The wild things are just starting to come out in Central Minnesota and it is time to start looking for them. It is the start of foraging time!!!
If you have never eaten weeds and wild things growing around you, now is the time to start. What better way to be prepared for any disaster than to know how to gather your own food.
There is another great thing about wild food than just feeding yourself. The plants growing around you, that most of us pull out or spray or just pass by everyday, are loaded with vitamins and minerals, so they are perfect for a survival situation. They will keep your body going strong.
For instance, dandelions are a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. The leaves, blossoms, and roots can be used. The roots, when roasted, make a great coffee substitute. The leaves can be added into salads, teas, or sandwiches. The blossoms can make wine, blossom fritters, or jelly. There are also many herbal benefits of the lowly dandelion, too. I will be writing in a future blog about herbals.
There are many other wild edibles, such as, stinging nettle, purslane, chicory, wild onions and garlic, wild ginger, wild parsnip, chickweed, lamb’s-quarters, cattails, and I could go on and on. Oh, and don’t forget the mushrooms.
I will go into detail about different plants in the future but here are some simple rules of foraging.
1. Know what you are picking. Get a couple of good field guides and a knowledgable person to show you what’s what. You don’t want to forage something poisonous.
2. Do not forage along road sides where toxins will be built up on the plants or lawns, gardens, parks that have been sprayed with chemicals.
3. Wear appropriate clothing and watch out for wood ticks. Wear gloves when handling stinging nettle.
4. Have permission to be where you are at if it is not your property. ( This, of course, depends on whether you are really in a survival situation).