Wild Food Is Local and Organic
There are far more wild foods available than can be listed here. These are some of the most common and easily identifiable. However, in the end it doesn't matter how many wild foods you can identify as much as how many wild plants near you that you can pick that you can identify, so first, go out and see what you have around, and then find out what it is and, if it is edible, how to cook it.Try to learn what the plants are in your area by asking around or looking for guided wildlife walks if possible.

Spring and summer is a good time to look for comfrey along river banks and fields, where it grows wild and prolifically. Famed as a medicinal herb, the leaves of this plant can also be eaten as a vegetable. Lightly steamed or simmered, it has a faint taste of asparagus and is easier to chew than spinach.

Try picking comfrey, nettles and dandelion leaves and cooking them by simmering them with a few store-bought cabbage leaves for 10-15 minutes to get other people willing to try eating wild food.

Chives and ramsons/wild garlic
. Look for these in the fields and by woods, as they are just starting to come out in large quantities. Can be cooked or eaten raw. [Chives are pictured.] Wild garlic can often be identified by the strong smell of garlic coming from woods by the side of the road. Chives are pictured here.


You can identify ground ivy by its four-sided hairy stems, toothed, kidney-shaped leaves, and clusters of bluish to purplish flowers in the leaf axils or at the ends of the stems.It grows wild in England and is a common lawn weed in the US. Used to be used to flavor beer before hops took over. A "cure-all" plant, it was good for whatever ailed you. Make a tea or decoction out of the leaves, or use it as a flavoring in a gruit ale.


Dandelion The whole dandelion plant is edible. Put the leaves in salad, or cook them the same as you would cook spinach. Make wine from the flowers. Put some flowers in your teapot when you make tea for kombucha, or just drop a flower in any beverage as a decoration and get the advantages of whatever raw pollen is in the flower. Dandelions have a cleansing medicinal effect.

Stinging Nettles
. The young tops are very nutritious but rather tasteless. Add some to a tasty soup to make a tasty nettle soup. Wear gloves when picking. Nettles can also be dried and added to soups as a dried herb.
Birch leaves and buds. The classic spring tonic. Make a tea out of new birch leaves to cleanse the body of all the toxins accumulated during the winter. White birch, pictured here, is the easiest to learn to identify, but there are many different kinds of birch, and all of them have a delightful flavor in tea, ale or soda pop (fizzy drink).

The young leaves of the hawthorn tree are edible. Shred them and put them in your sandwiches or salads, and collect a bunch to save in the freezer. The taller the tree, the deeper its roots go into the soil from 100's, if not 1000's, of years ago, bringing up trace minerals depleted from the topsoil. The flowers and, of course, the berries are also edible, and the wood can be infused to make a tea or used as the liquid in making invert sugar syrup to make a syrup that can be used as a substitute for maple syrup.

Hawthorn trees are normally very difficult to pick leaves from without being stuck by the thorns. However, in May when the flower comes out, they produce green ends of their branches with no thorns, and you can hold a branch between your fingers and easily pull the leaves off without encountering thorns.



Blackberry, elderberry, cherry and plum
trees may grow wild or be escapees from cultivated areas. Check around. In the cities, look
around the local parks. Make note where you see the trees, then come back later during harvest time. Elderberries can be made into wine or cough syrup.

. If you live or pass near by the ocean shore shortly after a storm, pick some kelp up from the beach. (By gathering seaweed after a storm, one hopes to get kelp that has grown in the deep ocean away from land.) Kelp can be added to bone broth for added taste and nutrition in the soup.

