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Edible plants - what are your favorites

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
This is one area of my wilderness skills that I feel that I am the strongest I am curious how often you guys forage for edible plants (not just berries) and what your favorites are.

Hear are a few of my favs (you can list berries if you want. :) )

Pineapple weed - one of my favs for tea. Really lifts the spirit to have a cup of this next to a fire.

Wild Leek (Ramps) - Very nice for cooking with your fish.

Milkweed - If you get them just right they taste great and similar to aspargus. (I do not boil them three times like the books say I think that is a lie).

Staghorn summac - dried and steeped it makes a great drink

Wapato (arrowhead) - Nice citrus flavor

Cattail

Gooseberries


I try to forage pretty regularly you just have to be careful in my area that there are no restrictions on picking wild plants. Some of the preserves have these restrictions.
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Nicko 
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Nicko 
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post #2 of 47
I don't do a lot of foraging anymore. No particular reason. If I come across stuff I recognize I'll pick it where legal. But, otherwise, the only thing I actually target are morels. Fiddleheads usually emerge at about the same time, here, so we get to double dip.

Sumac was the basis of a lemonade-like drink in colonial days, which is probably what you are making. But you can also grind the dried berries and use them to provide a citrus-like flavor to foods. It's very big in Mid-east cookery, for instance, both alone and as an ingredient in Zataar.

When I was a kid we used to forage a plant called Indian Pipe. I've never seen it anywhere except in the Northeast, though, so don't know how common it is. It's a grayish-white plant. Stems grow straight up about six inches, then bend into a bowl-like growth. Whole thing looks like a pipe. It cooks like asparagus, but has a more woodsy taste.

I share your opinion of milkweed. But you have to pick them young. Ditto fiddleheads. Once the leaves start to form they're all but inedible.

Down here there are all sorts of edible wild greens, and many people, particularly older country folks, forage for them. They're among the first greenery to appear in the spring, and bring a special flavor to the table.

Kentucky is probably the heart of wild yellowroot and ginsang harvesting. So much so that wild stocks appear to be in danger, and the state is studying the situation right now, and will likely start issueing management rules in the not too distant future.
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 47
If I'm near the coast, then samphire is a favourite. Whilst it is now commerically available in small quantities in the better supermarkets here - it just doesn't taste the same.

I like wild garlic and wild leeks - also blackberries, blueberries and wild raspberries. I pick sloe berries to make sloe gin for Christmas. I pick rosehips from my garden to make apple and rosehip jam.
post #4 of 47
I hate to admit it but I am clueless to foraging. I wouldn't know what to look for or what to pick. I'd love to learn more though, as living in Wisconsin, I have a lot of places and opportunities to forage. Any good suggestions for books?
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post #5 of 47
Like Ishbel we use wild garlic when we see it, but it doesnt last long.

I "forage" in my garden, using things one wouldnt normally think of.

Nasturtum flowers are lovely and peppery in salads, and when they go to seed, you can pickle them as a substitute for capers. ( my dad did them years ago and theyre great)

Tried nettle soup once...Wont be trying it again
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post #6 of 47
I use nasturtium flowers, too, Bughut. They add a nice piquancy to a salad.

I've made lavender flavoured scones and lavender flavoured ice-creams, too.
post #7 of 47
I love cattail roots. Boiled with some meat in a stew they make potatoes seem weak and anemic.

I also like lambs quarters or "poor man's spinach" just sauteed with a little garlic and olive oil or butter.

Also wild wood sorrel is delicious, kind of lemony, as a fresh salad. Just don't eat too much as the oxalic acid can cause some nutritional issues.

From what I've read, only one type of fern bract (fiddle heads) is edible and all ferns send up fiddle head type shoots, so I avoid them. The edible one is from the ostrich fern.
post #8 of 47
Chokecherries, Honeysuckle, Lavender, Milkweed.
post #9 of 47
Thread Starter 
I haven't seen honeysuckle before what do you like to use it for Sabbah?
Thanks,

Nicko 
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Nicko 
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post #10 of 47
I've not heard of honeysuckle being edible before. But if it is, and anyone is interested, they're welcome to come munch my hillsides.

We're covered up with the d-mn stuff and I'd love to get rid of it. All those songs and stories about the romance of honeysuckle were written by people who've never had to live with the noxious smell permeating everything.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #11 of 47
Ground-up Cattail heads are a nice replacement for flaxseed in whole wheat pancakes. Yummy on a camping trip!
post #12 of 47
Honeysuckle is great
post #13 of 47
I grew up in SE PA and we foraged for lots of food items.

