I remember a camping trip I took back when I was in grade school. Our guide was showing us things that were and weren't good to eat. Fiddleheads were one of the things we were shown that were edible. I don't know why I remember this fact but I do .. he told us that if you are going to gather the fiddleheads you never want to pick more than half of them from any plant. if you take more than that it is likely the plant will not survive.
it was an interesting snack .. boiled fiddleheads and pine needle tea (it is high in vitamin c)
Anybody ever get these? When I was on a bear hunt in New Brunswick the cook made a mess of these up one night and they were awsome! Are these just the start of ferns, before they bloom?
That's where I first learned about fiddleheads too while up there bear hunting in the 80's. When I had a camp in Potter I was delighted to find a whole area jam packed with them along the Alleghany river. I got so many that I blanched them and froze for winter eating. Sauteed in butter, or justed stemed with butter or alittle vinegar drizzled on them provides some good eating. Around May you'll find them growing around river banks or in damp areas. Thy're called the Ostrich Fern and should only be picked when about 6 inches high and the fron is still tightly curled. They also have a brown papery husk around them which must be removed while cleaning them. If they don't have that brown covering, they're not fiddleheads. You can get very sick eating other ferns. And for that matter, when the fron is uncurled on the fiddlehead you can sick from them then. Same as polkweed,you can eat shoots when small and the leaves are tigthly wrapped, after that stage the plant is posionous. As stated before, do not pick all the shoots off one plant. A google on Fiddlehead Fern or Ostrich Fern will give you pictures and more info. I think there are some websites for this fern. Happy eating!
I recently moved here from Maine and fiddleheads are big up there. Everybody picks them or buys them from folks who pick them. Any suggestions for areas to check out near Beaver Falls? With all this heat they should be up soon.