Everywhere I look, there is fireweed shooting up. It’s so common, you might think it were a weed, but in fact fireweed is native to high country Colorado, as it is to mountainous regions and northern latitudes around the world. Fireweed, also known as great willowherb, is edible, though in my opinion the culinary value of most parts is a tad dubious. Still, that doesn’t keep me from trying, and there is much to be learned from this beautiful, tall, fuschia-flowering plant. Please, join me on a journey through time and space with fireweed, a lovely wild plant whose mysteries we can perhaps unravel together. Subscribe for just $2 a month to the Wild Edible Notebook for the full story.
$2 for 6 Issues including this one
For the first $2, you access six Notebooks. That’s pretty cheap. You could cancel after just $2 if you really wanted to. Or, you could read six colorful, well-researched, slightly snarky issues and decide $2 is a small price to pay to get these photo-filled glossies in three different formats each month. Thanks so much if you decide to support this. It is a lifestyle choice to which I find myself compelled despite many more practical decisions I could be making. Instead I fill my time researching, hunting, photographing, picking, cooking and eating, and writing about edible wild plants. So your contribution helps to make this work possible. I spend about 80 hours per month on these and draw a very small monthly paycheck. Currently I gross $2.75 an hour for my work on these. I am not like so many others who made their money in the real world and then retired from it to chase their dreams but with full pocketbooks. I retired from it before making much money. Good move, WFG. Anyhoo, the money goes towards life expenses as would a job, also to the web expenses. The programmer gets paid with wild dinner and kisses. I hope to pay cash money to the contributors one day.
How to Get Free Issues
Check out the two free issues by joining the email list (scroll to the very bottom of this page and type your name and email address). After that if you cannot afford it but are enamored of the Notebook and vow to read it every month, I sometimes give offers via email for how to get a free subscription. But just remember, I’m making $2.75 an hour, covered head-to-toe in poison ivy. Just kidding. The poison ivy is only on my arm. But seriously.
- Fireweed -Fireweed is the cover story for the June 2014 issue of the Wild Edible Notebook.
- Three-Leaved Sumac, Sumacs, & Poisonous Relatives – Next is a piece on three-leaved sumac—which produces tart, edible, red “berry” clusters earlier than its cousins, staghorn and smooth sumac—along with a nod to those cousins and their poisonous relatives poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac too. As if the universe thought the timing appropriate, one of those three is currently itching the heck out of my left arm.
- Book Review: Ellen Zachos’ Backyard Foraging -There is a review of Ellen Zachos’ book, Backyard Foraging, a colorful, easy-to-follow guide to edible garden ornamentals and common weeds that would make a good gift for the wild-edible-curious gardener in your life.
- Poem -I have only ever featured two poems in the Wild Edible Notebook—two awesome ones by my sometimes-muse, Brad Purcell. But this time, I wrote one. Please enjoy my reflective ode to mud. And by all means, send me your wild poems.
- Recipes -Each issue of WEN concludes with recipe ideas using wild food. In this issue, there are a couple for smooth sumac from my dear friend and fellow bloggist, Hunger & Thirst. From me there is a bit on wilted wild greens, a rework from the blog with a few new pictures. Even though that story has run here already, I find it’s nice to have the recipe in portable format.
Final Pitch (Just Read It)
This seems a good time for a plug. The Wild Edible Notebook is available for iPad (best) and iPhone in Apple’s Newsstand application. Or you can subscribe here at the blog for access to three different formats of PDFs—a screen reader that happens to fit the iPad perfectly, a skinny, tall version that is meant to be decent on an Android, and the original gangster print-and-fold format. You need to know how to operate your printer, or take a PDF file to a copy shop, to get these printouts to work. Also it’s extra lovely now on the 8.5 x 14” legal-paper size printout. Get the right paper, print two sided, and fold for cute, reproducible booklets in full color if you want. There are even coloring pages for the wild edible kiddos in your life!
The print-and-fold is still my favorite–I print it in black and white–because then if I’m cooking and want to refer to recipe without turning on my electronic devices, I can just consult my wild edible library of printed Notebooks. See Wild Edible Notebook for details on the different formats available, and to subscribe. You know you wanna. Tee hee. Thanks for reading this far. You rock. Happy foraging!