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Article: Fiddleheads!!!: Fiddleheads

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Forum: Article: Fiddleheads!!!Replies: 17, Views: 150
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AYankeeCat
Fairfield County, CT
(Zone 6b)

March 23, 2008
4:39 AM

Post #4697657

Thanks for the article! I planted Ostrich ferns so I could get fiddleheads for my Maine neighbor. Now I know when and how many I can pick. He likes cooking them up with bacon. They really taste too "green" for me - but he loves them and this year he can have fresh from my garden.

pixie62560

pixie62560
South China, ME
(Zone 5a)

March 23, 2008
10:58 AM

Post #4698082

Lee Ann, they are my favorite!!!!! I eat them like I would a big bowl of cereal. I usually cook them with a piece of salt pork, my Grandmother told me it will take any bitterness out. I'm so glad you are spreading the word about fiddleheads, they are so good and good for you!
Dutchlady1
Naples, FL
(Zone 10a)

March 23, 2008
1:01 PM

Post #4698222

How interesting. Glad to learn something new every day.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

March 23, 2008
3:27 PM

Post #4698790

I have eaten fiddleheads only once, many years ago... they were interesting. I neither hunted for them nor cooked them, but I think they were sautéed in butter.

I DO want to get some ferns started, maybe this year, for my shade garden. Might look into Ostrich Ferns. Thanks for the article!
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

March 23, 2008
6:14 PM

Post #4699359

Im starting ferns this year. Now I know I can do something else besides just look at them!

Thanks, 3G
laurawege
Wayland, MA
(Zone 6a)

March 23, 2008
6:20 PM

Post #4699382

Lee Ann ,
I have enjoyed your writing , when ever I see your name attached o an article I am sure to read it ! I like fiddle heads too! . I have sauteed them in butter . yum yum
laura
girlgroupgirl

March 23, 2008
6:38 PM

Post #4699423

My aunt Janny used to cook fiddleheads every spring. YUM, we'd slurp them right up! They used to hunt for them.

Great article, and a good reminder to people that sometimes delicious, nutritious foods come in some of the most unsuspecting places!

GGG
enya_34
Madison, WI

March 24, 2008
3:37 PM

Post #4702879

I have an area in my "woody" back yard that is blanketed by Ostrich ferns. Once established, they are unstoppable and even climb up a very steep hill here :) Never in my life would I have guessed they are edible. Very interesting and delightably personal experience based article. Thank you so much for writing it. I was taken aback to learn that many ferns are carcinogenic though. Live and learn :)
BellaRei
Bridgeport, TX

April 30, 2009
6:47 PM

Post #6484705

I'm new to this site, and am impressed with the information available to me here! But I haven't heard whether these Ostrich (Fiddlehead) ferns will grow well in North Central Texas (about an hour northwest of DFW). I love the airy, tropical look of ferns and I'd like to plant some in flowerbeds around my house. My questions are:

1) Will they grow in dense shade?
2) How tall will they get?
3) Will they grow well in clay soil?

Thanks.
threegardeners
North Augusta, ON

April 30, 2009
9:47 PM

Post #6485526

Yes, they'll grow very well in dense shade. They can get a couple of feet tall. I don't know about the clay soil...sorry!
enya_34
Madison, WI

May 12, 2009
4:20 AM

Post #6537310

I believe they would grow in clay soil, I transplanted some for a friend from an area that had rather clay soil. Although they can tolerate some sun, as most ferns do love shade. They only went brown once for me because of too little moisture. That did not kill them, just sent them dormant earlier.
I have two areas of ferns - ostrich and sensitive. Ostrich are by far more aggressive.
jazzy1okc
Oklahoma City, OK

May 2, 2011
2:10 PM

Post #8535117

I have ostrich ferns here in OKC.
They like the north side of the house, with shade most of the day. They also like moisture and good soil, so incorporate plenty of good compost in your soil when you plant in that clay and think about winding a soaker hose through the bed.
Then put them to bed in winter with a layer of shredded leaves and compost.
They will thank you for it come spring.
Honey215
Madison, WV

May 3, 2011
11:10 AM

Post #8537069

How do you know the difference in ferns? I have some ferns by my house that grow under and around my azalia bushes. I'm not sure what kind they are.
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

May 3, 2011
11:22 AM

Post #8537096

The technical classification of ferns can get pretty complicated.

Here is a list of commercially available ferns: just click on the links to see a photograph.

http://www.perennials.com/seehowto.html?item=5

Honey215
Madison, WV

May 3, 2011
11:32 AM

Post #8537112

Thank you.
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

May 3, 2011
11:36 AM

Post #8537125

I hope you are able to identify your ferns. Do you think they are native?
NordicFletch
Stanchfield, MN

May 8, 2011
1:25 AM

Post #8547083

Yes, "fiddlehead" ferns are a delicacy -- but not all "fiddleheads" are actually considered to be edible (or even taste good). The rule to remember is KNOW YOUR PLANT. Ostrich ferns (Matteucia struthiopteris) have a deep, U-shaped groove along the ENTIRE stem/stalk, and lack the heavy "wool" of cinnamon (Osmunda cinnamomea) and interrupted (O. claytonia) ferns. Also, ostrich fern fiddleheads tend to lean back just below the curled portion; cinnamon and intterupted fern fiddleheads do not lean back.

Telling people to go look for "fiddleheads" is a good way to get people to gather the wrong type of fern -- because they will be looking for ANY "fiddlehead". If the "fiddleheads" you eat are bitter, they are likely of the Osmunda genus -- and are NOT ostrich ferns.
NordicFletch
Stanchfield, MN

May 8, 2011
1:41 AM

Post #8547086

[quote="BellaRei"]I'm new to this site, and am impressed with the information available to me here! But I haven't heard whether these Ostrich (Fiddlehead) ferns will grow well in North Central Texas (about an hour northwest of DFW). I love the airy, tropical look of ferns and I'd like to plant some in flowerbeds around my house. My questions are:

1) Will they grow in dense shade?
2) How tall will they get?
3) Will they grow well in clay soil?

Thanks.[/quote]

Yes, they seem to LOVE shade, but will tolerate some direct sun. They can grow a stall as five feet, but since the fronds tend to lean back, they will not appear to be as tall. If you have soil that is mostly clay, just prepare your fern bed(s) with a few bags/wheelbarrow loads of potting/lawn soil or compost (a 15-by-3 foot bed of heavy clay soil will likely need two or three bags of soil/compost as a start).

The ferns that grew around the north and west sides of the house I used to live in did well in the partial sun they got in the afternoon, and the soil had some clay and gravel in it. The ferns were especially thick amongst the day lilies, where the moisture levels were so high there were mosquitoes in there all summer (even during the dry, hot times). An added bonus: Where ostrich fern grows, so will strawberries!

This message was edited May 8, 2011 2:48 AM

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Other Article: Fiddleheads!!! Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Fiddlehead hunting nnwwhh 2 May 8, 2011 1:12 AM
fiddlehead danger burien_gardener 2 May 8, 2011 1:02 AM
Fiddlehead Flavor(s) NordicFletch 1 May 19, 2011 3:15 PM


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