Before colonization, most of the food people in the Valley ate came from within the bounds of their tribal homeland, and what was available varied with the seasons. The list of foods presented here is based on the intersection between what we know about the better documented foodways of Ohlone tribes outside the Valley (especially in the Monterey area) and what we know about the plants and animals native to the Pleasanton area.
In the early spring you could still find some of the mushrooms you gathered in the winter, as well as various greens and shoots such as clover, soap plant, brodiaea, onion and other bulbs and corms, and Indian lettuce (called miner’s lettuce by non-Native people). As the season moved on you could collect the juicy inner bark of the cottonwood or sycamore tree. In late spring you could start gathering chia seeds, and blackberries and wild strawberries start becoming ripe. It's also a good time of year to collect tule rhizomes. California quail lay eggs in the late spring and early summer.
Early summer is still chia season. Sunflower seeds become available now as well. Other seeds used in pinole, such as blue wildrye, are ready for gathering in early and mid summer. Hazelnuts start to drop; manzanita and other berries grow ripe for the picking. Summer is also a season for fishing and for putting up fish to dry for winter.
Fall is a big season for collecting nuts: acorns, pine nuts, peppernuts and walnuts. Wild grapes also become ripe.
Much of what people ate in winter was food stored over the summer and autumn, but it was a good season for hunting game and for gathering mushrooms.
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