Friday, February 12, 2016

Amazing Foraging and Photographing Trip Today

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Today I took the kids in to the city to photograph wild plants for the foraging book I'm writing. I actually planned the trip especially to photograph some dock (rumex) which I don't often see, but decided to photograph any wild edible that may end up being in my book. I decided to share some of what I took today.

We found an insane amount of wild edibles. The place was just bursting with color- mostly greens, lots of yellows, some oranges and pinks and blues and purples...

Everything in this post is edible. Some I've written posts about already, and some I still need to write about at a future time.

My kids had a blast foraging with me- their knowledge of wild edibles, even my littlest ones, is astounding- they probably know more species of wild edibles and how to identify them at 4, 6, and 8 than I did at 22.

This is very pic heavy, so it may take a while to load if your device/internet connection is slower.

We saw lots and lots of wood sorrel.

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Snails were enjoying the wood sorrel too.

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These wood sorrel flowers are gorgeous!

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The kids picked and ate so many bouquets of wood sorrel.

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Fields of calendula, aka field marigold or pot marigold.

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Leaf and flowers of the callendula are edible, but I have never eaten the leaves, only used the flower petals for decoration on my food.

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Lots of wild mustard...

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A spicier and less bitter variety than what I have growing next to my house

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Lots and lots of mallow...

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Ladybugs enjoying the mallow.

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I wasn't careful enough and got stung. But the nettles were still worth it!

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The largest chickweed leaves I've ever seen- some were even a few inches long! To be honest, they were less tasty than they typically are.

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And finally- the dock!

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One species of dandelion...

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Another local type of dandelion.

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Spanish flag- note, only the ripe, black berried are edible- the rest of the plant, including the unripe berries, are poisonous.

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Rosemary in bloom. Flowers are also edible.

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A mature wild/prickly lettuce.

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A more immature wild lettuce.

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Milk thistle, just starting to form a flower. Surrounded by wild mustard, mallow, and calendula.

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With their gorgeous purple trumpet shaped flowers.

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Red valerian (which I just found out today is edible).

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Pine cones, pine needles, and pine nuts.

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And after a few hours out foraging, we came home...

With a huge bag of nettles, some dock, a lot of wood sorrel, some dandelion leaves, a little bit of wild mustard, and some mallow leaves that snuck into the bag.

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Wow, what fun foraging today! And what a haul!

Can't wait to use it!

Didn't do a "real" grocery shopping trip this past week and don't intend to do one until after my brother's wedding on Tuesday, so these veggies should help with that!

Have you done any foraging lately? What did you forage?
If you aren't a forager, do any of these plants seem familiar, like ones you've seen around?


  1. What a beautiful post! I refer a lot to your blog when it comes to foraging, how exciting that there will be a book! What do you use the cleavers for? Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you! I'm excited about the book too! I'm glad my blog has become a good resource for you regarding foraging.

      To be honest I don't use cleavers much as I don't find them texturally appealing- it's kind of like eating a cat's tongue. :-D Sandpapery. At most I've stuck it in soup. But it's a tea that is terrific for the lymphatic system.

  2. I want to know more about Spanish flag; I have seen it in our neighborhood and I am super curious about it!

    1. The important thing to know about them is- only ripe black berries! No green ones, no partially green ones, and no other parts of the plant, as they are poisonous. Their scientific name is lantana.

    2. Okay, lantana is the name that we use in our region.

  3. But how can you make sure, for example, that a dog didn't pee on it? I mean, yes, you wash them, but still...
    Anyway, cool finds!

    1. How can you make sure an animal didnt pee on a plant you bought in the grocery store?
      You cant.
      That's why you wash it well. And try not to pick exactly at the side of a trail. And then of course wash.

  4. Oh Penny, I envy you! We're covered in snow here and it's kind of miserable going outside. But your post excites me for spring in a few months!

    1. Sorry about the snow. That stinks... But I'll be envious of you in the summer when its all dead and brown here and you have green.

  5. Very impressive. Much better than the little bag I got from my garden the other day when we had a brief reprieve from winter, but in this area and at this time of year delighted me. Do keep us posted about your book!

  6. Love the pictures. I didn't even know what Henbit/deadnettle was until your picture and I have that stuff growing all over my yard. Now I'm gonna look for some recipes. Thanks for sharing. - M


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