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flowerfood:

"Last night, KTVU aired a segment on its evening news about people illegally foraging for wild plants in Golden Gate Park.

"It’s no secret that foraging has been a growing trend in the culinary world over the past several years, especially amongst upscale restaurants seeking out exclusive and indigenous ingredients like nasturtiums, herbs, flowers, sea beans and miner’s lettuce in the Bay Area’s myriad picturesque parks and beaches.

"So which restaurant had its chefs busted in Golden Gate Park at the end of a massively important investigation? Coi? Rich Table? Bar Tartine? Saison? … Surely it was Saison, right?

"Actually, it was some old ladies. Four of them. KTVU bravely reports:

“KTVU on Tuesday spoke to a man who’s lived across the street from the park for 11 years. He declined to be identified but told us he confronted four elderly women about a month ago on a hillside next to the Recreation and Parks Department headquarters. He said the women were methodically pulling out wild ginger plants and loading them into kitchen garbage bags.”

"Please do note how, in the video above, our heroic citizen whistleblower who prompted the four old ladies to ‘slowly’ walk away needed a voice modification for fear of a loss of anonymity."

I told my lady friend that I’d bet they were Asian (or maybe Russian) grannies. In the video, the reporter talks about how patrols might be sent out to catch foragers. “That’s the report I want to see,” she said. “The police arresting a bunch of ajummas for picking plants.”

But seriously, I know there are significant civic, ecological, economic and medical concerns related to this issue. I’ve seen, for example, colonies of ramps decimated at a Chicago nature preserve because Korean grannies would gather up far too many to cook and to sell at a nearby market (where they quickly wilted and went unsold). I’ve been taught quite a bit about foraging and shared that knowledge with others, but sometimes I’ve been disturbed to see people’s acquisitiveness and inattentive trampling damage park landscapes and natural areas. As much as I believe that the Earth’s plant lifeforms are here for us to learn from and to sustain ourselves on, if a sizable fraction of an urban population regularly gathered food from parks, riverbanks and such, the effects would be devastating for plants, people and wildlife.

So how to strike a balance?

ubcbotany:

biodiverseed:

EAT THE WEEDS

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.
-Doug Larson

There is a very persistent weed in my yard: here it’s called “Skvalderkål”; in English, the common name is Ground Elder. Kål is actually the Danish word for “Cabbage,” and this plant is so-called because the young leaves are surprisingly tasty, very nutritious, and have been used as both a food and medicine for hundreds of years. Now forgotten as a food-source, it runs amok and wreaks havoc in flower beds. 
I am determined to contain the rapid spread of this plant, so today I went out an harvested a bunch of it: repeated harvesting will starve the roots and make the invasions less aggressive, giving me a chance to dig out the rhizomes and plant what I desire instead.
From this harvest, I made a tonne of pesto and froze it in individual portions. I also made veggie Frikadeller batter out of the leaves for dinner tomorrow. I’m going to have to get creative, but basically any dish that calls for spinach will instead be made with this semi-bitter green (until my current spinach crop can be harvested).
I have an amazing quantity of “non-desirable material” out there that I will be pulling up anyways, so I am trying to change my attitude about it (and other edible weeds like Deadnettle, Chickweed, Dandelions, Garlic Mustard, Stinging Nettle, and Vrouves for that matter). If I think of it more like “free salad” and go out there and harvest before meals, then it seems less like weeding, and more like the fun part of gardening: getting fresh, nutritious, home-grown produce.
There is a great website with numerous articles on the topic of edible weeds, simply called “Eat the Weeds.” I highly recommend you take a look. The best way you can learn to start foraging in your yard or area, however, is by finding a book written by an expert in your region. I received a book called Spis Vilde Planter (Eat Wild Plants), which is written specifically about the indigenous plants of my biome. 

As you can see, I was very excited about it.
I’ve been using that book as a guide and taking it out with me when I have a look at the local flora, and I have found a surprising amount of food in my neighbourhood!
Not only does foraging save money on groceries, and also comprises an extreme form of locavore eating, it may just be healthier. I am partway through Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health and learning something that my anthropology background already had me suspecting:
Foraging food may be a key element in avoiding degenerative disease:

Hunter-gatherers had better bones, had no signs of iron-deficiency anemia, no signs of infection, few (if any) dental cavities, fewer signs of arthritis and were in general larger and more robust than their agriculture-following contemporaries.
- Michael R. Eades, MD

In agricultural praxis, we often unknowingly artificially select for sweeter, less nutritious produce: non-domesticated food sources potentially have a much more impressive vitamin and antioxidant profile, and much lower content of things like starches and sugars.
A large component of permaculture is learning to live according to the ideals of bioregionalism, that is, learning to live healthily and sustainably in your given geographical circumstances. Making peace with the weeds and wild food in your biome is therefore also an essential component of permacultural living.
In light of these findings, I’ll be doing a series of posts on foraging in my biome over at plant-a-day, and sharing them here. They will be tagged as #eat the weeds, so feel free to follow, or contribute to the tag with your adventures in eating wild!

