View Full Version : foraging = free organic food

10-16-2008, 09:37 AM
This is such a big message board, I might've missed it elsewhere, but does anyone here do any foraging for food?

I used to, but have gotten too busy to do much in recent years... I used to have my own method of getting really good dandelion greens... I'd walk all around the yard in the early springtime, with scissors, cutting off the attempts of the plants to bud... "Nip it in the bud," according to the wisdom of Barney Fife... anyway, as spring progresses, you have to get out there more and more often, nipping away at those buds... the greens will stay milder and get bigger (especially the ones growing in the shade), and you can have very nice dandelion greens until one day the plant finally outsmarts you and gets buds in spite of your efforts, then, it's all over for the greens. However, at that point, you can begin harvesting the flowers... they fry up really well, battered, or you can make very nice jelly from them.

We've also harvested violet greens (takes a LOT if you cook them, but raw you only need a handful), violet flowers, and made jelly from violet flowers (I was talking to a friend about this one time and she described the violets she intended to use for this and I realized she was talking about a different plant entirely, so, it's a good idea to make sure you know your weeds before you begin eating them... here's a good place to start: http://wildmanstevebrill.com/ ).

There's also lambsquarters, which make the best greens of all of them, in my opinion, and the seeds are edible too... there are so many others... I used to have areas of the yard where I'd encourage some of these weeds so we could have plenty of free, wild food too.
I've heard lambsquarters also called "fat hen," supposedly because grass-fed hens will prefer them over other things.

Anybody else doing this sort of thing?

10-20-2008, 04:53 PM
I did a bit a couple weeks ago. As I was walking through the neighborhood I found neighbors that had fruit trees and offered to clean up the droppings. I made one elderly lady very happy since she was paying to have those cleaned up. I also place an ad on freecycle to do end of year garden clean up if I got to keep all I harvested...IMHO we all won! Kim

10-22-2008, 10:44 AM
I hope to make a video on it next year!

10-22-2008, 12:51 PM
Cool! I can't wait to see it!!!!!!

10-24-2008, 01:45 AM
There was a great book out probably in the late 1970's called Stalking the Wild Asparagus that was all about foraging food for city dwellers. It was amazing the things you can eat that most people consider weeds....I wonder if it is still possible to get a copy??? Kim

10-24-2008, 10:01 AM
Yes, you can still buy it. It was written by Euel Gibbons. He wrote a lot of very nice wild food guides...I used to have several before I seriously down-sized my book collection a while back.

Seriously, though, the guy I linked to in the first post, Steve "Wildman" Brill... his one guide I have, I think it was his first book, was much easier to use, had more info (including updated, recent scientific info about plant constituents, etc.), just the best forgaging book I've ever seen. His website has pretty good info for free, too, and I see that he's made a video (possibly more) and he probably has more books out by now too... I was so happy with his first book I haven't actually looked into buying any of his newer materials as of yet. His book replaced lots of other, older manuals I'd had lying around...very informative, in my opinion.

There is also another guy whose book I've hung onto... Tom Brown, Jr. The book is nowhere near as easy to use as Brill's, or even as the old Gibbons books were, but is loaded with info. Brown also holds camps/workshops where he teaches in person... wilderness survival, which includes foraging among many other things, and he's and expert tracker...I've got his tracking books too, and... whoah... those are tough... like overloaded with information... he learned tracking from a Native American as he grew up, and it's really sort of info-overload in book form. I hope to be able to get up to one of his camp/workshops one day in the near future and try to absorb all of this wisdom in person.