From Forest Forage to Potluck Feast
Saturday May 20, Grey County
It was a beautiful sunny Spring day when the Wild Plants Apprentices met up to have their first wild edible themed day! As soon as we exited the cars, it was only a few feet
before we were down on the ground looking at some of the many, many edible and medicinal greens we would find throughout the day!
Alexis started us off with some great principles to keep in mind as we enter the realm of foraging wild plants
1) Always have a 100% ID on any plant that you might want to eat. As mentioned “Poisonous plants don’t just jump out and make you eat them!”
2) Keep in mind the 3 Rights – Right Season, Right Part, Right Preparation
Armed with that knowledge, we set out to explore the understory – with everything from Wild Ginger to different type of Solomon’s seals we look at flowers, and talked about the coming of some toxic and edible berries!
As there were a few mosquitoes out, we even discussed different plants for healing rinses and poultices – Burdock root wash to help heal and bring down swelling and Plantain as a spit poultice in the field!
As we looked up from the ground dwellers, we also harvested some basswood leaves for our salad and talked about tasty apple flowers (some of which folks often pinch back anyway to ensure bigger and juicier fruits for the fall).
We also found Daylily (an escaped garden plant from an old homestead site) – the shoots of which are tasty and succulent this time of year – another score for our wild potluck!
Keeping in mind our stewardship ethics, we came across some beautiful Bloodroot that Alexis was able to transplant out of the path of horse hooves and we checked on some transplant patches from previous years that continue to thrive – away from the crushing feet of humans and dogs!
It was the perfect time of day for a wee rest and sit spot – relaxing in the afternoon understory – we could settle in to this complex habitat before our closing harvest.
All in all, everything was delicious from the violet leaves and flowers to the daylily shoots – we even scored some delicious burdock root from our patient and strong diggers! Bon Appetit!