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Mike Collins
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PostSat Nov 21, 2020 10:32 am 
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My bike ride this morning took me past a madrone tree that was heavily laden with fruit on the branches. The First Nations would eat the fruit but I am wondering if anyone in this forum ever tried it. I will harvest some on my next bike ride and likely add a dish for the Thanksgiving meal.
https://www.superfoodevolution.com/madrone-berries.html
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reststep
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PostSat Nov 21, 2020 11:13 am 
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Thank you for bringing this to my attention Mike. On my walk last Saturday I saw some madrone trees that a lot of berries on them. Something, for some reason, I had never noticed before.

I had no idea they were edible. I may have to try some.

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Pyrites
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PostSat Nov 21, 2020 3:30 pm 
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Something new to me also.
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Mike Collins
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PostSat Nov 21, 2020 4:05 pm 
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Went back on my bike to harvest some as the branches were low-lying. A hint of sweetness. Not distasteful but I would have to be hungry to eat a lot of them. I looked at recipes and it is usually added with other fruits for flavor enhancement. The First Nations would mix it with other fruit to make a fruit bark of the blend. The peeled bark from the trunk is also used for teas.
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Ski
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PostSat Nov 21, 2020 7:23 pm 
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Mike Collins wrote:
"...if anyone in this forum ever tried it..."

Funny you should ask, Mr. Collins.
Girlfriend just brought this up the other night.
She found heavily laden trees down at the Salmon Creek Ravine in Burien. Went home and looked it up online, and apparently found no shortage of recipes. She said the berries were fairly tasty but had a large seed (necessitating bringing out the Foley Food Mill again.)
She said she was going to try a small batch of jelly. We'll see how it works out.

The other one she mentioned was her "Strawberry Tree" in her back yard. Apparently the fruits are edible, and although hers isn't bearing fruit right now, she was going to see if she could find any and try those as well.

I will keep you posted.

====

I sent her the link to this thread and she just responded:

My adorable girlfriend, at 6:37 PM in an email wrote:
Funny. Im actually cleaning the berries right now. Im afraid most are not ripe enough to work well. I have maybe 2 cups of cleaned berries from 6 cups picked. Not expecting a good result, but trying it out anyway.


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Mike Collins
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PostSat Nov 21, 2020 8:01 pm 
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Ski wrote:
The other one she mentioned was her "Strawberry Tree" in her back yard.

The strawberry tree is also in the genus Arbutus. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arbutus_unedo It is funny how we call the tree madrone but it you go across the border into Canada they call it arbutus. Same tree but different name. Arbutus menziesii  (madrone) is of course named after Archibald Menzies who was the botanist/surgeon aboard Vancouver's exploration. I came across a letter of his in the Suzzallo Library. In the letter he asks his friend to visit him sometime in the future. The letter was written several days before his death. It is a mystery how his letter came into the UW Special Collections but I am glad it made it there.
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Ski
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PostSat Nov 21, 2020 8:03 pm 
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see her response in my post above. sounds like you need to pick a LOT of berries. she said she DOES have some fruits on her strawberry tree, but not many.
will let you know how the jelly turns out.
BK

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IanB
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PostSat Nov 21, 2020 8:06 pm 
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I just tried Strawberry Tree fruit again a couple of weeks ago.  (It's another one of those edible but far from tasty oddities.)  The flesh is rather like eating pumpkin puree.  Reminds me somewhat of Medlar fruit, which makes me think it might be a good candidate for making preserves?

Don't miss out on Kousa dogwood fruit which is still lingering here and there.  They are tasty!

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pcg
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PostSat Nov 21, 2020 9:23 pm 
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Who knew?! Not me. Thanks for posting this. I'm gonna try to incorporate some into Thanksgiving dinner as well.
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PostSat Nov 21, 2020 10:27 pm 
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re: Pacific Madrone (Arbutus menziesii)

She put the berries into a saucepan and simmered them in water and a little lemon juice (so they wouldn't turn brown), until they got soft- about an hour. Then she ran them through the Foley food mill, returned the pulp to the sauce pan, added sugar, a little water, and pectin. Then she cooked it for a little bit (about 10 minutes) until thick, and put it into a jar.
Result: thicker than apple butter with little bits of skin and fibrous material in it, with a real "earthy" flavor.
She said she wouldn't bother with it again.

Thanks for the tip on the dogwood, Ian. She said she knows where one of those trees is, and might try it if it has fruit on it.

BK

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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melc
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PostSun Nov 22, 2020 5:49 pm 
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I have drank madrone bark tea. I thought it was pleasant.  I have not tried the berries.
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Mike Collins
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PostMon Nov 23, 2020 7:17 am 
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IanB wrote:
I just tried Strawberry Tree fruit again a couple of weeks ago.

The strawberry trees that are found in the area have been brought in as transplants from the Mediterranean. My bike ride also brought me past some strawberry trees that had plenty of their fruit. I harvested about a quart and plan on using them in smoothies. They are in the freezer now. The Spanish name for a strawberry tree is madrono. The strawberry tree is part of the official Coat of Arms for the city of Madrid. The fruit sometimes ferments on the tree and causes bears to become under the influence when foraging the fruit. https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/el-oso-y-el-madrono-the-bear-and-the-strawberry-tree
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coldrain108
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PostMon Nov 23, 2020 10:20 am 
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Our neighborhood crows feast on the Madrona berries. We have a very large tree in our yard and I watch them munch out on the berries. While the Robin's pick the beauty berry Bush clean.

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sarbar
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PostWed Nov 25, 2020 3:18 pm 
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So, we live on South Whidbey, above Mutiny Bay. Our property has thousands of Madrona (Madrone) Trees. When we bought the land it was choked with unhealthy Hemlock trees. 2.5 years later and over 800 trees logged, we have some of the healthiest Madrona you might find. Madrona is facing two issues, canker and blight. After heavy pruning, and even outright removal, what we have are trees no longer with dead black branches and the leaves don't suffer the blight any more. And......the berry production this year was off the charts for us. So many loaded trees.

Side note: If you cut a Madrona tree down....it'll come back. 8 feet in 2 years. And it's healthy. Everywhere you look on our land there are starts popping up. Our Evergreen Huckleberry forest is also quite healthy and very, very abundant.

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