Later on, this might turn into a whole Herbalism post on the benefits of the spruce tree, but for now, my interest lies solely in one thing: the tips.
Those tasty, tasty tips.
I found a beautiful account of how to gather the spruce tips from the tree:
Gathering the tips is, well, like gathering anything that you have to gather one by one. It’s a dance. You skirt around the tree gently plucking them from high and low. Being sure to not pluck to heavily from one spot. Or one branch. Or one side….This is important because the Spruce will slap you, or pull your hair…I’m telling you. They don’t like that. Here and there, circle the tree, get a handful, move to another tree.
And don’t forget to notice the cones, peek in and poke around…they don’t bite. Fiddle the pollen. Smell the bark. Talk to the bugs. Nibble a needle. Explore your senses…that is why we have them after all.
There’s a ton of recipes for these things. You can eat them on their own, and they taste like a slightly sweet, earthy sap flavour, and slightly citrusy, all at once. Which makes sense, since they are super high in vitamin C!
I foraged some yesterday, to turn into tea. They’re reported to be good for cough and congestion when consumed as an infusion, and that’s exactly what I’m drying them for.