uses for fig leaves and came across using it as a rennet.  As luck would have it I had some milk that needed to be used up so gave it a try.  Worked great.  Just a few drops in a small amount of milk.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Claire Goes Foraging Book Signing... This week... Utica Square's Art in the Square

Hey everyone, I will have copies of Claire Goes Foraging with me this Saturday from 9-5 in front of Pendeltons and Starbucks at Utica Square.  Come get a signed copy.

Mulberry Tea, Fig Leaf Tea.... Who knew?

Did you know that you can make tea from Mulberry leaves and Fig leaves? Apparently the Chinese have been doing it forever. They both have tons of health benefits and are full of good vitamins. I am drying some now to give it a try. Someone on 'Splendid Table' was talking about using fig leaves to steam fish and to use as a coconut like spice. I have both growing in the yard so I am excited to give them a try.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Black Nightshade

Who knew?  One of my wildcrafting pals found this in my back yard and told me what it was and that it was edible... not only edible, but delicious.  It tastes, oddly enough like a sweet tomato!
This is what the plant looks like before the berries turn black.  Pick them when black.  They are so good!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

My Pole Beam Fort

My pretty bean and wild morning glory tunnel.  I know the beans aren't wild but I figure I can get away with showing you this because of the morning glories.  This tunnel is so perfect, I am going to do this every year from now on.  You can actually plant both sides ( which I will do next year ) with pole beans and let them climb.  The cool thing.... besides being actually cool inside the tunnel ... is that gravity makes the beans hang down and you just move from the hot garden into the cool tunnel and just reach up and pick the low hanging beans.  So easy!

Oklahoma Paw Paws

" Pickin' up Paw paws. puttin' 'em in my pocket....."

These tasty fruits remind me of mango, banana, persimmon.  They are rare far... as they don't travel well and are difficult to preserve.  Here is what I did with mine.
squish them through a sieve, add white wine vinegar and oil to the golden colored fruit for a pretty, sweet,and delicious salad dressing.  Pictured here is some freshly picked curly dock that will also make it into the salad.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

an interesting lunch

A few unusual things going from the garden for lunch. Mint for tea, ground cherries add to strawberry pie seedpods from radishes for a salad, broccoli leaves, For cooked greens along with Polk sallet that have already been boiled twice and lambs quarter greens. Do you think that the good greens will counterbalance the bacon grease that I'm adding to the mix?

Friday, June 30, 2017

Basil Pesto w wild greens

Today I am making a new spin on the traditional basil pesto.  Mine has the addition of Lambsquarters and broccoli leaves.  This adds nutrition without changing the taste.  I also grabbed a jalepeno as I walked through the garden and threw that in as well.  I swap out pine nuts for a less expensive, walnuts this time around.  I often substitute roasted almonds or cashews but I had a lot of walnuts on hand so they got thrown into the mix.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

making Curly Dock Flour today

I didn't actually use a flour grinder for this as from what I can glean from others, the seed, husk, and of course, the leaves are all edible I decided to blend them all together and use rather than separate the three.  I will keep you posted on how it goes as far as using it.  I suppose one could still grind further and sift to get a finer flour but I will probably use it as I use flax seed meal, just as kind of a filler and not a solo flier.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Habitat Tour

                                the good folks at Oxley Nature Center on the front porch

Wild plant sellers in the driveway

The yard is all dressed up and ready.  The peonies are gone but last week's painting is still here.


We had nearly 1000 people on the tour.

Jess and Megan from the Oklahoma Wildcrafters made the front porch a prettier place.  They had lots of educational stuff for our guests to see.  They brought many edibles from their front yard on the way over.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Our garden is on the Habitat Tour

If you are in the area this weekend, be sure to stop by.  I will have copies of Claire goes Foraging for sale as well.  Oxley Nature Center ( a favorite walking trail) will be here as will Okklahoma Wildcrafting.  Should be lots of fun.

24th Wildlife Habitat Garden Tour & Plant Sale
Saturday, May 20 9 am - 5 pm 
 Sunday, May 21 Noon - 5 pm
(Rain or Shine)
Adult Admission Donation $6 Children under 13 Free
Featuring 5 northwest Tulsa Gardens with Native Plant Sales and additional information at each garden:
546 N. 27th W. Ave.
Wild Things Nursery, Oklahoma Native Plant Society, Monarch Watch
1424 W. Easton Pl.
 Duck Creek Farm, WING-IT
639 N. Cheyenne Ave.
Utopia Gardens, Bird Houses by Mark
1135 N. Denver Ave.
Pine Ridge Gardens, Oxley Nature Center, Oklahoma Wildcrafting
636 N. Denver Ave.
Missouri Wildflowers Nursery, Tulsa Audubon Society, Northeast Oklahoma Beekeepers Association
For complete information and maps see or call 918 521-8894

