|Wednesday What's New: Urban Foraging|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Wednesday, 08 May 2013|
What do dandelions, mulberries, black walnuts, haws (the berries of hawthorn), nettles, and wild onion (pictured above) have in common? They are all edibles that can be foraged in the wilds of suburbia or around the neighborhood. Thatís right. Foraging for food is not just for hikers or a Euell Gibbons wanna be (hmmm, maybe Iím dating myself here). Itís possible to go foraging for wild foods even if youíre in the middle of civilization as a recent article in a ColumbusAlive.com reminds us.
Some of these free foods are easy to spot. Who could miss the bright yellow flowers of dandelions for example? Sautee the young, tender leaves in olive oil or use the young flowers as a garnish. Mulberries and other berries, as well as other fruit and nut trees are also easy finds, especially if youíre looking up or down on the ground. Wild onions are pesky plants that invade lawns. Ask if you can dig them up and youíll probably receive an enthusiastic yes from the person whose lawn theyíve invaded.
Other weedy plants that may require field identification, but that are commonly found in vacant lots and fields include purslane, chickweed, lambís quarters, wood sorrel, and in shady damp spots nettles and violets. Brew tea with violets or use them as garnishes on pastries and deserts. Nettles are known to have medicinal purposes when brewed in a tea.
Guide to Wild Foods and Useful Plants
Foraging New England: Finding, Identifying, and Preparing Edible Wild Foods and Medicinal Plants from Maine to Connecticut
Photo source: UGA Weed Wizard