Monday, April 20, 2015

Wild Edibles ; Natures garden in your own backyard


Its the time of year where everything is blooming and full of life! Atleast here in the Mountains Of NC. My gardens are thriving and everything is growing beautifully. But My garden ( or yours) is not the only place to find a plethora of edible goodness!
Perusing through your backyard is enough to find at least a little something, and if you live near a wooded area, you are sure to find a bounty of wild edibles!

So here are some photos, tips and facts about the food that is all around us, and often disregarded! Keep in mind, there are many many more out there than the ones I listed ( including Bloodroot which for some reason I saw everywhere yesterday and could not, for the life of me find today, go figure)..

Morel Mushrooms
a prized delicacy! Hunted by man avid wild food lovers, they are not always easy to find . Morels come up in early spring.
Containing 136 IU vitamin D content, B vitamins, including folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and thiamine.

A cup also contains 28 mg of calcium, 271 mg of potassium, 13 mg of magnesium and 8 mg of iron, 128 mg of phosphorus, 14 mg of sodium.

oh and they are delicious...

I suggest doing a google search on them or getting a book on wild Mushrooms before hunting, as there are some look a likes that are NOT edible and actually extremely poisonous..
Please be sure to hunt responsibly !

Stinging Nettles

Many of you know stinging Nettle as that plant that when brushed up against, leaves a itchy burning rash.. and well, It indeed does, but that is only one aspect of this amazing plants! Nettles are extremely medicinal! they are used for everything from Bladder and prostate problems.. and really the benefits of this plant are endless, so I will leave you with these links :)

Nettles should be picked young( and before they bloom). They can be dried and crushed and used as a tea ( as in the link above) or they can be boiled for 5-10 minutes and used in soups, stews, omelets, etc...
You can even add them to your pesto when blended..
Its a wonder food folks.. :)
oh and yeah once you boil it or dry it,, no more sting, they are ready to eat!
Wild Violets
These pretty little violets are very high in vitamin A and C , studies have shown that these beauties contains more than twice the amount of vitamin c of the same weight of an orange and nearly twice the Vitamin A of spinach!
These flowers make a spectacular Violet jam!
Well I did not take a separate photo, but I am pretty sure we all know what a dandelion looks like ;)
ohhhh dandelions,,, How I feel for thee,,, so many people spray you with ugly pesticides when you have so many benefits!!!!
THey are high in Antioxidants, and are used as a diuretic, in Liver health, Bone and skin Health,,and are used as a digestive aid, just to name a few!!
You can make Dandelion Jam, Wine, and Tea! You can even just eat them fresh in a salad!

oh and leave some for the Honeybees, they love them too :)
Again, no separate Photo, but if you are familiar with ferns, then you are familiar  with those little compact curly cues that emerge from the ground in spring!.. They are so pretty to look at and when Picked from Ostrich or Lady Fern, they are edible!
They are high in potassium, iron, vitamin A and Vitamin C, to name a few!
Sautee them in butter and Garlic,, YUM!
Ramps ( wild Leeks)
These are my favorite. Probably the best tasting onion for cooking!!! They can be found in sandy soils and on hillsides. We were gifted some Ramps from some friends, so ours our in our yard and come back every year! You will often run across them while hunting for other wild edibles.
and last but not least ( and I have not tried these yet)
These produce a tiny fruit that is edible when ripe. GREEN FRUITS (unripe fruits) Are POISONOUS, they are edible when the fruit turns soft and yellow......

Again, these are just some of the many wild edibles Mother Earth has to offer. These particular ones are in abundance in my area ..
So get outside and see what Mother Earth has for you!! Happy Foraging!

The cools




  1. Lol id be scared to eat anything wild boy. You have to know your stuff and it seems you surely do. Thanks for sharing with love Janice

    1. haha,, I hear ya,, especially when it comes to mushrooms! I stick to Morels and shiitakes( that we grow) and leave the other for the experts!