Yesterday I attended a foraging class and wild food walk co-taught by herbalist, Pam Ferry, and life-long forager, Jackie Dill. Pam shared medicinal uses for many of the plants we identified, and Jackie helped us identify “weeds” that are edible.
We shared a delicious meal that included some foraged foods. Jan brought a salad of wild and cultivated plants from her yard. Pam brought chickweed pesto pasta; Jackie shared stuffed black morels. Oooh, and Dana brought a lamb’s quarters frittata.
I learned that henbit, which is everywhere right now, is edible. You know it—it’s that leggy “weed” with little lobed leaves and delicate purple flowers on top. The greens and blossoms are edible and were in Jan’s salad! There’s also a wild pepper plant—common name is Poor Man’s Pepper. You dry it out and grind the seeds that it releases, and you have a pepper substitute! Cleavers is everywhere, too. It’s bright green and has fuzzy little oblong leaves. It’s not so good raw, but when dried it makes a good tea (so I hear) and has more vitamin C than an orange. Dandelions are popping up. Their leaves and blossoms are edible. Oh, and you’ve probably seen the gorgeous redbuds in bloom. The blossoms are edible and are lovely in a salad. Jackie says they’re good in muffins and pickled.
The most exciting part of the day was finding morels! We gingerly stepped around the forest intently scanning the ground. I was in my element. Finally, other people that get excited about this kind of stuff! The deal was whoever spotted the mushroom would get to harvest it, so long as they let everyone get a look at it first. I didn’t find one, but had fun looking.
I don’t look at my yard the same. Now I’m walking around looking at the ground thinking, “I could eat that…and that…and that.”
Digging up wild onions. You can tell the difference between wild onions and wild garlic by looking at their leaf stalks. Garlic has round leaves and onion has flat.
Follow the land ethic. Leave No Trace. Leave Plenty Behind.
A few more pictures here.