Ten plants to harvest in April

April is prime time to combine walks with spring harvest. Not only is it a good way to boost immunity but also avoid a visit to the supermarket -- no need to buy packed lettuce!

Here are some plants that you can harvest while out on a walk on a warm April day.

Dandelion leaves - dandelions are similar in flavor to arugula. While the leaves are small they do not have a very bitter taste. To get rid of any and all bitterness, you can put them in saltwater for a few minutes. Rinse and use in salads.

Ground elder (Aegopodium podagraria) – while the weed is new and not overgrown, the taste resembles parsley, celery and carrots.

Wood sorrels (Oxalis) - a familiar sour taste that is less intense than ordinary sorrel. The white sorrel blossoms are also edible.

Chickweed (Stellaria media) – fresh taste reminiscent of sugar snap peas and new cabbage. Chickweed can be eaten on sandwiches or with cottage cheese.

Nettles – an iron-rich product with a peppery flavor. If you don't like the sting, they can be finely chopped or sprayed with warm (not boiling) water.

Blackcurrant buds – buds and blackcurrant branches can be boiled in tea. If the branches are used, it is recommended to peel them. You can make blackcurrant branch or bud syrup. Buds can simply be chewed.

Green juniper berries – many know the purple juniper berries, but the green ones have distinct taste of citrus, eucalyptus, tarragon and basil. Green juniper can be eaten in soups, smoothies, salads and desserts. They can also be ground together with salt as a seasoning.

Birch buds – now is the last moment to harvest them. As soon as the leaves come out, neither the birch buds nor the sap can be harvested. Birch buds have a distinct aroma and can be used in teas, salads and seasonings.

Pine buds – a good cough remedy. They can be put in a sauce with winter apples that will go well with pancakes and other desserts. Apples are boiled with sugar and butter, a couple of pine buds are added to the saucepan. Pine bud syrup and salt can also be made.

Birch sap - the biologically active beverage that gets Latvian juices flowing. 

Disclaimer: Only consume plants you are sure of. Do not harvest plants you do not recognize or plants that grow in dubious environments.

The material was first published on LSM April 4, 2020.

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