American Hazelnuts are the smaller relative (1/2") to the European Filbert (3/4"), and native to all States including New Jersey. Fall is a busy time for nut production in Carson Road Woods and on many of the paths you can see a variety of Acorns, Black Walnut, Hickory, and Beech nuts.
Wild Grapes in CRW? Yes! Many of you likely recognize these leaves as wild grapes climb on anything, but did you know that the leaves and fruit are edible? Please google wild grape vs Moonseed (toxic) to be sure you can identify the right one. These grapes were picked yesterday. They are ripe when black and taste like concord, and contain 3 large seeds that are better removed. I brought them to a boil, let them cool, crushed then strained the seeds away. 1 Cup grapes to 4 cups water and sugar to taste (appx 1/2 cup) produced wild grape juice. There are jam and jelly recipes out there, as well as making pickled grape leaves and crispy fried grape leaves. Check out our website for more info, and my next post on Autumn Olive berries at www.carsonroadwoods.org
Here is a link to a Wild Grape Jelly recipe: http://willowhavenoutdoor.com/featured-wilderness-survival-blog-entries/how-to-make-wild-grape-jelly/
Pickled Grape Leaves: http://www.thankyourbody.com/recipe-naturally-fermented-pickled-grape-leaves/
About Wild Grape leaves: http://www.superfoods-for-superhealth.com/wild-grape-leaves.html
Be careful to identify wild grape over it's toxic friend the Moonseed. Grape leaves have three lobes and jagged edges, whereas Moonseed is heart shaped with smooth edges.. Grapes climb with two opposing tendrils while Moonseed vines grow around its host. Below you can see the difference ...
Blackberries are HERE! I've never seen them as large, plump and sweet*. With last night's rain and more expected tonight, the coming week will likely be optimal for picking (7/24 - 7/31). If you wear long pants, venture off the wide main center grass path or into portions of the old peach orchard. Otherwise, there is presently great picking along the edges of the narrow cross path or along the grass path by the Beech Forest trail entrance.
Here is a recipe for a Wild Blackberry Buckle http://thefreerangelife.com/wild-berry-buckle/ (it even includes a few Wineberries which can be found in CRW but I think they have already come and gone along with the wild raspberries).
* Wild Blackberries can be a bit seedy, so favoring the darkest berries with plumpest drupelets will yield the sweetest fruit and be well worth a few seeds stuck in the teeth!
Please join us for a trail repair, meeting at the Culvert on LHT in CRW.
The Oak Trail Culvert is in need of repair. A hole has formed
above the culvert pipe and has to be filled in and the surface
restored. Currently the opening is dangerous to walkers.
Bring all safety gear: glasses, gloves, etc. Estimated time 1.5 hrs.