It’s Spring! Buy the Fresh, Foraged & Local
Now that winter has passed, we can start enjoying some delicious, fresh produce—some of it is even grown right here in the Minnesota. You can find these local edibles at the co-op, farmer’s market, and even on the forest bed. Shopping local goods not only gives you the freshest produce, it also supports local businesses and reduces the carbon footprint of your fridge. Act fast to scoop up some of these totally seasonal, totally local treats!
Also known as “wild leeks,” “ramson,” and “ail de bois,” this tasty vegetable grows wild right here in the Minnesota. It shows up in the spring after the thaw but before the forest’s canopy forms and blots out the sunlight. It looks similar to a green onion with slender, flat green leaves on top. The whole vegetable is edible, and its flavor is a mix between an onion and garlic. It’s great as a substitute for onions or garlic and makes an easy addition to salads and sautés.
This rich, earthy-flavored mushroom can only be found during the spring and is known for its distinct, sponge-like texture. Many Midwesterners make a ritual of scouring the forest floor in mid to late spring for this wild-growing delicacy. In Minnesota, morels often grow in aspen or ash lowlands and near dead elm trees. Go foraging with a pro in the coming weeks or pick up a few at the local market to sauté with butter or add to your favorite pasta dish.
Many of the ferns that overtake the forest bed in the summer are actually a delicious, savory treat during their nascent stage in the spring. Found all over Minnesota, fiddlehead ferns are often enjoyed as young, tender shoots in the spring and early summer. Their flavor has been described as a cross between asparagus and an artichoke heart. Gather the unfurled, new leaves with an experienced forager or pick them up from the farmer’s market or co-op and sauté them with butter and sprinkle them with lemon for a tasty, healthy side. Be sure to avoid full-grown ferns, because the fully-grown plant can be poisonous.
Other items that you can find growing fresh and locally this month include herbs like chives and scallions and rhubarb, which has been flourishing in the well-watered, mild spring weather. Additional foods in season (although not necessarily local) include: apricots, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, fava beans, fennel, honey dew, mango, pineapple, snow peas, and strawberries.
Samantha Grose is both Associate AIA and Allied ASID. She is the lead designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO. She takes a unique approach to design creating spaces that are casually sophisticated and timeless in design, where you and your family can live comfortably. She has worked extensively throughout the TWIN CITIES area having completed many new homes and large scale whole house remodels.
Samantha received her BS from the University of Minnesota majoring in both ARCHITECTURE and ART. She is deeply committed to a creative approach giving you highly functional spaces with an aesthetic appeal for everyday living.