The plants that grow wild on our shores and our woods are integral to our home goods, so you may have guessed, we take note of what's in season. This Spring, we focused on two very different, but equally loveable botanicals.
At the beginning of June we spent a morning in the sun on the coast of Torbay Bight harvesting lovage and spruce tips. Lovage typically grows on the coast in meadow-like areas or banks, but you can also find it over rocky beaches. It looks like the tops of celery and though it was low to the ground when we were out, it can shoot up pretty high. (Right now, mid July, it's about 12" tall and is flowering) It has a smell/taste that mixed between flat parsley and celery—maybe a bit more peppery. It's a great addition to your kitchen if you're looking to change up your go to recipes. Use it in salads or in place/addition to your favourite herbs. After snacking on some ourselves, Emily packed it in the still and made something special for you guys that'll be up on the shop soon.
White spruce tips are also easy to find and harvest. Spruce grows all along the coast and inland of Newfoundland. White spruce has round needles and the tips are soft to touch and are light green. You can roll them in your fingers, unlike balsam fir needles that are flat. To distinguish spruce from the other common tree with needles, I recite fir=flat. Put spruce tips in some olive oil to make a dressing, add them to a bottle of pickles. Our friend Julia shared a recipe for spruce tip syrup in her highlights on Instagram.
If you'd like to give it a go yourself, the easiest way is to get out there to see, touch, taste, and smell for yourself. To give the plants the best shot at coming back year after year, we recommend foraging responsibly, which means leaving at least one third of the growth behind. Most importantly, be sure to research any unknown plants before touching or tasting them—some things are nice to look at, but can be harmful to us. Some resources that I've found helpful are—Edible Plants of Newfoundland and Labrador: Field Guide and Forager's Dinner by Shawn Dawson.
Join us for a Scent Design workshop if you'd like to learn how these botanicals make their way into our home goods.
Written by: Lauren Hogan and Emily Campbell