Thursday, August 27, 2015

Foraging, the Sequel

So on a walk to the grocery today, we noted that a flowering bush we had initially identified as Viburnum was, in point of fact, a crabapple tree in full fruit.  Somebody go get a bag.

Crabapples are a primitive, small, sour, native American expression of the genus Malus, a relative of the rosebush, and in this case, a pretty prolific one.

A green crabapple
They are also yummy, a great fodder for jams and jellies and ciders, which is likely what these are destined to become.

Wild crabapples from unpruned trees don't get much bigger than this.

The small, hard fruit get a blush when ripe, which these were beginning to acquire.  I repeat, somebody get a bag.

The clusters are rather cherry-like, and easy to pick.

So we'll be picking a mess of these as they ripen and turning them into a lovely hard cider for the winter.  To see that process as it unfolds, drop on over to our Onboard Cooking blog in weeks to come.

Even in a relatively urban area like the one in which we dock, there are multiple opportunities for some wonderful foraging.  Much of the terrain, even in cities, was once part of a farmstead or home, and many of those plants, now gone native, are still there, still happy, and still available for the picking.   This year alone, we've gotten some great wild raspberries and now the crabapple crop.

Get out there and look around.  I pretty much guarantee, you'll find something within a few blocks of where you live that's edible and thriving, often in the weirdest and most unexpected places.

Now where's that bag?



  1. As a kid in St. Louis, MO, we had a crab apple tree in our front yard. The only thing we used them for was to throw at my brothers and neighborhood kids. They hurt like a rock would but didn't leave marks. That way we wouldn't get in trouble....

    The uses that you've spelled out feel much more adult than my past experiences with crab apples. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Who says we weren't throwing them at each other :)?