Foraging For Natural Wild Foods

Discussion in 'Science & Nature' started by Yvonne Smith, May 16, 2016.

  1. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,431
    Likes Received:
    6,467
    One of the websites that is great for explaining which wild plants are safe to eat, as well as how and when to eat them, is Green Dean's Eat the Weeds website and youtube videos.
    Although I like the idea of foraging for natural wild plants , I don't have as much of an opportunity for doing that here in town as when we lived out in the country.
    We do have lots of wild violets in the spring, and both the leaves and the blossoms are edible. I have used them in salads, and even sauteed the leaves and added them to scrambled eggs.

    One very healthy survival food is pine needles. I think that most of the evergreen needles are fine to use, so either fir or spruce might work as well as pine needles.
    I have made pine needle tea, which is supposed to have more vitamin C than a whole lemon has. I also made some pine needle vinegar, which smelled and tasted almost like balsamic vinegar.
    I just gathered and washed some fresh pine needles, cut them into short pieces with my scissors, and then put them in a glass jar and added the vinegar.
    I have read that it is even better flavored if you add just a tiny bit of coconut sugar (brown sugar would probably work about the same way), so next time I make some, I will add that as well.
    I used it to make viniagrette salad dressing, and it gave the dressing an interesting taste and fragrance.

     
    #1
  2. Krissttina Isobe

    Krissttina Isobe Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,379
    Likes Received:
    1,420
    How interesting to forage for food in the forest. Locally in Hawaii we can't do much foraging for everything is protected these days. We need permits for fishing too. Land is owned by the State or privately, so you got to be careful what you do and where you do it. We got pumpkin to pick at farms at Halloween, that's about all, sad but that's the way it is locally. Very few places on the outer island that you can find food from the ocean or the forest, but again you got to know where and probably got to have a permit to pick things. Some people have found guava to forage:

    * http://the3foragers.blogspot.com/2012/01/wild-edibles-in-hawaii-common-guavas.html

    * http://the3foragers.blogspot.com/2012/02/mushrooms-in-hawaii.html
    This particular blog has information about mushrooms, hmm, guess you can forage in Hawaii, it's just that I wouldn't forage...feel safer going to supermarkets. Though I do look for broad leaf plantain to grow in my little back yard in pots. I found the seeds of this medicinal plantain way on the other side of the island of Oahu in the town of Kahaluu. Now I have leaves to make tea with. Thanks I've learned something about home that I wouldn't have known about until I read your post!
     
    #2
    Joe Riley likes this.
  3. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2015
    Messages:
    2,449
    Likes Received:
    5,940
    Back in my lean years I did a lot of foraging. Living beside the Mississippi river, fish were plentiful and easy to come by. In the summer, our cemetery is overrun with rabbits and a few squirrels. My .22 air pistol put a lot of meat on my table. The back edges of the cemetery had lots of blackberry bushes growing wild. So, I had fish, meat and fruit.
    In the winter months, I legally hunted whatever game was in season.
    Back in those days, I was newly divorced and only working part time as a rent-a-cop. Made barely enough to pay rent on a cheap hotel room and a bit of gas for my old block of rust Vega.
     
    #3
  4. K E Gordon

    K E Gordon Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2016
    Messages:
    1,443
    Likes Received:
    1,374
    About the only wild foods, I have foraged for is berries, and I used to do a lot of that when I was young. I have had dandelion greens in a salad though. One thing I wish I could find is gingseng, not for my own personal use but to sell it, as it is worth so much money nowadays. You can sell it for something like 600 dollars an ounce or some kind of bizarre amount of money. I think they have it in this state, but it is primarily in the mountains.
     
    #4
    Joe Riley and Ike Willis like this.
  5. Julie Stewart

    Julie Stewart Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    369
    I forage quite a lot. We have wild asparagus just coming in at this time of year - it's delicious. There are also plenty of herbs and edible greens growing wild around the edges of the vineyards. Most summers I never have to buy cherries as there are a lot of cherry trees along the river. In the forest above Reims there are hundreds of fungi - but I don't know enough to go foraging alone. A friend of ours is an expert and I feel safe eating what he tells me i can pick.
     
    #5
  6. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2016
    Messages:
    4,424
    Likes Received:
    5,843
    Blackberries I definitely foraged. If I would have know how much I would like mushrooms as an adult...I would have probably foraged some of those too, although I would definitely have to know which ones are edible and which were posionous. We used to find sasafras and make some tea out of that sometimes too.
     
