Friday, January 23, 2009

Wild Food is Free Food: How to be Green, Cheap, and Healthy!


I have always wanted to be a forager--not only is the food fresh and local, but in the most real way possible foraging puts us in tune with our hunter-gatherer forbears.   Our family has small ways of doing this already:  collecting blackberries next to the laundromat in Washington this summer provided us with many lovely desserts, and dandelions were everywhere.  Here in Miami we can collect sea purslane (Sammy brought me some from the beach recently, which ended up in a salad, tasting a bit like olives), sea grapes on walks, and of course, tons of backyard fruit, gleaned from friends and family.  These are things which involve almost no effort, as they are right in front of our faces.  With more knowledge and preparation we can fish, collect mushrooms (in wooded places--not really a Miami thing), wild coffee (definitely a Miami thing), learn the local herbs and "salad-worthy" greens . . .

This article from Chelsea Green list some of the wild foods that are available--and more nutritious than cultivated ones!  It also lists resources for learning more about foraging and the foods themselves.  Some areas have experts that host "herb walks" or "edible weed" walks--try to find a mentor for your explorations, both for companionship and for to safely identify the edible foods.

http://www.chelseagreen.com/content/index.php?p=1815

Let's become a nation of people who rediscover the natural world around us, not only to revive our spirits, but also to nourish our bodies.  Without planting a thing, your yard may already be capapble of feeding you.  We have Suriname cherries and purslane in our urban duplex's tiny patch of a yard.  Try looking with new eyes, and see what food there is for the taking around you!


thenewhuntergatherer.blogspot.com

Posted via email from justine's posterous

3 comments:

TheOrganicSister said...

I wish this were more of an option for us. We can sometimes glean fruits from neighbors trees (amazing what people grow and never eat!) and maybe a cactus pad here or there which I hear are amazing when you grill them. But that's about the extent of it.

~Tara

Screwed Up Texan said...

Throughout spring, summer and fall, my family collects wild blackberries, wild grapes, wild prickly pears, we fish, sometimes hunt, and have a garden. I make jams, jellies, canned fruit, freeze fish and hunting leftovers. In the late fall/early winter, we also collect wild persimmons. Really, I know that if I really got into it, I could litterally live off the land.

Justine said...

That's my dream, to be able to live off the land like that. It's wonderful that you can do that with your family. You showing people how to really live . . .

 
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