Edible wild plants are treasures just waiting to be found. They make me happy on so many levels. Little power packs of nutrition with herbal medicine properties, abundantly available, often even considered to be invasive. No one else wants them. Imagine, free food and medicine so underappreciated.

To forage wild edibles, you need to be diligent about your research. You absolutely have to know what a plant is before you start to add it to your menu. Use multiple sources for identification. Once you are sure, start using the plant slowly and eat only a little at a time until you know that it agrees with you. Also make sure you know how to prepare it. Find out if there are any warnings you should observe.

Purple Dead Nettle

Purple Dead Nettle

I thought I was familiar with all the common edible weeds in our area, but it turns out that I was wrong. Here’s a new one for me, and these notes are the result of my studies. In early spring, when almost no other wild edibles are ready to harvest, this one is a...

First Nettles

First Nettles

On February 26, I harvested the first nettles of 2020. As one of the first wild edible greens to appear, and full of vitamins and minerals, nettles have long been used as a spring tonic. My patch is just beginning to sprout, so this first basket is a token, a promise...

Welcome Purslane

Welcome Purslane

This time of year, if I had to depend only on what I plant, I would carry home much less food from my garden. The promise of abundance is there, but very little is ready to eat just yet. Thankfully, the wild edibles that volunteer in my plot and its periphery are...

Eating Nettles

Eating Nettles

In the spring just as the tree buds are becoming leaves, it's time to start looking for nettles to harvest. If you find a patch, it will likely be abundant. Nettles, Urtica dioica, are wonderfully good for you, high in nutrients and with many health benefits. (I won't...

First Bites of Spring

First Bites of Spring

After an unnatural cold snap that would not go away, my first visit to the community garden last week was pretty bleak. Even my kale leaves had been destroyed by day after day of below freezing temperatures. It's not what we're used to here in the Pacific Northwest....

Spruce Tip Shortbread

Spruce Tip Shortbread

Delicious baking is a family tradition and a big part of any celebration. I come from a long line of creative bread, muffin, cookie and pie bakers. Sadly, my recipe file is bulging with heritage recipes that I love, but cannot use because I have to bake without...

Wilds for a September Smoothie

Wilds for a September Smoothie

The hot, rainless summer was emotionally draining. Wildfire smoke choked the air and vegetation withered for lack of moisture. My favourite wild greens offered no comfort; instead they hid their faces. Only purslane seemed to thrive. Now that the rain is back and...

Purslane

Purslane

Purslane is one of the marvelous volunteers in my garden plot. While others see it as a weed, I encourage it, and harvest a bag or two every week during its growing season. Here are three ways I use purslane: in my morning greens smoothie in soup - it has a lemony...

December Dandelions

December Dandelions

You need a certain mindset to think dandelion leaves are lovely. A Sunday afternoon walk is pretty common, but stopping to pick dandelions? Not so much. But when you consider that they are chock full of health benefits, more than almost any vegetable you could buy -...