Foraged


Wild edibles featured by De La Terre since 5.10.2016

Buffalo Gourd: The flowers, similar to squash blossom, can be eaten both raw and fried. Buffalo gourd seeds were a staple food of early Texas Native Americans. The large taproot of Buffalo Gourds were used internally by Native Americans as a tea and also externally in poultices.

Bullbriar: The tender vines (portion easily snapped off by hand), tendrils, tubers, leaves, and berries are edible. The vines and tendrils are eaten raw, steamed, or baked; roots are sliced, then pounded and boiled to free starch; berries eaten raw or made into jams or jelly. They are found in shady forests all year long and are one of the best wild foods available. The tubers are high in starch and minerals while the leaves and stems contain high assorted vitamins and minerals. Other uses: Vegan jello shots. Greenbriars are the only vines that have both tendrils and thorns making them easy to identify.

Chickasaw Plum: The plums are cherry-like and tend to be quite tart until they fully ripen. Small but very sweet, these plums can be eaten raw, made into preserves, or even fermented into wine. They are covered with white flowers in the mid-to-late winter and the fruit is ready to pick by the beginning of June.

Golden Chantrelle: Cantharellus cibarius, commonly known as the chanterelle, or girolle, is a fungus. This pleasantly aromatic fleshy wild mushroom shines like an exotic golden flower when seen from a distance against the forest background. It is orange or yellow, meaty and funnel-shaped. On the lower surface, underneath the smooth cap, it has gill-like ridges that run almost all the way down its stipe, which tapers down seamlessly from the cap. The chanterelle's aroma is variously described as apricot- or peachlike. These mushrooms should either be used right away by sautéing, or marinating, but also preserve well after being dehydrated.

Honeysuckle: The flowers and vine tips are edible both raw and cooked. They are found in the summer and have calcium, potassium and protein. Here in the USA, Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is actually from China but was brought to the United States about 200 years ago from Japan. In some areas of China, the Japanese Honeysuckle vines were used to weave baskets.

Lamb’s Quarter/Goosefoot/Pigweed: The young leaves and stems can be eaten raw, stir-fried, steamed, boiled, etc. Seeds can be boiled like couscous or ground into flour. Found primarily in early spring through early fall. High in vitamins A,C,K, B, minerals and protein. It is a very nutritious plant, higher in protein, vitamins, and minerals than spinach.

Lemon Bee Balm: Bee Balm is uncommonly abundant across the states. The flowers and leaves are edible and they can be used in teas or for flavoring. They are found in the summer primarily in open fields. Nutritional value consists of vitamin A, B2, and C. The flowers and young leave of these plants add a wonderful herbal/citrus flavor to tea, candies, and anything else that may need some help with its flavor.

Passion Vine Flower: The Passion flower (Passiflora) has a long history as a medicinal plant and is a trusted general relaxant. If you come across one or have one growing in your garden, you can pick the leaves (tender ones are nicer, but they are all effective) and the flowers, dry them and then make tea with them whenever you want a lovely, soothing tea.

Prickly Pear: The fruit, pads, flowers, and juice are all edible. Pads can be pickled, fried, made into jerky; fruit can be raw or blended into a smoothy/iced drink; juice from strained fruit can be drunk, made into ice cream, mixed drinks, and preserves. They are found in sunny fields and they fruit mid-late summer, pads are available all year though the younger pads taste better. Nutritional value includes: Vitamin C, some minerals, and omega-3 fatty acid. Before doing anything with the pads or fruit you must remove their tiny, almost invisible needles called glochids. Use a barbecue tongs to harvest the pads/fruit and then burn off the glochids with a torch or gas stovetop.

Sunflower: The seeds can be eaten raw, ground into flour, roasted, or crushed for sunflower oil. The shells can be roasted then used as a coffee substitute, young flowers are boiled. They are found in sunny areas and their seeds ripen in late summer, early fall. The nutritional value consists of: carbohydrates, protein, and oils. The mature seeds are an excellent source of high-calorie oil which birds and other animals love. Humans can eat them, too but they are very small and are hard to get before animals do.

Wineberry: The wineberry is native to China and Japan. It was brought to this country by way of Europe and sold as an ornamental plant during the latter end of the nineteenth century. Since wineberries (Rubus phoenicolasius) are relatively new to the U.S., they've established themselves in the wild only throughout most of the eastern states so far. Like their raspberry cousins, wineberries produce new canes each year, which then bear fruit the following summer. The brambles usually flower sometime between April and June (depending upon climate), and their berries ripen approximately two months later.

Wood Sorrel: The leaves, flowers, seedpods, and tubers are all edible. They are typically found in shady undergrowth sections and found all throughout the year. Their nutritional value consists of vitamin A & C. The three-lobed leaf looks similar to clover/shamrocks but sorrels have a cleft at the top, giving them a heart-shape whereas clovers are round or slightly pointed.

 

Disclaimer: Before picking and eating (or even touching!) any plant, berry, mushroom or anything else you find growing in the wild it is vitally important to know what you are doing and to be able to identify correctly everything you find.