The first week or two of June can provide us with the first berries of the year, wild strawberries. These tiny, delicious red berries will ripen first in sunny locations, and you might later find a few lingering in shady spots. If you live further north or at higher elevations, wild strawberries might ripen more in mid-June. Real wild strawberries usually grow in woodland areas. They have tan seeds in dimples in the berry's skin and are very sweet. You might also find the "Indian strawberry," which grows more often in fields and lawns, and has red seeds that stand out from the berry's skin. These have no flavor, but can be safely eaten. Early June also gives us great quantities of wild greens, which can be cooked as vegetables. Stinging nettle will lose its sting upon boiling or steaming, and it is rich in vitamins and minerals. Burdock leaves can be large, but still tender at this time. Boil those in two or three different changes of water to remove some of the bitterness. This first part of the month can even provide spicy salads. Look for the white flowers of watercress, as these peppery plants bloom in fresh, cold streams.
As the berry bushes start to ripen, look for highbush and lowbush species of blueberries. As with the strawberries, northerners and mountain dwellers will see their blueberries ripen later than southerners and lowlanders. This is a great time to grab tea leaves, too. Blackberry and raspberry leaves make a nice tea when dried. Brewed one tablespoon of dried leaf in 8 ounces of water. Spicebush leaves, red clover flowers, and wild mints can be used for tea, either fresh or dried.