Eat your weeds!
August 21, 2006 9:51 PM   Subscribe

Summer seems the perfect time for eating weeds and wildfoods. Granted, no one wants to grow their own, but is it better to forage or to buy them?
posted by owhydididoit (9 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
And they're nutritious!
posted by owhydididoit at 9:53 PM on August 21, 2006

is it better to forage or to buy them?

Once when I took someone to a doctor who had his office in a large fancy apartment building, I was shocked to see an enormous maybe 2-3 lb clump of chantrells growing from the lawn. I almost snatched them until I wondered what sort of chemical lawn service the complex used. Maybe I should of harvested them and sold them to a broker.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 10:36 PM on August 21, 2006

A few years ago after the first rains of the season there were sunflower, wild radish, and nastursium sprouts all coming up at once. I used them to fill out the salads back when I was cooking for my mom. Got a little nervous when she told her friends I was feeding her weed salad. Good times.
posted by Iron Rat at 11:23 PM on August 21, 2006

Thanks for the post! I've been interested in wild food lately, but I'm still worried about poisoning myself. A friend recently lent me Christopher Nyerges' Guide to Wild Foods and Useful Plants, and I thought it was a pretty thorough reference. (He doesn't go into cultivation, though; he's more of a forager.) His website doesn't seem to have been updated recently, but she tells me that he still gives wild plant tours in Southern California, if any Angelenos are interested.
posted by maryh at 12:27 AM on August 22, 2006

If you don't know already, fennel is chewable and has a licorice taste. Just be sure it's not poison hemlock first--the two are distinguishable when alive but dead they're near identical, if for some reason you're into eating dead plants.
posted by Citizen Premier at 1:01 AM on August 22, 2006

It's mushroom season here, it's been rainy lately, and people are coming home from walks in the woods with bucketloads of them.
posted by pracowity at 6:02 AM on August 22, 2006

Thanks for the links. I bought purslane from a farmer's market recently. It was delicious! High in omega-3's, too. I've always wanted to try it ever since reading one of Donald Jack's Bartholomew Bandy books. He describes one character, a dinner guest, staring at the bowl of mud-coloured weed soup before him (that his hostess/weed-procurer clearly expected him to dig into), "as if there were a miniature Frankstein crawling out of it, coughing and retching."
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 7:45 AM on August 22, 2006

The problem is you don't know the soil quality could be loaded with heavy metals in particular in flood plains and near roads. Depends on the plant some take up more than others (Lambs Quarter takes up a lot from the soil). Of course, it may still be less toxic than the crap they spray on industrio-agri-foods. I have tons of ferms so eat them in the spring.
posted by stbalbach at 7:57 AM on August 22, 2006

Dandelions - yummy
posted by Smedleyman at 12:52 PM on August 22, 2006

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