There are wild and edible free food all around us
Berries, greens,weeds, and best of all, they are free
The list can be long, so many foods out there that are free for the picking. Of course you have to find them.
I personally can say, I have looked for many years for a wild Elderberry. I found some in another city, but when I went back they were gone. I am still looking. Anyone from Macomb or Wayne County Michigan, please let me know if you find some. They are all over, but elusive to me.
Let’s talk about Elderberry
The reason this bush is so hard to find is you have to find it when it is either blossoming or bearing fruit. Sometime around September they will fruit.
Elderberry is so wonderful in jams and pies. You can also make wine with it. If you find one with fruit, pick the whole frond that the berries are on, carefully lay them on paper or in a bowl. It is tricky how you get these berries off, so pay attention.
Pick the berries and drop in a bowl. Carefully bag them up in quart size or gallon plastic freezer bags. Freeze what you are not using yet. When you are ready to use, do not wash. The berries are tender and will break open. I will update this post on how to make pies and jams with the berries. Wine is simply a ratio of sugar to berries, you can find that info online, or I will try to post a good recipe for wine. Also, the berry juice will stain clothing so be careful, Use thin plastic gloves so you don’t stain your hands. Otherwise, you will wear that purple on your hands for a day or so.
Next Goodie is Wild Raspberries and Blackberries
We can all remember when we use to find wild raspberry and blackberry bushes. There were wild berries all along the fence at my elementary school. I loved going out and grabbing those sweet berries. My mom used to take me berry hunting in the state parks in the late summer. When you find one bush, you find many. So it’s possible to find enough in one area to make a pie or freeze some, even make some jam. If you want more, then look for them. Trust me, more berries are nearby.
Who wants Asparagus?
Me, Me, Me. I look for those every year. I have heard that when someone finds a patch, they do not ever divulge the information to anyone. Wild asparagus patches are always a closely guarded secret. So if you find one, keep it to yourself.
You can freeze asparagus and use later. It freezes very well. The wild asparagus is smaller, but packs the same punch and is as good for you as the farmers asparagus. You probably have seen these many times but did not know it was the delicious asparagus. I seen these many times myself before I knew what they were. Darn, I can’t remember where I seen them now.
There are wild strawberries growing in wooded areas like State Parks and farmland areas. I never seen any in the city and when I did, they were not sweet. I found large patches in the State Park, enough to freeze some and make a yummy strawberry shortcake dessert. The ones I froze, we put over ice cream. Yummy. June is the time for strawberries, so look then. I know there are tons out there.
I simply cannot say enough about dandelions. Every thing on this plant is edible, raw or cooked. Even the yellow blossoms. The roots are used to make tea. Very healing tea. Please visit my post on dandelions to learn about the wonderful things dandelions can do for your body.
I remember hoeing out these pesky weeds. Now I find they are worth more health wise than the plant I was originally protecting. Go Figure. This plant will also grow out of cracks in your driveway.
I have learned that it contains more omega-3 fatty acids than any other green leafy vegetable, and is a wonderful addition to a salad or stir-fry, or you can use it to thicken soups or stews. It is a succulent, that has a crispy texture, and the whole plant, including leaves and stems can be eaten raw or cooked. It will add a peppery taste to your dish. This weed is a nutrition powerhouse.
I remember pulling out the little purple flower and touching it to my tongue. It was like sweet nectar. Oh, to be young and discover a clover patch.
You can cut up the clover for salads, saute the leaves and flowers. or you can save the flowers for tea. The bees and hummingbirds love them. You can also eat the flower and the leaves raw.
- Lamb’s Quarters.
The young leaves and shoots can be eaten raw or sauteed. It can be used in anything that calls for spinach. Great on salads and in stews and soups. Use the young shoots and leaves.
This weed, is the common lawn weed, not the plant that bears fruit, that is also called plantain. It’s the pesky weed in our grass. This plant is so medicinal. You can use it for burns, stings, rashes, and wounds. roll the leaves in your hand to break out the sap and place on stings or burns and to protect wounds from infections.
You can also eat it raw, steamed, boiled or sateed. Always go for the young leaves. The older ones are still good, just a little tougher.
The seeds of this plant which grow on the spike can be cooked like a grain, or ground into flour. They are related to well known psyllium seeds which are in natural laxatives and fiber supplements. Wow, Right?
Funny thing about this weed, I did not know it was a weed. When I was getting my landscaping stuff together last year, I found these when I was tearing out my flower patch to lay down some more mulch and weed film. I took several out of the ground and placed them around my border because they were simply an adorable flower, low to the ground and pretty.
This weed can be harvested and used for two reasons. For food and also for Medicine. The leaves, stems, and flowers of the chickweed can all be eaten raw or cooked, It will add a spinach-like taste to any dish.You can also use this plant for minor cuts, burns, or rashes, and can also make a tea to use as a mild diuretic.
Also known as Malva and Cheeseweed. The leaves and the seed pods are edible, raw or cooked. They are most tender when young. You can steam, boil, saute, add to salads. It is totally amazing how you can get a bountiful food supply by harvesting these delicious plants.
I would like to leave you with an inspirational Picture