Featuring Wild Edibles. Caution! Make Absolutely Certain That You Have Properly Identified The Plant Before Consuming.
Mint was originally used as a medicinal herb to treat stomach ache and chest pains, and it is commonly used in the form of tea as a home remedy to help alleviate stomach pain. Fresh mint is usually preferred over dried mint when storage of the mint is not a problem. The leaves have a pleasant warm, fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste. Mint leaves are used in teas, beverages, jellies, syrups, candies, and ice creams.
Harvesting Stinging Nettle
In this video, Matt Berry of the Regenerative Design Institue (RDI) discusses the finer points of stinging nettle harvesting. Harvesting nettles can really adhere to the principles of permaculture by using the surplus nature has to offer. In many places, nettle is in extreme abundance and requires little or no input to grow. In this video, Matt shows us a particular type of sustainable wildcrafting technique. If you top the nettle at the right time when it is young and good to eat, more nettle will grow back. This can help the plant and increase the harvest. Nettle is by far the most nutritious plant in my garden, being a superfood with loads of vitamins and minerals, including chlorophyll and calcium. The poison in the stinging spines on nettles are rendered harmless by drying or cooking. You can also check out some cool nettle beer recipes in Buhner's Sacred Herbal and Healing Beers as well as figure out how to make lacto fermented nettle beer in Jessica Prentice's Full Moon Feast: The Hunger for Connection.
Dandelion Greens Are Everywhere
Nutritonal Highlights: Dandelion greens are a nutritional powerhouse. The plant has been used since antiquity as a diuretic, a liver tonic, to treat skin conditions and a whole host of other health problems. They are packed with vitamins and minerals. One cup of cooked dandelion greens has more calcium than a cup of cottage cheese but only 34 calories. It provides 12% of the fiber, 19% of the iron and 28% of the Vitamin C that (averaging for adults and children) the USDA suggests that we get in our diets each day. Dandelion provides more vitamin A than an equal amount of kale, collard greens or summer squash, giving you 85% of the daily recommended intake. The one cup serving also contains 2.1 grams of protein, many minerals including potassium, magnesium and phosphorous as well as vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, B-6 and folate."
Gathering Wood Sorrell
Wood sorrel grows on lawns, along the sides of trails and roads, and in partially-sunny spots in the woods. Collect it from spring to fall. The five-petaled yellow, radially-symmetrical flowers of yellow wood sorrel are as wide as a pencil eraser. The delicate leaves fold shut to protect themselves from direct sunlight. They also shut when it gets dark, possibly to protect themselves from the cold of night, or from damage from too much dew. So people explained that wood sorrel prays by folding its leaves at night. They also used to use this action to predict rain. The English call wood sorrel cuckoo-sorrel and cuckooís meat because they thought cuckoos ate it to clear their voice, and because it flowers when the cuckoos are singing
Finding The ‘Great Morel’ Mushroom
Morel mushrooms are among the most prized edible wild mushrooms in the world. Resembling a sponge on a stick, morels don't look like ordinary mushrooms-- or taste like ordinary mushrooms. Morels have a rich, creamy flavor that is deliciously earthy, nutty, steak-like- and it's this awesome taste that makes the morel mushroom No.1 with mushroom lovers. It's been said that "there is something almost cruelly tantalizing about morels. No other mushroom in the world, save perhaps the white truffle of northern Italy, offers quite the degree of flavor and fragrance of a fresh morel." The taste of morels is exquisite and indeed addictive. The unique flavor of the morel mushroom is prized by gourmet chefs around the world for special menu options, and the results can be quite creative. FoodNetwork.com lists over sixty morel recipes ranging from omelettes, sauces, vinaigrettes, morel pate, morel stroganoff, veal and morel pie, to the exotic morel tarts and morels in puff pastry with cream.