    #6
    Joe Riley and Yvonne Smith like this.
  7. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    2,906
    Likes Received:
    2,418
    Although pine tree is rare here, I am amused to know that it is edible and has vitamin C as well. What I know of the pine tree is the pine nut which is the favorite nut of my husband. It is also the most expensive nut here and seldom available. There is a place here called Mountain province which is about 6 hours drive from Manila. It has lots of pine trees. I love the smell of pine trees that's why we have them for our Christmas tree in the past (live pine tree is so expensive though).

    I may not be able to relate with the other edible plants and herbs because I live in a tropical country. But I'm sure we have our share of the exotic edibles in the forest. However, I'm not the authority in that field although I have learned some already like the mulberry which is considered a wild plant (or tree?) and the dwarf passion fruit that is yellow and smaller than the playing marble. It's nice to discover such edibles when you are in the wild.
     
    #7
    Joe Riley and Yvonne Smith like this.
  8. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    2,232
    Likes Received:
    3,347
    I pick lots of blackberries every year. A small amount of elderberries and wild cherries. We had wild asparagus at our last home but now have it in the garden, As for things like wild violets, dandilions and such I say yuk. I mean it's fine if you're alone in the outdoors and starving but otherwise there are so many tasty greens that are so easy to grow. Pine needles? We have over a thousand pine trees on our property and I've never heard of eating pine needles. I'll check it out.
     
    #8
  9. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2015
    Messages:
    2,449
    Likes Received:
    5,940
    I once tried making a tea out of pine needles. It tasted like turpentine.
     
    #9
  10. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2015
    Messages:
    5,787
    Likes Received:
    8,865
    Not to worry, Babs, poisonous mushrooms are not habit forming!;)
    [​IMG]
     
    #10
    Yvonne Smith and Ike Willis like this.
  11. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2015
    Messages:
    2,449
    Likes Received:
    5,940
    I totally forgot about elderberries. I picked them along old dirt roads that were no longer maintained. Those were not sprayed like on busy roads. My granny was living with my parents in those days. She would make me pies and jelly out of elderberries. DELICIOUS!
    Later, my mother-in-law did the same. She always treated me well.
     
    #11
    Diane Lane and Sheldon Scott like this.
  12. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    2,232
    Likes Received:
    3,347
    #12
    Ike Willis likes this.
  13. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Messages:
    4,590
    Likes Received:
    4,019
    Wow, that's interesting about pine needles, I never know it. We had a nice pine tree in our yard when I was growing up. We picked it out when we were young and planted it, and it grew tall and strong over the years and provided a nice amount of shade for us. I had no inkling that the needles could be so useful, or provide vitamin C. I have some pine trees here on the walking trails, and when I start walking again, I might try collecting some and see what I can make with them. I like the idea of using them in vinegar, especially if it works out to be like balsamic, which I adore.
     
    #13
  14. Julie Stewart

    Julie Stewart Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    May 29, 2016
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    369
    We've had a lot of rain recently and we were helping the man who knows all about which mushrooms are safe to clear his two vineyards of the sudden influx of snails. His wife put them all in a bucket and I assumed they were going to release them somewhere well away from the vine - but she was taking them to her neighbour who was going to prepare a family meal with them.

    Now that is extreme foraging to me! Or is foraging only about plants?
     
    #14
    Yvonne Smith likes this.
  15. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,431
    Likes Received:
    6,467
    Here is another really common plant that grows in almost everyone's yard, or at least someplace close to where you live , most likely.
    That plant is common clover. Clover actually has health benefits, and I think that red clover is supposed to be the best one for you.
    This video just shows you how to identify clover, which most of us already know how to do. I well remember spending time searching for one of those elusive 4-leaf clovers when I was growing up, and truth be told, I still look for them when I am out in the yard.
    We have lots of clover in the yard, and I really like walking on clover, too.
    Anyway, what he recommends eating is the blossom, but the leaf of also edible, and I have experimented with adding it to a green smoothie.
    Not my favorite, but free and easy to find.

     
    #15
  16. Texas Beth

    Texas Beth Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    May 28, 2016
    Messages:
    568
    Likes Received:
    492
    I have always wanted to be knowledgable about foraging for plants. I know that there are edible flowers, but I am unsure which I ones I can eat and what nutrients they hold.
     
