For years now we have been foraging for wild edibles. We have eaten wild strawberries, raspberries and blackberries on the side of the trail as we hike. We have fried up dandelion flowers and added the leaves to smoothies and salads, and this year we made dandelion lemonade. We have always played it safe, which is good thing when you are searching for and eating wild edibles. All that changed last summer when I did a little one day herbal walk with a herbalist. I knew right then I wanted to take our foraging to the next level.
During that herbal walk we identified many wild herbs and wild edibles. We talked about their medicinal benefits, tried them and took some time to make an oil and a tincture before heading home. It was a wonderful day with some really wonderful people.
This spring, armed with my plant identification book, we have been heading to the forest to look for food. Actually before we even headed to the forest to look for food I found some growing right in the wooded area of our backyard. Ramps, also known as wild leeks, were growing right under my nose. We cooked them up right away in a frittata and enjoyed every last bite. Since that first discovery we have found and enjoyed more ramps as well as trout lilies and garlic mustard. Trout lilies were added to salads and garlic mustard was blended up into the pesto you see above, which we served over quinoa pasta for dinner and then spread on grilled vegetable sandwiches for lunch the next day.
All three of us are enjoying our walks in the woods searching for and identifying plants. Justin and I had a little chuckle last weekend as we walked the wooded bike path near my parents place while Reece rode his bike. I was collecting garlic mustard, Reece stopped every now and then to pick some wild flowers and Justin was deep among the trees picking up pieces of fallen branches to create with. I am sure we looked hilarious coming out of the woods with everything we were carrying. We didn't care though. We had a great time in the woods, and we came home with flowers for the table, food for dinner and a little something to create with. What more can you ask for when you go for a walk in the woods.
Have you been foraging this season? What are you bringing home to enjoy?