Recently we posted a quote on our Facebook Page stating, “Weeds are plants whose qualities are not yet understood.” There are a lot of edible plants in this area and you may not expect! You may be pulling some of these out of your garden because of their reputation as “weeds.” Here’s a list of 3 to get you started. When harvesting wild plants, always check to make sure that there is a plentiful amount of that plant growing in the region. Also, be aware of where you are harvesting. You may wish to avoid edibles at popular parks such as Drake Park due to dogs, people traffic, fertilizers, etc. Just as we teach the kids in nature class, always take a moment to be in gratitude of the plants you are harvesting. You may wish to offer a small piece of yourself such as a strand of hair or just a thank you. Practicing reciprocity helps us remember that our relationship to nature and the plants should always been one of giving and receiving. It is also important not to harvest plants unless you can identify them with 100% certainty, as there are some poisonous plants in this region. One way is to use a wild edible plant identification guide. We hope you enjoy the tips below.
Amara & Dreamer
1. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Dandelion greens are one of the most plentiful wild edibles in this region. One nice thing about dandelion is that most of us know how to identify it! This bitter plant contain nutrients such as protein, calcium, iron, Vitamins A & C. One of our Wildheart students decided that dandelion leaves make a nice tasting wrap when used to enclose wild currants. Here are some other recipes that you may want to try:
Mallow is a delicious wild edible that is extremely abundant in Central Oregon. The texture is slightly mucilaginous and the taste is mild yet delicious. It does not need an abundance of rainfall to grow. It was said “to sooth whatever ails you” in 16th century Europe.
A great source of Omega – 3 fatty acids, purslane is considered a “gourmet weed.” Purslane has a tangy taste and a crispy texture. You may notice it most commonly growing up from between cracks in the side walk. We suggest you harvest plants that grow in healthier environments if possible.