Wild Edibles — 14 August 2013

The wild doesn’t have to be very far away.  In fact it can be just outside your door.  A new trend of wild foragers in urban settings is beginning to emerge.  Wild naturally growing edible plants can be found even among brick and mortar settings.

Sam Thayer is a leading activists among the urban foragers.  He says,

Most people only eat a few different vegetables over the course of the year. But any place you live, there’s probably 75 different wild vegetables you can add to your diet over the course of the year

(Foraging the Weeds for Wild, Healthy Greens)

The beauty about these wild edibles is the fact that its always harvest time.  No need to worry about the usual garden tasks of planting, pruning, digging, watering, and …well…weeding.  In fact, many of the weeds that pop up in your garden may be ready for the dinner table.

Here is a list of some wild edibles that you may try yourself:

Common NamePicture
Sow Thistle
Prickly Lettuce
Shepherds Purse
Siberian Elm Seeds
Miner's lettuce
Coral Mushroom
Porcinis Mushroom
Morel Mushroom
Elder Flower Cordial
Henbit
Japanese knotweed
Pokeweed
Lambsquarters
Dandelion
Chicory
Milk Thistle
Purslane
Stinging Nettle
Bamboo
Ramps

The taste of some of these may be a little different that the salad greens you may be use to.  Some of these you may decide are not for you.  On the other hand, some of these you may find absolutely delicious.

The trick to many of these plants is correct identification and timing.  Many of the wild plants have a season that they can be picked.  The taste or even the toxicity of some plants out of season can be bad.  Of course identification is probably the most important aspect of edible plants in the wild.  You need to be certain that the plant you put in your mouth is safe to do so.  If your unsure, carry a field guide with good illustrations to make the task easier.

 

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