Author Topic: Foraging for food  (Read 4102 times)

hamman88

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Foraging for food
« on: May 23, 2016, 09:52:18 AM »
Anyone here forage for food in addition to store bought food?

It started out as a hobby for me, but now I use it as a way to save money on groceries.  Ive learned at least 100 edible plants.  Generally the produce at a normal store is horrible and over priced, but the wild stuff is free and better for you. 

And this is a my first post so this might sound like a plug, but I learned everything from eattheweeds.com  Its a great site, no adds, 100's of articles, a newsletter, and an youtube channel.  Plus if you are in Florida he constantly tours with his class.

MishMash

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2016, 09:59:01 AM »
We do, mushrooms, paw paws, ramps, fiddleheads, miners lettuce, persimmons mainly.  I know a few great black walnut sites but the work involved with that...yea I'd rather pay for them lol

I find it gives me something to look for while hiking out in the woods.

WranglerBowman

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2016, 10:48:03 AM »
At the start of every school year I would pick Blue Berries in a swamp near my college, buckets worth, and make wine among other things.  At my current house I pick Wine Berries, Raspberries, Black Berries, and Paw paw.  Paw paw are awesome, minus the giant seeds.

MishMash

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2016, 10:52:34 AM »
At the start of every school year I would pick Blue Berries in a swamp near my college, buckets worth, and make wine among other things.  At my current house I pick Wine Berries, Raspberries, Black Berries, and Paw paw.  Paw paw are awesome, minus the giant seeds.

LOL, in college we had a HUGE mulberry tree that was right above the dumpster.  Every year I'd scale the dumpster and pick lbs of mulberries (fighting the bugs in the process) to make pies and jams.  All the neighbors thought I was bat shit crazy.  I wish we had a good blueberry spot here in Fairfax.  I've gotten some good mushroom spots, and some blackberries (but they grow along the road so not really safe to eat), but nothing in terms of wild blueberries or raspberries.

brute

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2016, 11:11:29 AM »
Mushrooms for sure. I use chanterelle in my abbey ale (avid homebrewer) and there is nothing better than some fresh morels with a steak or osso buco.

Fishindude

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2016, 11:19:16 AM »
I enjoy this sort of thing.   Have harvested mushrooms, black berries, raspberries, butternuts, blueberries and wild asparagus to name a few.
Also catch and eat lots of fish, and have harvested and eaten frog legs and snapping turtle.    Hunt and eat squirrels, rabbit, deer, elk, quail, pheasant, duck and geese.

Rezdent

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2016, 11:57:39 AM »
Yes.
Currently, I'm getting to eat nopale  (Prickly Pear Cactus pads) at last once a week.  Berries will be coming in soon, as well as Texas persimmons.

I do have a question that maybe someone can help with:
Sunflowers - I keep reading/hearing how delicious the buds are and how much they taste like artichoke.  I must be doing something horribly wrong because they ALWAYS turn out bitter.  Not a little bitter, but spit them out and rinse your mouth bitter.  I've trimmed them down to the point that they disappear, and still awful.  What am I missing there?

MVal

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2016, 01:35:02 PM »
Yes.
Currently, I'm getting to eat nopale  (Prickly Pear Cactus pads) at last once a week.  Berries will be coming in soon, as well as Texas persimmons.

I do have a question that maybe someone can help with:
Sunflowers - I keep reading/hearing how delicious the buds are and how much they taste like artichoke.  I must be doing something horribly wrong because they ALWAYS turn out bitter.  Not a little bitter, but spit them out and rinse your mouth bitter.  I've trimmed them down to the point that they disappear, and still awful.  What am I missing there?

Maybe the wrong variety of sunflower? There are several dozen different species of wild helianthus, so try to identify which one you've got. Maybe only the domesticated ones bred for large seeds taste the way you describe.

Speaking of sunflowers and artichokes, have you ever had sunchokes, aka Jerusalem Artichokes? I grew some last year and got a bumber crop! They are actually a species of sunflower that produce edible tubers that cook like potatoes and allegedly taste similar to artichokes.

Rezdent

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2016, 01:43:07 PM »
Yes.
Currently, I'm getting to eat nopale  (Prickly Pear Cactus pads) at last once a week.  Berries will be coming in soon, as well as Texas persimmons.

I do have a question that maybe someone can help with:
Sunflowers - I keep reading/hearing how delicious the buds are and how much they taste like artichoke.  I must be doing something horribly wrong because they ALWAYS turn out bitter.  Not a little bitter, but spit them out and rinse your mouth bitter.  I've trimmed them down to the point that they disappear, and still awful.  What am I missing there?

