I was asked recently by a follower for a basic lesson on how I forage for edible weeds. And to that I’ll say.. not very proficiently. I am no professional and I don’t do it enough to be called a ‘forager’. One day of course. But I’ve definitely foraged and eaten off the land, not nearly as much as I could however. At our previous property purslane and lambs quarter abounded and isn’t bad sautéed in butter.
By true definition a weed is only ‘a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth.’ Thank you Merriam-Webster for driving home my point.
So here’s just a few tips that got me started:
Do some research. Some of my favorite websites for foraging:
- Edible Wild Food. They’re website lists tons of info on edible plants, flowers, and fungi.
- Grow Forage Cook Ferment. This is where most my inspiration comes from whether it be foraging for eating or homemade body care products.
- Forage and Harvest. They provide email dosages to keep you to date on info and provide all the info you need to reconnect with nature safely.
Start in your own yard/property or near by areas first. Check out your surrounds and see what’s available. You’d be suprised what growing right under your nose.
Check with your local Forest Service or community groups. Your local station may have printouts or advice to offer. Lots of outdoor hiking, foraging, gardening, homesteading groups have oodles of hands on experience to help you out. Im sure you can find one whether that be through Facebook or your city/county.
Ask tons of questions. If you know anyone who has or does forage. Pick they’re brain! Ask they to take you out foraging sometime.
Find out what grows in your area. Each region is unique so I’m sure what is edible and grows where I live might not be what is edible and growing where you live. Around here we have tons of:
- Lambs quarter
I’m sure there are many more around but that’s what I seem to see the most of around our property. And up in the foothills this time of year there are thousands for morel mushrooms.
Ask for a second opinion if you’re not sure. If you kinda think that might be the right and plant but you’re not sure.. don’t eat it! Get someone to confirm for you before ingesting.
Don’t spray the edible weeds! Save your money the noxious weeds and let the edibles grow.. even if it’s in your yard 😉 Yes they may not grow exaclty where you chose, but edible weeds have a reason and purpose just as much as a lawn of grass or a garden of vegetables.
Got any chickens or rabbits? They love to eat weeds to even if you won’t.
There you have it! I’m sure there’s much more to be learned. And as I learn I’ll blog it all.
Right now I’m working on infusing olive and grape seed oils with dried dandelion buds so I can then make dandelion lotion bars. Post on that soon to come! Check out The Nerdy Farm Wife for all sorts of dandelion DIYs!
Peace and Love,