Monday, August 06, 2007

Foraging 101

I am a forging novice.. so this is foraging 101. One thing Mom & I meant to do but didn't before we headed out was get good book on plants - native, edible weeds, foraging.. yk. I keep hearing about how all these weeds, herbs and plants that grow all around us are so good for us. They are some of the best greens nutritionally, not to mention that they are easily found, free and abundant. When we got to Judy's, we discovered that she had lots & lots of books on everything nature related - just as you would expect from the queen on the universe.. not that I realized where I was going at the time.. sometimes you just never know where you headed (not to mention that many of us do not even realize where we are - or the abundance and beauty we are continually surrounded by)

ok, so I knew about dandelions. I can find these foraging in the grocery stores and markets.. but I am just starting to dare venture outdoors. I feel like a domesticated girl going wild - getting reconnected. But I just found out how good plantain is.. and it grows everywhere!

pic - Upper left - lambs quarters
Upper right - plantain
Bottom right - horseradish
Bottom left - ?? I forget. (I still plan to go get a book ; )

Collander of mixed greens (weeds). They were getting ready to go into our green smoothie. Judy says "This gives weeding a whole new meaning!" Most of these we picked while weeding out her strawberry plants.

We had so many wild berries also. This was one of my favorite.. they got different name by different people. I liked the name Indian plums.. even though they were more the size of large blueberries. They would turn very dark, almost black when ready to eat.. and had the most amazing flavour. Think blueberry, plum and the finest wine you have ever drank. They grow on small trees, approx 6-12'. How did I manage to miss these when I was growing up? .. once I discovered these I saw them all over.

More wild greens from top left going clockwise: lambs quarters, red clover, we think this is mexican tea leaves which we looked up & found out were quite toxic. (I was skeptical, but Judy felt quite sure and since she is wayy more knowledgeable than me, we didn't eat these) & also btw, its very, very few wild greens that are toxic - but looks like we manged to find one. Yikes, I forget the next one.. Mom?? Then plantain & dandelion.

Purslane is another common one that I recognize.. Mom purchased seeds from the Boutenkos last year - purslane, red clover and lambs quarter seeds, which she sent to me. I don't see the seeds on the website, they may not carry them any more.

I liked the advice that I read in one of her books that said you can only learn so much from books..the best way to learn is to get outside, to look and discover and spend time in nature.. and that it doesn't take long. Even short bits of time will teach you lots. Think a half hour here & there. Just go outside and look round, its really amazing!!


the Goddess of kindness said...

Hi Princess,

On the top photo, the plant you need identified is comfrey..... the other one you forgot is (we believe) green amaranth.

Please remember your kind deed today !

Mum said...

Anyone interested can purchase puslane and other interesting seeds.... mostly organic.. from William Dam Seeds.

Love, Mum

Keiko Ti said...

Oh right comfrey! ..and how could I forget the green amaranth!?? Thanks.

& yes, I did many good deeds yesterday.. and even already today. I just rolled up the sleeping bag for Dylan,& am lending him my tent, he's going camping with some friends. & I even scrubbed the bathroom clean already..& started on the kitchen. wow, I am Super woman! ; ) was up at 6, back to work today.

oh, & Mom, I had a long walk on the beach yesterday here, not quite the big east coast beaches. but it was really nice & I was thinking of you!! Thanks for the seed info. xo
Love U!