Saturday, April 23, 2011

The edible landscape...

Do you forage out in the wild for greens to add to salads, for berries and nuts, for leaves, twigs and roots to make teas or other concoctions? I do a little bit and each year I am learning more...Remember Euell Gibbons? I was always intrigued by him but also a bit nervous about picking all that stuff in the wild and eating it....
This winter I took a class about edible and medicinal wild plants and over the years I've gone to various workshops, including a few on edible mushrooms. This year I am hoping to do a lot more with this. After all, I have an organic yard full of food ready for the picking right now...
I have a LOT of young dandelions--you have to get these early, before they grow flower stalks or they will be pretty bitter. Right now they are perfect for adding to salads and are also good steamed with other greens.
Shepherd's purse is pretty common as are common violets and both are quite tasty added to a salad but get them while young and tender.
And of course there is wild onion and garlic grass--quite common popping up in yards at this time of year. The wild onion is preferable to the garlic grass but both can be used, especially now before they get too tough. We have a lot of this in my yard and from the descriptions it is the garlic, being tubular, rather than the onion, which has a flatter blade. The garlic grass can be very strong but if you just trim the tips to add to a salad, scrambled eggs, dips, etc. it is quite lovely.

Can't wait to get out there and learn and do more! Am still taking classes and am looking forward to making some sassafrass tea and lemonade soon.

4 comments:

Kala said...

Thanks Mary for the photos and the little education...as I venture forth into my own yard:):)

FabricFascination said...

I have used dandelion and violets in salad, and I think decorated a cake with some when my children were little. Thanks for the reminder

Alessandra @ Tribal Times said...

I sugar the flowers for decoration but they end up getting eaten. I had no idea about the onions. We have them all over the yard!

Urban Heirlooms said...

You made me think of all the foraging I did with my friends as a kid. We ingested everything from honeysuckle nectar to these teeny-tiny strawberries we called "snake berries", to some tart flower stalk I can't remember. It's a miracle I lived to tell about it! I've always wanted to try sassafras tea, though. Maybe now I'll go find some online!