Maybe the wrong variety of sunflower? There are several dozen different species of wild helianthus, so try to identify which one you've got. Maybe only the domesticated ones bred for large seeds taste the way you describe.

Speaking of sunflowers and artichokes, have you ever had sunchokes, aka Jerusalem Artichokes? I grew some last year and got a bumber crop! They are actually a species of sunflower that produce edible tubers that cook like potatoes and allegedly taste similar to artichokes.
It's Helianthus Annuus, or common sunflower.  I've eaten Jerusalem artichoke tubers, and they were really good but I haven't seen any growing around here.  We do have Maximillian Sunflowers in the area, but none that I can forage.

MishMash

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2016, 02:40:25 PM »
Mushrooms for sure. I use chanterelle in my abbey ale (avid homebrewer) and there is nothing better than some fresh morels with a steak or osso buco.

That sounds like it would be awesome.  I may have to give it a shot with some of this years crop of chanterelles, if this non stop rain keeps up we should have a bumper crop this year. 

FrugalShrew

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2016, 02:45:56 PM »
So far I've foraged purslane and mulberries. Would love to do more! :)

hamman88

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2016, 03:54:49 PM »
Built a primitive catfish trap today from cabbage palm stems.  Too bad it's legal in only a few waters in the state.

Little Nell

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2016, 09:42:18 PM »
Nettles. They make great soup.

FLBiker

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2016, 04:52:27 AM »
Great topic!  I'm also a huge fan of eat the weeds.  We haven't done a tour yet, but when our daughter gets a bit older (she's 1) we will.

In terms of straight up foraging, mulberries are a favorite.  But I've planted a bunch of stuff from EtW that require no care.  My favorite is katuk, but cranberry hibiscus and chaya are good too.

JoRocka

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2016, 08:34:40 AM »
I only forage free food that's being given away- extra bagels at work.  Dance events with food that's brought in and people leaving.  All fair game.

That's my go to.

But otherwise no- not so much. I live in NJ- trust nothing.

GuitarStv

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2016, 08:51:44 AM »
There's an old, disused apple orchard about two blocks away from me.  Although nobody's been maintaining it for 20+ years, the trees produce copious amounts of apples every fall.  I walk the dog down there and pick some every once in a while.

Rightflyer

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #16 on: May 25, 2016, 10:48:54 AM »
We don't forage...what we do would be more called gleaning I think.

Soybean from newly harvested fields.
Apples from an old disused orchard.
Blueberries from some bushes at an abandoned farm.


geekinprogress

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #17 on: May 25, 2016, 11:01:51 AM »
Totally!  Apples, black raspberries, mulberries....Sometimes I get sorrel to add a little kick to salads.  I'd like to forage more but spare time right now is going into gardening!

Hotstreak

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2016, 05:26:51 PM »
Around here a lot of businesses use Rosemary as a border shrub.  You need to be a little careful that they haven't been sprayed with anything, but most of it never has been since it's so hardy.  Compared to $2.99 for a tiny little clamshell at the store, FREE is a great price!  Blackberries grow everywhere around here (Himalayan), and there are some decent old apple and pear orchards that still produce.  I've heard talk that you can wild harvest Asparagus, but I have never found any or even looked.

That's all of the practical foraging I do around here.  I also pick wild huckleberries and chanterelle mushrooms, but those require driving a long distance so it doesn't make financial sense (although I do enjoy going in the woods.  And there's something very soothing about visiting the same locations year after year and seeing the changes, as well as what stays the same).  There's lots of seaweed on the beach and people apparently harvest it, but that's beyond my inclinations.

I know this is really lunatic fringe stuff, but I'm interested in wild insects as food, while camping or hiking.  I have no idea how to even begin to get in to this other than start chowing down!  Insects are such a large untapped renewable resources & I'd like to pack less food camping, too!

Rural

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2016, 06:35:35 PM »
I do a lot, did more when I worked less.

elaine amj

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Re: Foraging for food
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2016, 09:23:29 PM »
My SIL does. She walks a lot and when she visits me, sometimes she will come home with a bagful of fruits. I live in the suburbs - its pretty much just houses and yards around me. And yet she manages to forage all kinds of goodies - and no, she never takes stuff from someone's yard.

She's Mustachian to the core. Although she has little interest in early retirement. Has been in a cushy govt job for years so has plenty of time for travel. She's in her mid 50s now and always been super frugal.


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