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.
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!
I am a wife and mother,
student and teacher,
cook and midwife,
artist and writer . . .striving for Nourishing in all realms. This often involves piecing together information, analysis, resources from all over: hunting and gathering for the elements of a real and sustaining life.