About Emma McDonald

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So far Emma McDonald has created 32 blog entries.

Fall Edibles – Snowberry

Symphoricarpos albus - snowberry Strictly speaking, this one is for the birds! The white berries are edible but hardy flavorful. Even wildlife will leave them alone until everything else tastier is gone. Count this one as emergency food. On the bright side, enjoy the pearl white fruits long into the winter season on this [...]

2021-09-30T13:39:53+00:00September 30th, 2021|

Fall Edibles – Oregon grape

Mahonia (Berberis) aquifolium - Oregon grape We have two native Oregon grapes in the garden; you’ll see the lower one (M. nervosa) later on mixed in with some salal. Both produce nice crops of blue-black fruits if the fragrant yellow flowers earlier were pollinated. Although edible fresh off the plant, they taste somewhat acidic [...]

2021-09-30T13:38:32+00:00September 30th, 2021|

Fall Edibles – Western sword fern

Polystichum munitum - Western sword fern Most animals leave ferns alone but not crazy humans! What’s eaten here? The fiddleheads – the wonderful spiral of uncurling fronds in early spring. If clipped before it uncoils too much, the tips (croziers) are tasty with a crunchy nutty type of flavor. Try one or two next spring [...]

2021-09-30T13:36:15+00:00September 30th, 2021|

Fall Edibles – Salal

Gaultheria shallon - Salal These are easy fruits to love – dark blue to purple, juicy, sweet, and easy to pick whether on a field trip/hike or planning for homemade jam or jelly. Both the common name and the species name are a takeoff of a native North American name further east. It too [...]

2021-09-30T13:32:53+00:00September 30th, 2021|

Fall Edibles – Oso Berry

Oemleria cerasiformis - Oso Berry (formerly indian plum) The word plum typically conjures up an image of a 2-3” dark-colored sweet and juicy fruit. Well, this plum is purple but fleshy – no, just the barest coating of flesh that nine out of ten times isn’t even sweet. This shrubby tree up to 15’ [...]

2021-09-30T13:32:32+00:00September 30th, 2021|

Fall Edibles – Baldhip Rose

Rosa gymnocarpa - baldhip rose The red fruits on this native rose are small but still full of Vitamin C if you were so inclined to harvest them. If you want to make your own rose jelly, then larger hips, as they are called, can be found on other roses such as Rosa rugosa [...]

2021-09-30T13:26:44+00:00September 30th, 2021|

Fall Edibles – Salmonberry

Rubus spectabilis - Salmonberry Early hikers look for the small bright yellow to red-colored fruits to tickle the tastebuds. The darker the color, the sweeter the fruit which can be eaten raw, made into pies, or added to fish dishes. The red blossoms are attractive but sparse on a plant which is best used [...]

2021-09-30T13:24:56+00:00September 30th, 2021|

Fall Edibles – Black Bamboo

Phyllostachys nigra - Black bamboo With the glossy black stems, this is an easy bamboo to identify. It will stay clumped for a long time but eventually will begin to spread further afield if not restrained by various means such as ‘bamboo cloth’. One way to help keep it in bounds is to harvest [...]

2021-09-30T13:19:16+00:00September 30th, 2021|

Fall Edibles – Hairy manzanita and bearberry

Arctostaphylos columbiana and A. uva-ursi - Hairy Manzanita and Bearberry  Next to each other are these two members of the heather family. Hairy Manzanita can get up to 10’ and more, displaying the wonderful polished red-brown bark whereas Bearberry stays low and is much used as an evergreen groundcover. Both bear edible small orange to [...]

2021-09-30T13:14:53+00:00September 30th, 2021|

Fall Edibles – Huckleberry

Vaccinium ovatum and V. parvifolium - Evergreen Huckleberry and Red Huckleberry Side by side are two of our most common huckleberries. The evergreen one has purplish berries while the red is – well, red! Both appreciate damp, organically rich soil but the evergreen flowers and fruits best in sunlight. On mountain slopes where it can [...]

2021-09-30T13:16:15+00:00September 30th, 2021|