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Old 11-23-2023, 06:58 PM
 
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Okay I love the thought of foraging... but have never really done it.

TBF I live in a big city... so I figure not a huge choice in materials to eat growing wild.

The only things that seem possible:

1) Dandelions? I heard they are quite nutritious and God knows they are everywhere.
2) Pigeons? I have had them before, but purchased at a supermarket long time ago, not bad.
3) Fiddleheads? I remember seeing them up north in a forest area, maybe they exist in the city?
4) Various mushrooms? But of course a bit dangerous and I would never unless foraging with an expert.
5) Fish. This one I have done successfully lol.

How about you?

Any cool and "secret" items that are edible and delicious?
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Old 11-23-2023, 07:13 PM
 
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Wild asparagus and purslane come to mind. Depends on the region and climate.

I don't consider eating pigeons and fish as 'foraging', that's called hunting and takes a bit more planning.
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Old 11-23-2023, 07:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heavymind View Post
Wild asparagus and purslane come to mind. Depends on the region and climate.

I don't consider eating pigeons and fish as 'foraging', that's called hunting and takes a bit more planning.
Purslane looks interesting... I think I may have seen stuff like that around.

As for wild Asparagus... definitely haven't seen that. My friend grew some in her backyard... tiny skinny as heck things coming out of the ground lol.

I will have to investigate those items if they are here.

And I agree with the hunting thing... but kinda ran out of things that I could think of finding in the wilds of the city lol.
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Old 11-24-2023, 05:27 AM
 
Location: Southern New England
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Back in my earlier years I harvested wild burdock leaves. (just used them like spinach, nothing fancy) They were plentiful and easy to identify. (to me, the burdock plant looks like rhubarb) I had a book by Euell Gibbons, Handbook of Edible Wild Plants, iirc. Burdock is the only one I remember, probably bc I was so successful in finding a great deal of it. But there must have been lots others in the book.

Good times, thanks for the memory.
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Old 11-24-2023, 07:18 AM
 
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Wild blackberries. I wouldn't feel comfortable identifying berries out in the forest, myself. But there have been occasions where I've been pointed to known wild blackberry bushes.

The rule of thumb that I once heard is that if you see birds eating the berries then the berries are edible.
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Old 11-24-2023, 09:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by springfieldva View Post
The rule of thumb that I once heard is that if you see birds eating the berries then the berries are edible.
Interesting, I'd want to look into that more. I read that birds don't have spicy food receptors and can gobble down the hottest chili pepper all day long without feeling any pain.
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Old 11-24-2023, 09:39 AM
 
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Originally Posted by heavymind View Post
Interesting, I'd want to look into that more. I read that birds don't have spicy food receptors and can gobble down the hottest chili pepper all day long without feeling any pain.
I just did a little internet search and apparently there are a variety of berries that a bird can eat that are not good for humans. It's a myth that if a bird eats it, you can, too.

I would edit my comment to reflect that but I can't do it now.

So the rule of the thumb: DO NOT EAT WILD BERRIES unless a foraging expert has confirmed that they are safe to eat.
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Old 11-24-2023, 10:37 AM
 
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My husband is into foraging. He is unbelievably brave / crazy when it comes to eating stuff he finds out in nature. I've had to talk him out of trying some wild berry type things that he really wanted to eat. Sometimes I'll see his eyes looking at some tree or plant and I know exactly what he's thinking and I'm like "please don't do it Max..." He's also been known to take fruit off of trees in people's yards (or off the ground under the tree) when we're on a walk. I pretend I don't know him.

I've gone with him on guided 'wild food foraging walks' but I did not partake in eating anything. Some wild foods we learned about were cattails (I believe it was the roots that are edible), wood sorrel (looks like clover and has a tart, citrus flavor), and wild carrot Queen Anne's Lace (the root is like a carrot.) Wild grapes are easy to find in many areas. We had American Beautyberry in our yard at our previous house and while not very tasty off the bush apparently it can be used to make jam / jelly and pie.

The guide on one of the wild food foraging walks gave some tips for determining safety of stuff you find that looks potentially edible. First rub it on inner forearm, wait and watch for skin reaction / rash, next rub on lips and wait for reaction like tingling or numbness, if no reaction from those two steps touch it to tongue and wait to see if any reaction. If no reaction from those steps take a tiny bite and wait to see if any reaction. The guide also said if something tastes really bad like very bitter or soapy, spit it out and trust your taste buds it is likely not a good idea to eat that thing.
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Old 11-24-2023, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Northern California
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I have only foraged the mark down shelf at the supermarket. I will eat wild berries if I know they are safe. I'd never touch a wild mushroom. I have meant to pick dandelion leaves, but never got around to it, ( too many dogs in the hood).
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Old 11-24-2023, 02:54 PM
 
Location: on the wind
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I've done it but I would consider it more of an augmentation of a meager store-bought diet at the time, not a primary source of calories. Gathered various wild greens, root tubers, fungi, berries, bird eggs, shellfish and some fin fish (there really needs to be no other choice before I'll eat most fin fish). Wild foraging requires a lot of daylight hours and effort so when you work full time it can be difficult to do both unless you happen to be working in the same area you forage.

Never been a hunter though most folks I know are. I don't have a problem eating game someone happens to give me or taking life myself as long as it is done respectfully and responsibly. Many people who claim they won't take life seem to forget about the plants they depend on. So sorry, but being vegetarian results in loss of life too.
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