This reminds me of last year when I was doing research on garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), an invasive plant. It has a garlicky taste (hence the name), so my colleagues and I looked up whether it can be eaten. It turns out that people actually make pesto with it. I’m looking forward to making some garlic mustard pesto. :)
Zoom Info
ubcbotany:

biodiverseed:

EAT THE WEEDS

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.
-Doug Larson

There is a very persistent weed in my yard: here it’s called “Skvalderkål”; in English, the common name is Ground Elder. Kål is actually the Danish word for “Cabbage,” and this plant is so-called because the young leaves are surprisingly tasty, very nutritious, and have been used as both a food and medicine for hundreds of years. Now forgotten as a food-source, it runs amok and wreaks havoc in flower beds. 
I am determined to contain the rapid spread of this plant, so today I went out an harvested a bunch of it: repeated harvesting will starve the roots and make the invasions less aggressive, giving me a chance to dig out the rhizomes and plant what I desire instead.
From this harvest, I made a tonne of pesto and froze it in individual portions. I also made veggie Frikadeller batter out of the leaves for dinner tomorrow. I’m going to have to get creative, but basically any dish that calls for spinach will instead be made with this semi-bitter green (until my current spinach crop can be harvested).
I have an amazing quantity of “non-desirable material” out there that I will be pulling up anyways, so I am trying to change my attitude about it (and other edible weeds like Deadnettle, Chickweed, Dandelions, Garlic Mustard, Stinging Nettle, and Vrouves for that matter). If I think of it more like “free salad” and go out there and harvest before meals, then it seems less like weeding, and more like the fun part of gardening: getting fresh, nutritious, home-grown produce.
There is a great website with numerous articles on the topic of edible weeds, simply called “Eat the Weeds.” I highly recommend you take a look. The best way you can learn to start foraging in your yard or area, however, is by finding a book written by an expert in your region. I received a book called Spis Vilde Planter (Eat Wild Plants), which is written specifically about the indigenous plants of my biome. 

As you can see, I was very excited about it.
I’ve been using that book as a guide and taking it out with me when I have a look at the local flora, and I have found a surprising amount of food in my neighbourhood!
Not only does foraging save money on groceries, and also comprises an extreme form of locavore eating, it may just be healthier. I am partway through Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health and learning something that my anthropology background already had me suspecting:
Foraging food may be a key element in avoiding degenerative disease:

Hunter-gatherers had better bones, had no signs of iron-deficiency anemia, no signs of infection, few (if any) dental cavities, fewer signs of arthritis and were in general larger and more robust than their agriculture-following contemporaries.
- Michael R. Eades, MD

In agricultural praxis, we often unknowingly artificially select for sweeter, less nutritious produce: non-domesticated food sources potentially have a much more impressive vitamin and antioxidant profile, and much lower content of things like starches and sugars.
A large component of permaculture is learning to live according to the ideals of bioregionalism, that is, learning to live healthily and sustainably in your given geographical circumstances. Making peace with the weeds and wild food in your biome is therefore also an essential component of permacultural living.
In light of these findings, I’ll be doing a series of posts on foraging in my biome over at plant-a-day, and sharing them here. They will be tagged as #eat the weeds, so feel free to follow, or contribute to the tag with your adventures in eating wild!

This reminds me of last year when I was doing research on garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), an invasive plant. It has a garlicky taste (hence the name), so my colleagues and I looked up whether it can be eaten. It turns out that people actually make pesto with it. I’m looking forward to making some garlic mustard pesto. :)
Zoom Info
ubcbotany:

biodiverseed:

