Fiddleheads, Despite Rising Popularity, Remain Wild (MPBN)

Photo credit: New Brunswick Tourism

Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and northeast Canada possess ideal conditions for the ostrich fern, the edible fern species we know as fiddleheads. But despite the prices they fetch in the market — $20 per pound in California gourmet stores, $2 to $3 a pound in roadside stands in Maine — fiddleheads are not likely to become commercial crops because of the high cost of establishing them, MPBN reports. Until then, those with the inside info on where fiddleheads can be found in our loamy, moist woods will be the lucky ones.

MPBN warns harvesters, however, that it’s important to not pick every fiddlehead in a cluster because overpicking leads to the death of the plant. “With tens of thousands of pounds being exported, and an untraceable amount more likely being picked and consumed, overburdening the resource is a concern,” according to MPBN.

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