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Permaculture in the hood

These guys and gals are creating a permaculture urban forest/garden smack dab in the middle of our neighborhood.  We already have an urban food forest just behind this new garden.  The food forest lines a highway and serves not only to employ our youth ( gathering fruit, nuts) but also serves to feed the community and offers a buffer zone between the highway and our neighborhood that is both beautiful and works to decrease the sound from the highway

Friday, April 21, 2017

Hickory Nuts

Last fall I gathered a bunch of Hickory Nuts when I went to visit my inlaws in Arkansas.  I had good intentions of cracking and eating them so I kept them around for about a month and forgot about them.  When I was cleaning the back room up I thought , " I need to crack these things and eat them." so I set about w a hammer and cracked a bunch of them and set them by my chair in the living room, again, with every intention of eating them.  Well, they are hard to get the meat out of!! and not worth my trouble so I decided to give the squirrels and opossums a treat and threw them out in the back driveway.  One day later I was switching channels on the TV and came across some Oklahoma Native Americans showing how they use hickory nuts.... the easy way! so I will share this with you and hope that I remember next year to check my own blog before casting them asside ( of course, they were totally gone from the driveway) So here's how our native ancestors used the nuts:

Wash the shells/nuts

They put a hand ful of them in a carved out hole in a rock and ground them shells and all with a big stick that looked like a baseball bat

Throw everything into a pot and boil

strain the milk into a container

add water to the original pot of nuts and boil and strain again

It is the milk that you will use, not the actual nuts.  The woman on the show cooked her rice in the milk as a staple meal.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Weeds? Maybe not...

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Food right under your feet

Within just a few square feet in my back yard are multiple, edible plants.  There have been no poisons added, no genetic modification, no fertilization.  They grow here and are available to feed me.  We talk about biodiversity in places that are far away from us and fret over destruction of rain forests.  We might look at ourselves first.  Ever wonder how the native people survived without a grocery store?  Their world was the grocery store and it is still here and will be for a long time if we choose to protect it.  We might consider not poisoning our yards and instead eat what is there.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Picking Berries

I belong to a wildcrafting group ( think wild food) and one of the girls in the group sent me a pic of her grand daughter picking berries at a nearby creek.  She graciously allowed me the use of the photo to create this painting.  She was actually interested in the very tall Mullein plant to the left and asked her granddaughter to stand nearby so that we could get perspective on how tall it was.  ( Mullein is used medicinally.  To visit this painting and many others in my ebay gallery, click here   To visit my artist blog ( where you can also order my books on painting and my children's book on foraging ) , click here

Wild berry crumble

                                                                                                                                                                    Throughout the summer I picked fruit and berries from my own small serviceberry, goji berry, huckleberry bushes and also some apples and plums from the neighborhood garden apple trees.   My goal was to save enough for some sort of a pie in the cold weather.  ( I kept adding them to my freezer bag throughout the summer) and today is the day to make a fruit/berry crumble.  ( think apple crisp)

Live Forever plant

I have brown a little patch of these flowers for years after getting a cutting from someone's garden. They are perennial and I just found out they are also a prized spring salad edible. from the net...
Orpine (sedum purpureum) is a wonderful, tasty wild plant that is also grown in gardens and as an ornamental plant. If you are lucky enough to find it growing wild and in abundance, you'll have found one of my favorite salad greens. At least the young and tender leaves are great in salads or raw as a trail nibble. But you can also boil the older leaves for 5 to 10 minutes, and its tubers are edible as well, cooked for 20 minutes or so.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Red Bud Blossoms are Edible.... And pretty!

Redbud blossoms are edible and tasty... hidden in this salad are finely sliced dandelion greens and dandelion buds.  I have to hide them from my husband... he doesn't know what he is eating half the time ;-)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Dandelion buds and greens

You have a bunch of stuff growing in your yard right now that is not only edible but very nutritious and delicious. If you're afraid of dandelion greens try the little buds. I throw them on top of the salad and never know the difference. they are much sweeter than the bitter greens.  You might try making some dandelion green pesto w nuts, lemon juice, olive oil, and parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Early Spring brings Fresh Greens

Hey boys and girls... you don't need to go any further than your back door right now in Oklahoma, to find fresh greens.  I just picked henbit, dandelion, curly dock, and added them to mixed greens that wintered over in my garden ( kale, spinach, arugula, turnip )  I would suggest you add small amounts of these greens to some you already love, both in salads and cooked, or even in your green smoothies, if you are not used to them.  All are highly nutritious.  Mom always used to make a spring dandelion salad starting out with the healthy dandelion and then adding a less healthy, but totally tasty hot salad dressing made with bacon grease, vinegar and sugar.  yum.

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