Some days are meant for little surprises. Yesterday was such a day. With rain lightly falling all morning and gloomy clouds hanging around, I was in need of a bit of a pick-me-up. While I sat in the living room grading final essays for one of my classes, Dan went out to trim the neighbor's spruce tree that was hanging on our power line. When I went out to see his progress I noticed the brightest little green tips on those branches and instantly realized that they were spruce tips and we had an abundance of them on our hands! I've never really thought about spruce tips or their uses before this past week, but after seeing a few posts about the them on social media I was intrigued! So, I grabbed my basket and began gathering them from the fallen branches. Within a few short minutes I had a basket full of spruce tips and a mind that was spinning with ideas of what to do with them!
By the end of the evening, I had prepared three infusions and a spruce tip syrup! The first infusion on the left is a kombucha, spruce tip, and rhubarb combination. The middle one is a white wine fruit vinegar and the last is a spicy apple cider vinegar. Both of the vinegar recipes are from Issue 7 :: Gather of Taproot Magazine. The syrup recipe can be found here (I let mine cook down a bit more and it darkened quite a bit). A spruce tip cocktail recipe will hopefully follow soon!
The ladies were equally excited about the spruce tips! They love them! And so their side of the yard is now adorned with several draping spruce branches for them to nibble on and hide under. They happily approved!
It's so fun to start to see wild food growing all around us. The more I learn, the more I want to learn, whether it's about wild herbs and plants, or bees and animals! It's so much fun! Cheers to all of the spring foragers and gatherers out there! May your adventures be bountiful!