    #16
  17. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,431
    Likes Received:
    6,467
    Today, Robin and I went out to the old quarry that is on the arsenal, and we found some of the wild plum trees and blackberry vines, and we got a start of both of those. We had gone out there a few years back, later in the summer, when the little plums were rips, and picked a bunch of them, which I made jam out of. I tried planting a start from one, and it survived the summer but didn't come back the next spring.
    This time, maybe we got the starts early enough in the year that they will live and hopefully come back again next year. The blackberries that we found the last time were very tiny, but that might have been because they didn't get enough rain; so I am hoping that the ones I planted will have larger berries if I keep them watered.
    Here is a picture of how the plums look when they are ripe that we took when we picked them before.
    FE7BC260-6287-497D-82A2-9DC2AF616176.JPG
     
    #17
    Chrissy Cross likes this.
  18. Jeanee Burke

    Jeanee Burke Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Thursday
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    39
    This is all so fascinating. I live in a town but it would be really good to know how to survive out in the wilds.
     
    #18
    Yvonne Smith likes this.
  19. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,431
    Likes Received:
    6,467
    Actually, there are quite a few foods that can be found that are edible, even when you live in a city or town. Most people have clover, dandelions, and green-leaf plantain out in their yard somewhere, and we also have wild onions that come up over the fall and winter season, which can be used like chives. In the spring, one of the earliest plants to show up is the violet, and both the leaves and the blossoms of violets are edible.
    Grape leaves, both wild and domestic are edible, as well as strawberry and raspberry leaves, which are sometimes used for tea.
    Even pine needles are edible, although not very tasty.
    A good place to start is with the"Eat the Weeds" website, and you can find just about everything you wanted to know about which foods can be foraged and eaten, as well as how to prepare them.
    Another great resource is Sergei Boutenko, who has a youtube channel, and he travels and gives talks about finding wild edibles and then using them in green smoothies.
     
    #19
    Jeanee Burke likes this.
  20. Jeanee Burke

    Jeanee Burke Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Thursday
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    39
    i appreciate all the information! I love grape leaves that are stuffed! I've had them many times. I haven't seen any dandelions lately but used to all the time when I was growing up. No one appreciated them or just didn't know what good they are.
     
    #20
  21. Bill Boggs

    Bill Boggs Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    May 13, 2015
    Messages:
    877
    Likes Received:
    1,113
    I'm not into foraging. When it comes to food selection or preparation, I'm a kept man. Give me a grocery list and I can do alright if the lister is only a phone call away.
     
    #21
  22. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2015
    Messages:
    13,736
    Likes Received:
    12,812
    Living in Fresno, I'm surrounded by all types of fruit and nut trees....some only a couple blocks from me...huge orchards.

    Also vineyards and even olives but I'm sure if it came to surviving, People that own them would be guarding them with guns. :)...but maybe they would share. :)
    BTW, an olive right off the tree is so bitter that it's almost inedible...Ive tried one from an olive tree that wasn't on anyone's property.

    @Jeanee Burke ....I used to love a Greek dish made with grape leaves...think it was called dolmadakia.
     
    #22
    Jeanee Burke likes this.
  23. Martin Alonzo

    Martin Alonzo Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2,495
    Likes Received:
    2,280
    When I was a child in our library of books was Wild flowers, reptiles, insects, and animals. I spent many hours reading through the books and then going into the countryside trying to find everything in those books. Building a wild flower garden in the back yard. Also had a book on edible plants and mushrooms I got scared off the mushrooms unless it was something that had nothing poisonous that looked like it. I think I made a mistake with one that looked like a wild onion/garlic one time and I think I have a sensitively to them from that time on. My library of books on natural things has grown a lot and have books on just about everything now and my children have pick up the same curiosity as I had.

    There was a friend of mine how was in the Hitler youth special forces and he said that what they taught them that you could eat almost everything that flies, crawls, swims, but leave the plants alone unless you know better.
     
    #23
    Jeanee Burke and Yvonne Smith like this.
  24. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2015
    Messages:
    4,431
    Likes Received:
    6,467
    Here is a great little video that shows what wild grapes look like, how to pick the best ones, and even how to make them into kind of a fried grape chip.

     
    #24
    Chrissy Cross likes this.
  25. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
    Registered

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    2,232
    Likes Received:
    3,347
    Knowing which wild plants are edible would be great for those stranded in the wilderness. For the rest of us, over the hundreds of thousands of years or however long humans have existed, our ancestors have cultivated the best of the wild plants so that they are now grown both commercially and in home gardens. :confused:
    Myself, I would much rather eat delicious food from the grocery or my garden than munch on dandelion leaves.:p
     
    #25
    Shirley Martin likes this.

Share This Page