Young Cat tail shoots, sauteed in butter and garlic (Cossack Asparagus)
Sumac Berries - lemon aide
Ground Cherries (Tomatillos) - jelly and salsa
Asparagus-mark the plumes in the summer and come back in the early spring
Jewelweed seeds - taste like black walnuts
Sassafras root- tea



that's all I can remember. I know there was more.
post #14 of 47
I will gladly give someone all the lambs quarter they can pick for free, the dang stuff is everywhere in my yard :lol:
post #15 of 47
>Honeysuckle is great <

Think so, COOk? Obviously you haven't lived with it.

Y'all come on down. I'll even give you the garden shears so you can cut as much of it as you care to carry away. Heck, I'll load it in your truck for you.


They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #16 of 47
I dont know if this counts but I like smoking with birch out in the woods. I dont eat random plants only because I don't really know which ones are edible, but I'm sure you could make a great salad if you knew!
post #17 of 47
elder flowers....what a great syrup for a refreshing beverage

blackberries, dewberries

I've a buddy that hunts black raspberries and blackberries, wild black walnuts.....he is a forager extrodinaire...
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post #18 of 47
Fiddle heads, wild garlic,, rose hips .
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post #19 of 47
my favorite edible wild plants are fiddlehead greens and dandylion green. Wild mustard and wild hoarsradish come in close second tho.

Oh yes and teaberry leaves too...ok and spruce gum...
post #20 of 47

Kangkong

Kangkong is a Ipomea Sp. that grows wild, weed like, in freshwater tropical waters all over the world. I grow it in Brisbane over summer in a garbage bin full of water.
post #21 of 47
I wish I knew more edible plants around here in NorCal! Of course, now it's all dry anyway, but aside of miner's lettuce and dandylion, a couple others, I don't know any. I grew up in Germany and knew lots of edible things, that was always fun. I think I have to look for a book, best would be one that's for my area here. Anybody have any recommendations?

Oliver
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post #22 of 47

Down here in the Sonoran desert, I like to pick and eat mesquite beans. They're nice and sweet when it's early in the season, and later when they dry out, they can be ground up and used with wheat flour to make tortillas, cookies, bread, pancakes etc.... Also like paddle cactus. Paddle, (nopales) and the prickly pear itself, (tunas).  I've got friends on the rez who also harvest and eat the cholla cactus, and agave. There's an amazing amount of wild food in this desert.

post #23 of 47

Ramps and fiddleheads.

post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

I've not heard of honeysuckle being edible before. But if it is, and anyone is interested, they're welcome to come munch my hillsides.

You can eat the flowers, tastes good.  I eat them while hiking when I see them.

post #25 of 47

Zuchinni flowers    stuffed Italian style.

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #26 of 47

I love honeysuckle flowers. I like to munch on sassafras leaves when I'm hunting or hiking. When I was young, we found an old homestead that had been deserted for many years that had been overtaken by vines. We could pick all the blackberries we wanted.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #27 of 47

I was in Scouts for 40 years. Miners lettece - hands down. I also carry in the car with me only one cookbook --

The Wild, Wild Cookbook - a guide for young wild-food foragers by Jean Craighead George

 

best book I've ever found on the subject

 

Chef Jerry

post #28 of 47

I don't have any idea of what edible plant is aside from wild garlic. :(

post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclopp View Post

I was in Scouts for 40 years. Miners lettece - hands down. I also carry in the car with me only one cookbook --

The Wild, Wild Cookbook - a guide for young wild-food foragers by Jean Craighead George

 

best book I've ever found on the subject

 

Chef Jerry

 

i think I want that book. Used to eat miners lettuce and watercress all the time around my family property. Now that the blackberries have overgrown the creekbed it's down to just them.
 

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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #30 of 47

oh, wait....

 

the title of this thread just hit me...

 

"Edible Plants"

 

any vegetation is a plant.

 

maybe should have been "outside the realm of gardening norm, what would you cultivate/harvest/eat"

 

tongue.gif

 

we have eaten lambsquarters, verdolagas,

 

and edible does not mean easy or delicious

 

there are many flowers/weeds that can be called edible plants

 

 

I would ask

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euell_Gibbons

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