Ferme et Forêt

Wild Foods

We harvest a wide array of wild foods from our farm and surrounding region. The season begins as fiddleheads emerge in the warmth of April, and ends with juniper berries picked until the first snows of late November. We can do special orders for chefs or individuals who are looking for larger quantities or something specific not on the list below. Contact us for details.

IMG_2098_1

 

WILD VEGETABLES

Fiddleheads

450px-Fiddleheads_Crosses_de_fougère

The earliest of our wild vegetables, fiddleheads are a nutrition packed wonder food. Their delicate taste brings memories of asparagus and artichoke. Add them to pasta, casseroles, omelettes, salads and pizzas. Store them in water in the fridge, and they will keep for weeks! Available late April and May.

 

Spruce tips

IMG_2818_1

For a distinct forest flavour, add spruce tips to the menu. We harvest the young buds of the spruce tree’s new growth in the spring. Add them fresh to your sweet and savory baking, sauté or steam them as a vegetable, or dry them to infuse as a herbal tea. Available in May.

 

Nettle

IMG_2782_1

Our personal favourite green, nettle is one of the most nutritious greens out there, and its flavour is rich and vibrant. Nettle is interchangeable with cooked spinach, and is excellent in potato soup. Avoid overcooking to preserve the colour, flavour and nutritional value. Nettle has small hairs that, if touched, sting or irritate the skin. These disappear once cooked. Use kitchen gloves to handle raw nettle. Don’t be intimidated by the sting, you’ll see that they are well worth it! Available in May and June.

 

Dandelion greens

IMG_2786_1

Dandelion greens are not only well known for their nutritional and cleansing properties, but are becoming better known as a culinary delight. They are the first leafy greens available, and are harvested in the spring when the leaves are less bitter. They can be eaten raw in salad, cooked in stir-fry, added to soups, or steamed on their own. Available from April to June.

 

Cattail shoots

IMG_2767_1_1

Cattails can be eaten in almost all stages of growth. Delicate and refreshing tasting cattail hearts are the tender interior of the young shoots, and can be eaten raw in salads, or cooked. Available in June and July.

 

Cattail cobs

IMG_3062

The young flower buds of cattails are harvested while still green, and eaten like corn on the cob! Cook in boiling water for a few minutes, add butter and salt, and voila! Available in July.

 

Milkweed broccoli

IMG_2952

The flower buds of this unique plant are harvested before the flowers bloom. They form a tight head which resembles that of a broccoli head, except the taste is more similar to a mix of green bean and asparagus. They can be made into a cream soup, added to stews, omelettes, pasta, or simply served as a side dish with butter or olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Available June and July.

 

Specialty Greens

IMG_2831_1

Depending on the season, we will harvest specialty greens, each with their unique and unusual flavours and textures. Daisy greens, wild violet greens and gaillet are just a few examples. Most of these greens are eaten raw in salads, but some can be used as a cooked vegetable. Available from spring to fall, depending on the season.

 

WILD FRUIT AND BERRIES

Wild Plums

IMG_2802_1

This delightful edible has become our favourite wild fruit. Its skin is slightly tart and the flesh is juicy and sweet. They can be eaten raw, or cooked with pork, duck or other wild game. Add them, once pitted, to smoothies for a truly refreshing wild experience. Available in August and September.

 

Chokecherries

IMG_2796_1

This native cherry makes an excellent jelly, syrup and coulis. These can be used on ice cream, to accompany cheeses, to garnish cakes and on toast. You can even make red wine from them! When eaten raw, they colour the teeth and leave an astringent feeling in the mouth, but cooking them releases their sweet and aromatic flavour. Available in July and August.

 

Wild apples and apple cider

img_5124

We have a large variety of wild apples in the area, each with a unique flavour and texture. Some of these varieties are excellent eaten raw and can keep for months in the fridge. Others can be cooked into pies, apple sauce and butter, muffins or juiced. We offer a non-alcoholic wild apple cider which has an earthy, sweet flavour. Fresh apples are available from August to October, cider is available frozen year round, while quantities last.

 

Juniper berries

IMG_2803_1

Gin anyone? These berries are used to flavour gin, but if you’re not in the distillery business, you can still make use of these fragrant little wonders. They are ideal for flavouring meat or sauerkraut, and can be used in some baking. Available in September or October by order only.

 

Sumac berries

IMG_3159

Everyone in the Outaouais region will recognize this beautiful plant since it grows in large quantities by roads and highways, but the sumac we harvest is off the beaten path. These tart berries can be made into jellies, or dried as a condiment. Available in August by order only.

 

Sumac juice

IMG_5075_1

A lemony drink sweetened with a touch of sugar – the perfect refreshment for a hot summer’s day, and higher in vitamin C than a glass of orange juice. Available frozen year round while quantities last.

 

MUSHROOMS

IMG_1201

Black trumpet, chanterelle, morel and boletus are just a few of the mushrooms we harvest – when the season cooperates! Each mushroom has a unique flavour and aroma, and can be added to pasta, soup, meat, omelettes, or simply grilled. Available from July to October.