Thursday, February 9, 2017

My Completely Free Grocery "Shopping" Trip- Foraging and Salvaging

I just had a conversation with my publisher about my cover photography for my book, and what we want on it, as well as the photography for within the book, and then I realized that I don't have the ingredients needed to make all these foraged items, and to get them, I'd have to go into the city to go to a park there to forage. So I did.

I was there with a ticking clock- I arrived only 2 hours before sunset, and wanted to make sure I got enough of what I needed in time to make it back to civilization (and electric lights) before it got dark.

I had a long walk, and then got to the park and came home with a giant bag of goodies! Usually when I forage, it is mainly greens, and greens don't tend to be so heavy, but what I foraged certainly was heavy enough to feel it!

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I got wild fennel, umbilicus, wood sorrel, salsify leaves and roots...

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Bitter almonds, mallow, including a giant root which I want to try using as an egg replacement, wild lettuce, and chasteberry/vitex seeds- also medicinal, and also with a mild peppery taste.

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I especially came out looking to get something other than greens, ideally fruit, but while I was hopeful I had no idea if I'd get lucky or strike out. Fortunately I got a lot of fruit- over a pound each of hawthorn fruit and dog rose hips- so much more there, I just got bored of picking- and strawberry tree fruit. Not shown also was a bunch of sumac berry clusters.

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After finishing to forage as much as I could before dark, I went over to the market to see what I could get, especially as it was so close to closing time there. I didn't want too much, since my bag was already heavy (no wagon, because I was foraging on a nature trail where wagons aren't a good idea- I just had a backpack). I got 6 fish heads and 4 fish frames, plus a bunch of crispy cucumbers that were broken, all for free, because they would have been thrown out otherwise. I just cooked the fish and will pick it off the bones as soon as it cools off, and will use it to make some dish or another- probably either thai fish curry or fish gumbo.

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I love when I go "grocery shopping" and come home with a lot of food and pay absolutely nothing.

So far this month, 9 days in, and I've only spent $71 on groceries and my fridge and pantry are full. We'll see how low I can get my grocery budget this month.

Forage anything great lately? Got any free food or otherwise just great grocery deals lately? What was it?


  1. Absolutely amazing! I wish I had the knowledge you do about foraging and what plants are what. Best of luck to you. God bless

  2. I'm so envious! We got about a foot of snow here in New England yesterday. But I'll bet I can still find chickweed growing under the snow at the corner of the house. Can't wait for Spring!

  3. yes wish I could forage a bit but in the city of Dhaka its difficult envy you the knowledge & ability

  4. How do you use the strawberry tree fruit? I have seen that where I live!

  5. I wish I could forage for goodies like you! Sadly most of the weeds I've seen grow near the freeways in our area.

  6. I wanna be you when I grow up. LOL. No foraging, but I did get a great deal on a already cooked rotisserie chicken $4. Had a coupon. The discount shelf at Kroger was great this week. I got 12 red, yellow or orange peppers, 3 cucumbers and 3 red onions for $4. Considering the red peppers are on sale for $1 each, I did good circumventing the sale and going for the mark down veggies. Time to make some salads, relish and freeze the rest.


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