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Wild Foods of Spring

May 11th, 2013

On a mild day in spring it is pleasant to take a light basket on one’s arm and go for a long walk, garnering whatever the fields, woods and streams offer, the best foraging is probably close to home, around the flower and vegetable gardens, where many early-developing weeds are most abundant and tasty. The fattest finest dandelions will certainly be plentiful there, and violets, and possibly Saint Barbara’s weed. Chickweed will never be far from any recently cultivated ground, and if you have succeeded in keeping jewelweed out of the shadier parts of your garden, we would like to know your secret. But in the garden, other edibles plants will be available, all familiar nuisances, many worth gathering for food.

Joe Eck & Wayne Winterrowd in Living Seasonally: The Kitchen Garden and the Table at North Hill
fiddleheads 1
I haven’t had much of a chance to get out foraging yet, but I did score some fiddlehead ferns at the farmers market last week. We enjoyed them sautéed for breakfast with poached eggs on top.
fiddleheads 2
Dandelions have been making their way from the edges of the woodlot to our plates. I’ve been waiting for rain to start searching for mushrooms in earnest. Looks like this will be the perfect week for the that.
wild violets
Wild violets also abound in the lawn, they always find their way into salads to add that special bit of beauty and a ton of vitamin C. There’s nothing quite like finding food that you didn’t have to take the time to cultivate!

Are you enjoying any foraged food at the moment?

10 Comments to “Wild Foods of Spring”
  1. Marina C on May 11, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Wild garlic, looks like scallions with wide flat long leaves.
    I sautéed the white part sliced in a little olive , then chop the tops and toss them in at the last minute.
    Morels, a wild mushroom, which, also sautéed with the ramps, was lovely on fresh pasta with veal sausage from the Farmer’s Market.
    They only keep the heifers, right? Free range veal is ethical, actually veal is the necessary by-product of the dairy industry.
    Everybody, remember never to harvest more than one third of anything!

    Reply to Marina C's comment

  2. kristin @ going country on May 11, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Dandelion greens, garlic mustard, ramps. I always give up on it when the garden kicks in, though.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  3. KimH on May 11, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I munched on dandelion & violet flowers a few days ago with my next door neighbors 4 year old granddaughter… does that count?

    I’ve picked a few pieces of garlic mustard here & there & tossed into my soup pots but not enough to really mention.. I’ve also been eying the plantain & free seeded chard thats coming up in my garlic.. I need to clean that up & I plan on eating them instead of just tossing them to the ground or compost bin.

    I’ve also been contemplating making dandelion wine & dandelion jelly but havent done anything about it yet.. last week was a crazy busy week. Hopefully this one will be quite a bit slower & easier.

    Reply to KimH's comment

    • KimH on May 11, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      OH.. I also have a few stalks of poke coming up in my little backyard sanctuary.. I think I’ll lop off a few stalks & have my grandmas favorite breakfast soon.. sauteed poke & eggs.

      Reply to KimH's comment

  4. Adriana on May 11, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    We just came in from picking ramps for dinner. I’ve been trying to pick dandelions and violets for syrup, but haven’t had the time, it’s a busy time of the year!

    Reply to Adriana's comment

  5. Jennifer Fisk on May 11, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I made a huge pot of dandelions, salt pork and potatoes. That is spring tonic. We don’t have Fiddleheads on MDI but I can’t wait to buy some from a roadside vendor. Yum!!

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  6. Kay on May 11, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Yes, I have been eating dandelion greens and chickweed on a regular basis!

    Reply to Kay's comment

  7. Caroline on May 11, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    if I tried foraging, I’d probably end up killing my family with poisonous plants! I don’t know a weed from a seedling yet!

    Reply to Caroline's comment

  8. Joan on May 12, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I’m hoping to go pick some fiddleheads today or tomorrow. I haven’t made any of my usual ‘weed salads’ yet this year, but have nibbled on wood and common sorrel, violets, and wintergreen.

    Reply to Joan's comment

  9. amy on May 13, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Some of our foraged foods have gone….but yes….I had my dandelions…. some sorrel…. wild onions….and violets….This may sound odd but I am sowing stinging nettle….I have always heard you can just walk out and find it….but that has not been the case here….It is excellent as well….for continued good health!

    Reply to amy's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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