Outside of this strange world that we call the internet, I don’t know many people who would say that an ideal day is one spent in the woods learning about wild edible foods. But for me, a day spent meandering through the woods is in itself the indication of a day well spent, and to combine that with learning about and connecting with plants comes close to absolute perfection. Maybe other people just haven’t yet tried…
Behold the knowledge
Disclaimer: I have not tried eating all of the plants shown below and I am not suggesting that you do so without adequate preparation! My method generally goes something like this:
1) Find a plant and ID it in my field guide or learn about a plant and aim to find it and identify it.
2) Identify it on at least a few other ocassions.
3) Read about the plant and possible dangerous look-alikes.
4) Try a small amount to make sure it agrees with my body.
5) Eat more.
The dried corms (Wikipedia: a short, vertical, swollen underground plant stem that serves as a storage organ) of jack-in-the pulpits can be sliced and eaten like potato chips!
Jack in the pulpit
Japanese knotwood can be eaten like asparagus…and I encourage this one due to its invasive nature!
Coltsfoot can be candied and I’m still looking to find a patch big enough so that I can infuse the flowers into honey as a cough remedy!
Chopped toothwort root can be substituted for horseradish.
I also hit a ramp jackpot! They were everywhere!
Wandering around this way also leads to other beautiful finds like Squirrel corn (I don’t have any idea about its edibility, don’t try!)…
Squirrel corn. Hehe - such a funny name.
And you also might come across extremely cozy patches of moss at the edge of a ravine. This is my version of ultimate renewal and peace. I once read that some Native Americans believe that excess energy accumulates in places like this (i.e., cliffs, edges). I think they are right – it feels so wonderful! Why don’t I do this every day?
I’m happy to provide more information to anyone who’s interested!
Go be in nature! Give in to your animal instincts and go foraging!