Thursday, July 3, 2014

Wild Edibles - Part 1

I recently discovered the North American Bushcraft School.  This is an amazing local organization dedicated to keeping ancestral knowledge alive.  The farm is situated on 130 remote acres, it was beautiful country.  I signed us up for a class in foraging and headed over to get some hands on experience from a few experts.

 We were greeted by Santiago the Turkey - a farm pet that followed us around the entire time just like a dog would.  He was quite friendly.  It was a hoot to have him walking along with us.

 Our first foraged find was Purslane - a woodland succulent.  It can be eaten raw and is a great addition to salads.

 These heart shaped leaves (not to be mistaken with clover) - is Wood Sorrel.  It gets small, yellow flowers.  It tastes a bit sour and has a very nice lemon flavor.  This was one of my favorites.  It can be eaten raw. They are also good to steep for 10 min in hot water, add a bit of honey, then chill for a refreshing drink.  This plant is rich in vitamin C.

 These silly plants which are all over my back yard (and were always considered a weed in my book) happen to be Plantains.  The rounded leaf is a Common Plantain and the slender one is called Seaside Plantain.  When young, they can be picked to eat in salads or steamed/boiled and served with butter.  As they grow, the leaves become tough and stringy, but they are still useful.  They are used to make spit poultices (chew them up and spit them out) to be used on bug bites for instant relief.

This fuzzy leaf is called Mullein.  We discussed the benefits of having this around to use in place of toilet paper if ever stranded, but it also has other benefits as well.  These are great to dry and use in teas, specifically for chest colds as it is an expectorant.  You can also steep them in hot water to make a steam vapor for inhaling to eliminate a chest cold.

I bet if you run out to your backyard, you can find at least 1 of these plants.

*They did note the importance of teaching your kids, specifically little ones, that you should always ask an adult before picking and eating any plant - just to be sure.  Also, you should never gather plants directly beside a roadway due to weed spraying and car pollution.

This is a fun activity to do with your family.  You can literally make a salad from backyard or a quick neighborhood stroll.


  1. I'm growing purslane as a salad crop - doesn't grow wild here. It's yummy though.

    1. We have a tiny bit growing in our yard, but I've seen it while hiking. I plan on transplanting some next time we come across it.

  2. Hi Kate! Thanks for stopping by and leaving comment on my blog. I remember when I was young,our neighbors used to have tons of turkeys who kept on following me around,I was scared with the thought that they would take me but they're not that bad.

    1. At first we were a bit cautious of Santiago, but quickly learned he meant no harm.