Flowers and leaves are both edible. Put flowers in salad or sauerkraut. Add leaves to sandwiches.
Bidens pilosa, or Spanish needles (North America)
Leaves can be substituted for spinach in any cooked recipe. Learn to recognize this plant by the seeds that grow in the autumn (and stick to you when  you are out walking in the woods), and then it will be easier to identify the flowers in the spring.
Plantago plantain
These are the grass seeds you used to play with as a child, wrapping the stem around the seed pod and then pulling the stem backwards, causing the seed pod to break off the stem and shoot forward a little. The seeds are high in fiber and the leaves are high in nutrition. Identify the plants when the seeds are on them and you will be able to harvest the leaves in the spring for spring salad. Gather the seeds pods in the autumn, dry and pulverize them into a fine powder in the blender to make a fiber medicine to provide bulk to the digestive tract.

Fiddlehead ferns
Start to grow in the spring. Pick the young heads before they begin to unfurl and simmer in hot water until tender to cook.

Herbal Uses
Some wild foods are good for medicine, too:
Clover: American Indians used a tea made from clover for coughs and colds, and as an eyewash.
Comfrey: The root can be used for cuts, burns and skin ulcers. Also has laxative properties.
Hawthorn: The berries are used to provide support to heart and circulation system.
Plantago: Called "life medicine" by the American Indians, considered a panacea for many ailments including ashtma, fever, dysentery, coughs, hay fever and bladder problems . The seeds are used as a de-wormer.
Spanish Needles: Cooking water is used to treat mouth ulcers, diarrhoea, headaches and hangover.


The Dandelion Celebration: A Guide to Unexpected Cuisine   by Peter Gail
The Forager's Harvest A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants by Sam Thayer. What's good about this book is that the author tells about things he has experienced, not just cut and pasting or rephrasing what other people have written.
Concise Guide to Self-Sufficiency by John Seymour.  Has a recipe for honey mead

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Table of Contents
adding raw egg to hot liquid || adjust alcohol || airlock || alcoholism || ale || antibiotics questions || apples || arthritis || avatars || balaclava || beans and rice || beets || bone broth || book suggestions ||  bread beer || bread kvass || brew by bottle || brine pickling for beginners || cabbage water || carrot cake || casserole || chocolate || cholesterol || chutney || clay || cleaning stuff || coffee || coloring drawings || coloring pages || condiments || container gardening || cookware || corn || cosmetics || cream cheese || cream of wheat || culturing milk and cream || cure alcoholism? || dandelions || dehydrating || depression era living || dmso || "e. coli infections" || eat dirt || eating less || edible leaves and flowers || eggs || elderberry syrup || EM || evolution || evolution for children || exercise || fast food || fermented malt tea || fermented sun tea || fish, how to filet || fish head soup || fizzy drink || flour || flu || food allergies || food circle || frugal healthy eating || grains || grain-free || green tomatoes || gruit ale || hard iced tea || healthy eating || heartburn and indigestion || home remedies || how to not get sick || ice cream || instant NT || japonica quince, identifying || kefir whey || kelp || kimchi & sauerkraut || kombucha || kvass || lard || lemon pickles || lemon pudding || lifestyle || liver || liver loaf || living on less || lunchmeat || make animated gif || make whey || magnesium || magnesium diy || magnesium oxide || magnesium sulfate diy || mead || mincemeat || minerals || mold || moldy lemon uses || msg || mustard plaster || my drawings || near beer || oneil's shebeen || pekmez || penicillin diy || pesticides || physic garden || pickles || pie crust || plums || POGs || poor richard's ale || pork pie || preserving eggs || publish on kindle || quince cheese || quince curd || quince honey || quince jam || quince soda || quince syrup || radiation exposure || raw beer || raw corn beer || raw fermented fish || raw milk || re-downloading a kindle book || roots beer || salsa || seafood || search natural health sites || search this site || separating egg yolk and white || seven day ale || shoes made of junk || small beer || snacks || soda pop || song of ninkasi || soughism || soup || sourdough beer || sourdough bread || spores (breathing in mold) || sprouting || substitutions || sugar syrup || supplements || survivalism || tea || timeline || tree oils || umeboshi || using frozen || using unset jam || vegetables || vertigo || vitamin C || water || way to lose weight || wheat grass beer || wild food || wild yeast harvesting || wine || yeast starter || yogurt

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