When we bought our land (what we now call Florence Farmstead) we spent a lot of time getting to know it… we still do. One of our favorite things is to investigate locations we don’t frequent as often.
One particular spot is the lowest area of our land where the brook meets up with the river. It’s swampy and floods in spring and after heavy rains. It’s the perfect habitat for ostrich ferns.
Ostrich fern fiddleheads can be identified by their bright green color, brown paper-like skin, and u-grooved stem.
The most important thing to remember when foraging for wild edibles is to not over harvest. We harvested just enough for a delicious meal but left plenty for the critters that feed on them and for future harvests.
To prepare fiddleheads we rinse and soak several times. Soaking helps remove the brown skins. When the fiddleheads are clean, we blanch them for a couple minutes, then sauté in butter with garlic, salt and pepper! What a treat! 😋