Wild Forest Foraging & Nutrition

Harvesting Wild Edibles

An Introduction

The earth is an interconnected body of living organisms that communicate and support each other on an every day basis.  We can elect to be a part of this living system and take care of our well being, or as the saying goes, behave as the man on top of the tallest tree in a burning forest that does not realize his imminent fate.

The best model for humans to produce enough food without draining all our resources is using perennial agricultural ecosystems that can sustain our species and improve our environment.  It begins with small scale sustainable farming in our own back yard, farms, and ranches that can produce food on a global scale.

We spent the day discussing the alarming state of our soils, sustainable ecosystems, adverse effects of big agriculture, human alienation from the natural world, depletion of nutrient rich foods, health issues from lack of micronutrients in our foods and learned how to change these faltering systems.  One very rich way to support a small community is through forest gardening and soil building.

To top off the day of learning we went on a foraging hike and identified edibles in the landscape.  The group came up with creative meals out of what we found and learned the nutritional benefits of each species we ate. 

I will expand on the above topics in subsequent blog posts.  In the mean time, a great book to read more about Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Food Systems is Restoration Agriculture by Mark Shepard.  And go to this link if you would like to look into more classes like these:  http://thehumanpath.org/

Pennsylvania Cucumber Plant - tastes just like cucumber and can be used in salads.

American Pennyroyal - from the mint family and great to use leaves in tea and used for colds and pneumonia.

Plantain - the leaves can be used for stings, bites, and rashes or the leaves used to make a tea for sore throat and coughs.

Anemone - make a tincture from all parts of the plant to treat anxiety.

Mesquite Beans - harvested when a golden color and can be made into syrup, molasses or flour.

Mesquite Beans - run through the grinder and sift

Mesquite Beans - sifted into flour that has a wonderful nutty flavor and is gluten free, 17%  protein and high in fiber.

Dessert -  We used mesquite flour, mesquite syrup, local honey, salt, ground lamb's quarter seeds, and ground pecans to make this delicious dessert that is extremely high in protein and Omega 3's.

Cooking - We cooked with a professional chef who teaches classes like Cooking with Wild Edibles.

Nopales - We cooked cactus and wild onion with thistle leaves.

Salad - made from harvested Mustard green, Bur Clover, ground Pecans, Wood Sorrel, American Pennyroyal.
Bon Appetit! - A meal of salad, Mesquite cake, Pecan butter, Cleavers pasta, Nopalitios. And not pictured here we steeped and drank Dewberry and Mealy Blue Sage tea.