†††††††††††††††† Our farm has become somewhat known for its wild and weird crops. We harvest most of those wild crops from our 40 acre woodlot. We begin the harvest season mid February through March† collecting sap from the sugar maples and boiling it into delicious syrup, 100% maple syrup with nothing else added. It truly is fantastic!

†††††††††††††††† In April the beautiful wildflowers begin to come up, and so do some other unusual crops. In our woods we have wild onions, a small grasslike onion with a nice mild onion flavor. And, it is also time to collect the grapevine that we sell for crafts, furniture, and for cooking (as firewood which imparts its flavor from the smoke). Redbud blossoms, violets, and basswood leaves are harvested at the end of the month.

†††††††††††††††† May brings us to the morel mushroom season. We love morels! And, since we donít find many in our woods, this delicacy is reserved for ourselves. Dehydrating some of them allows us to have them later in the year also. Wild ramps are a wild allium, or leek, that we have in our woods. And, the stinging nettles begin to come up. We harvest them using gloves, long sleeve shirts, jeans, and by being very careful. An herbal crop is sweet cicely which has a nice licorice flavor and is used by some restaurants also.

†††††††††††††††† The month of June is a continuation of the nettles and then cattails. The cattails are harvested on a friendís property at this time. We are so thankful that they allow us to harvest them, and I think they are happy to get rid of some. We are working toward creating our own wetland to someday have our own cattail supply. The cattail shoots are the cattails when they first begin to come up. We pull them out and rinse them well. They taste a little like cucumbers and are really nice in salads.

†††††††††††††††† July and August gives us a break from the woods as we are busy harvesting our field crops, especially tomatoes and squash blossoms. This is a great time to not be in the woods as the mosquitoes and other insects really come out for their own little feasts.

†††††††††††††††† September and October are the months of the pawpaws. We love these guys also. Pawpaws are a native tree in our area, and we also have an acre planted into cultivated varieties. They have a smooth skin like a mango, largish seeds, and a banana/strawberry/citrus kind of flavor. Weíve found that people either really like them or really donít. We like the taste but also like the fact that it is believed the pawpaws have cancer fighting agents. Extracts are sold by some herbal companies. One of our favorite dishes made with pawpaw was a pawpaw/champaign ice...yum!

†††††††††††††††† In November we work on our field crops again and begin to harvest firewood for heating our house and for the syrup season. December is also firewood season and a nice time to take moonlit walks thru the woods through the snow. Then January starts us all over again leading into the maple syrup preparations and the next year.

 

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