I went on an urban foraging tour in the middle of September, and thought I would share with you some of my 'field notes.'
My interest in foraging continues to grow, so when I noticed an informal tour/gathering for urban foraging in my neighborhood---I didn't hesitate to sign up. It is true that some berries and leaves are poisonous... which means I aim to learn this with caution and care until it rolls into confidence. Which roughly translates to: a few weeds/berries at a time.
On this tour we identified rose hips and hazelnut trees, pineapple weed, dandelion greens, fennel, chicory, hawthorne berries, wild sweet peas (though some pea shoots are poison---still need to figure this out), yarrow and plantain/dock---to name a few. Things I learned that I am confident about picking and eating:
1. dandelion greens (good for salad; bitter like arugula)
2. horsetails (when first sprouting, before they grow their 'hair' you can cook them like green beans)
3. hazelnuts (in the PNW who knew these grow like 'weeds'?)
4. rose-hips: little red berries (see pic). I am still learning about which berries we can eat (hawthorne, madrona, currants) and those we cannot (anything from the nightshade family). But I am confident picking rose-hips; info gained: become sweeter after the first frost, have pits and can be infused in honey. Naturally, I took some home and tossed them in vodka.
5. fennel. I already eat fennel, but loved that you can use the fennel seeds and pollen for flavoring.
6. clover. (as in 3 leaf, but keep your eyes out for 4!) Great in salads.
7. blackberry leaves. The leaves are prickly, so eat them while they are small/young or rub off the prickers. Same applies to raspberry leaves.
This is a bit of a teaser post: this is a tipping point with regards to my interest in urban and non-urban foraging. In other words: this is the beginning of a beautiful well-forged relationship. Gack.
As I learn: so shall I share!