Nature Nuts at Mud Bay Park
A glorious day it w as, mild temps and virtually no wind. We started off with finding fresh nettles all along the first part of trail, they were about 6 inches tall and looked so tempting but decided to wait and pick on the way back. We discovered wild mustard seedlings, along side wild carrot or Queen Ann’s lace, and tasted and picked young shoots of fireweed about 4 inches high, great for trail snack and we took some home for stir fry or sautéing. We sampled the new light green tips of the fir trees along the trail, they tasted very much like lemon and would make a nice tea!!
Horsetails stalks were coming up everywhere, with their green spores blowing in the air after tapping them gently. These are edible just before protruding above the soil under the ground in early February. Their “partners” who look like miniature evergreen trees and grow nearby, are sterile, un- reproductive shoots. Through photosynthetic activity they produce food for the rootstock of the mature productive stalks. They may be better known as “scouring rush” and can be efficiently used as pot and plate scrubbers for campers!
Unfortunately the noise of the highway along the north side of the trail was a bit bothersome while conversing and we refrained from sampling edibles along that part of trail. We were on the lookout for wild asparagus, but realized it would be a little early yet, usually late April early May is the best time. No signs of wild spinach along the south side of path along the shore line, which was littered with wood debris from the last windstorm and covered with seaweed almost a foot deep, not so easy for little seeds to poke trough….
On the way back some of us took fresh nettles home. Nettles are great for a delicious (really!) and healthy mineral loaded tea and washed, trimmed from stems, cooked for just a minute, then squeezed dry (save the water for drinking or soups etc.) and used for omelets, muffins, pesto, quiches, smoothies and much much more!!!