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Woo Hoo! Black Walnuts

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Without the hassle of shelling them myself. I know I could forage them, as they are everywhere in this area. But, Baugher’s does the hard work and I get the walnuts.

Baugher’s black walnuts

They have a very different taste. They make wonderful cookies. I will be putting these away in the freezer for a few weeks until I do the Christmas cookies. If you have seen black walnuts on roadsides or in fields, you know how hard they are to crack. Plus, the stain on the outer parts of the nut will take weeks to fade from your skin. They are all over the conservancy. I am amazed at how the squirrels manage to get into them.

Here are some of the walnuts from the conservancy, that the squirrels have been working open. There is a large tree on the entrance walkway where the staff does occasionally pick them up and take them. The ones all over the fields are left for the animals. The ones on that pathway become a hazard if you step on them. They are like big marbles and you slide over them. Not fun when covered with leaves.

We saw a huge pile of them on the side of Rte. 340 in Virginia last week. If we weren’t heading for the wine tasting at L’Auberge, we would have stopped and gathered them. Any of them on the right of ways along the highways are perfect for foraging. Like we do in the area when we find wild asparagus in the spring.

Besides the walnuts, today I got the box full of feed corn at Baugher’s. This box is a bargain, and I will be using some of it at an event next month at the conservancy. Right now though, it needs to stay out in the garage. Protected from the squirrels but allowing all the tiny moths to leave and find their way elsewhere.

feed corn to use for a craft project

It was a lovely fall day in Westminster. We headed out early to catch an amateur radio hamfest at the Agricultural Center. It was mostly local radio amateurs tailgating. Sort of a “vintage electronics” flea market. Just so you know, if you ever need tubes for old electronics, these hamfests are the place to find them. Oh, and lots of military surplus stuff. We met numerous friends from local clubs, had breakfast and coffee there and picked up the last of the cable needed to bring all the feeds back from the permanent and the crank up towers that are being assembled on our back meadow.

“hard line”

It was pretty popular there today. Lots of people browsing the tables on a sunny cool morning. With beautiful views of the countryside, and the adjoining farm museum.

All in all, a good day. I found walnuts. They also have chestnuts for those who love to cook with them. I picked up some mutsu apples, a variety that isn’t all that common around here. Got a few small spaghetti squash, as we are having them with dinner often, and I did pick up this winter’s supply of roasted corn meal. The walnuts and corn meal are available in the produce market by the restaurant and not out at the farm. The corn meal showed up last year in one of my “Eat Local” challenges. It makes a killer polenta. Plus, I used it in making scrapple.

roasted corn meal polenta with bison

If you want a day trip about 30 miles north of Columbia, Baugher’s is worth the drive. If only for their homemade ice creams. I was looking for their holiday ice creams, but they still have peach and berry ones in the case. Have to get closer to Thanksgiving before you see peppermint.

hocofood@@@

Foraging Wild Asparagus, and Other Spring Pics

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The first wild asparagus poked above the mulch yesterday.

There are a few volunteer plants under the crepe myrtle. Every spring we get just enough asparagus to make a frittata. Found food is a good thing. It will be a while for the rest of our fruit and berries to produce, but finding what is hidden on the property has been interesting. This past fall we found a couple of hickory nuts in the yard, probably brought in by the squirrels, but haven’t located that tree yet.

We have black raspberries, mulberries and one peach tree. Wild strawberries. Parsley, mint and of course, enough dandelions to gather greens for dinner. Thankfully, no one out here sprays.

As for what else I found yesterday, the azaleas are coming out left and right.


The mock orange is about to go into its flowering stage with the highest buds opening.

My neighbor’s crab apples are in full bloom along the driveway.

The later varieties of tulips are hanging in there, despite the frost.

Nothing says spring like flowers and Easter. Happy Easter to all who celebrate. I am off to make herb roasted onions for my brother.