Tag Archives: Sweet chestnut

365 Frankendael day 157

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I harvested three tiny prices of that fungus which I found a couple of days ago. I have checked it’s identity in the woods, at home in books, online with reliable sites and as there is nothing nasty I could confuse it with, I felt happy to cook a little. The photograph above is a little washed out but below you’ll see I’ve placed my test harvest against the photo in one of my mushroom books. What a beautiful colour!

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It is Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) and boy does it taste good, simply fried in a little ghee! It does taste quite similar to chicken, it is meaty in texture too. If it sits well in my stomach, I’ll be harvesting some more tomorrow. This isn’t going to turn into a fungus foraging blog, I don’t have enough experience of them and it’s so easy to go disastrously wrong, but if I find more interesting autumn fungi I’ll certainly post them here.

Rosehips (Rosa spp.) continue to ripen.
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As do Haws on the Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) shrubs and trees.

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I got all excited to see thousands of fallen Sweet chestnuts, at the front if Huis Frankendael but they are to small to do anything much with. Hopefully they have been shed to help the tree focus on building up carb’s in the rest.

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It’s still possible to harvest as much as you like of invasive alien Himalayan Balsam. The flowers have a nice taste, quite mild and like lettuce. I heard of someone using the stems as drinking straws recently. That could be interesting too.

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I think these are the sought after roots of Cat‘s Tails, dredged up in the current canal clearance operation. They don’t look very appetising in that must soup though.

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And lastly, Feverfew having a brilliant second flower flush. So bitter and do linked in traditional medicine to the treatment of migraine.

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365 Frankendael day 41


Today a lovely scene, if you like tended gardens, of the old partitioned garden at the back of Frankendael Huis. I really appreciate how the gardeners allow the plants to spill out here and there and especially so with the stunning Valerian officinalis which is shown here. Valerian medicine is traditionally focused on the roots but the flowers are also useful and have more subtle effects than the other parts of the plant. I have a big Valerian plant on my roof and this weekend, harvested every third flower cluster, for drying. Doing so leaves the beautiful appearance and special scent almost intact, for everyone else to enjoy.


Here is a photo Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), NL: Brandnetel, in bloom. Now is not at all the time to harvest this wonderful tonic herb but I took the photo to illustrate the difference between the plant and other look a likes, such as Lamium alba, White Dead Nettle, shown yesterday.


Here is a photo of a plant that I want to learn more about, creeping along the ground rather like a Strawberry with similar leaves and runners. Growing amongst it, with purple flowers, is familiar Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacaea) which is edible, useful and tastes minty. I have been watching the Strawberry look a like, in several shady parts of the park, for several weeks. Today it is coming into flower, yellow flowers, so I now remember that the plant a little better. It is a member of the Cinquefoil (Potentilla) family, I’ll have a closer look tomorrow to find out which. I brought a sample home but my cat ate it in seconds – maybe that should tell me something!? Strawberries are members of the Fragaria family.


Not one to eat until next Spring, here is an update of how Ramsons (Wild garlic, NL: Daslook) look at the moment. Not very tasty but the seed heads are developing well.


Next, and again for future reference, the closest Sweet Chestnut tree to my home. Totally unrelated to Horse Chestnut, far more tasty but possibly less interesting for herbalists.


Lastly today, an enormous Dandelion(Taraxacum officinale), two 50 cm long leaves of which, are destined for my plate this evening…