EAT THE WEEDS

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.
-Doug Larson

There is a very persistent weed in my yard: here it’s called “Skvalderkål”; in English, the common name is Ground Elder. Kål is actually the Danish word for “Cabbage,” and this plant is so-called because the young leaves are surprisingly tasty, very nutritious, and have been used as both a food and medicine for hundreds of years. Now forgotten as a food-source, it runs amok and wreaks havoc in flower beds. 
I am determined to contain the rapid spread of this plant, so today I went out an harvested a bunch of it: repeated harvesting will starve the roots and make the invasions less aggressive, giving me a chance to dig out the rhizomes and plant what I desire instead.
From this harvest, I made a tonne of pesto and froze it in individual portions. I also made veggie Frikadeller batter out of the leaves for dinner tomorrow. I’m going to have to get creative, but basically any dish that calls for spinach will instead be made with this semi-bitter green (until my current spinach crop can be harvested).
I have an amazing quantity of “non-desirable material” out there that I will be pulling up anyways, so I am trying to change my attitude about it (and other edible weeds like Deadnettle, Chickweed, Dandelions, Garlic Mustard, Stinging Nettle, and Vrouves for that matter). If I think of it more like “free salad” and go out there and harvest before meals, then it seems less like weeding, and more like the fun part of gardening: getting fresh, nutritious, home-grown produce.
There is a great website with numerous articles on the topic of edible weeds, simply called “Eat the Weeds.” I highly recommend you take a look. The best way you can learn to start foraging in your yard or area, however, is by finding a book written by an expert in your region. I received a book called Spis Vilde Planter (Eat Wild Plants), which is written specifically about the indigenous plants of my biome. 

As you can see, I was very excited about it.
I’ve been using that book as a guide and taking it out with me when I have a look at the local flora, and I have found a surprising amount of food in my neighbourhood!
Not only does foraging save money on groceries, and also comprises an extreme form of locavore eating, it may just be healthier. I am partway through Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health and learning something that my anthropology background already had me suspecting:
Foraging food may be a key element in avoiding degenerative disease:

Hunter-gatherers had better bones, had no signs of iron-deficiency anemia, no signs of infection, few (if any) dental cavities, fewer signs of arthritis and were in general larger and more robust than their agriculture-following contemporaries.
- Michael R. Eades, MD

In agricultural praxis, we often unknowingly artificially select for sweeter, less nutritious produce: non-domesticated food sources potentially have a much more impressive vitamin and antioxidant profile, and much lower content of things like starches and sugars.
A large component of permaculture is learning to live according to the ideals of bioregionalism, that is, learning to live healthily and sustainably in your given geographical circumstances. Making peace with the weeds and wild food in your biome is therefore also an essential component of permacultural living.
In light of these findings, I’ll be doing a series of posts on foraging in my biome over at plant-a-day, and sharing them here. They will be tagged as #eat the weeds, so feel free to follow, or contribute to the tag with your adventures in eating wild!

This reminds me of last year when I was doing research on garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), an invasive plant. It has a garlicky taste (hence the name), so my colleagues and I looked up whether it can be eaten. It turns out that people actually make pesto with it. I’m looking forward to making some garlic mustard pesto. :)
Zoom Info
ubcbotany:

biodiverseed:

EAT THE WEEDS

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.
-Doug Larson

There is a very persistent weed in my yard: here it’s called “Skvalderkål”; in English, the common name is Ground Elder. Kål is actually the Danish word for “Cabbage,” and this plant is so-called because the young leaves are surprisingly tasty, very nutritious, and have been used as both a food and medicine for hundreds of years. Now forgotten as a food-source, it runs amok and wreaks havoc in flower beds. 
I am determined to contain the rapid spread of this plant, so today I went out an harvested a bunch of it: repeated harvesting will starve the roots and make the invasions less aggressive, giving me a chance to dig out the rhizomes and plant what I desire instead.
From this harvest, I made a tonne of pesto and froze it in individual portions. I also made veggie Frikadeller batter out of the leaves for dinner tomorrow. I’m going to have to get creative, but basically any dish that calls for spinach will instead be made with this semi-bitter green (until my current spinach crop can be harvested).
I have an amazing quantity of “non-desirable material” out there that I will be pulling up anyways, so I am trying to change my attitude about it (and other edible weeds like Deadnettle, Chickweed, Dandelions, Garlic Mustard, Stinging Nettle, and Vrouves for that matter). If I think of it more like “free salad” and go out there and harvest before meals, then it seems less like weeding, and more like the fun part of gardening: getting fresh, nutritious, home-grown produce.
There is a great website with numerous articles on the topic of edible weeds, simply called “Eat the Weeds.” I highly recommend you take a look. The best way you can learn to start foraging in your yard or area, however, is by finding a book written by an expert in your region. I received a book called Spis Vilde Planter (Eat Wild Plants), which is written specifically about the indigenous plants of my biome. 

As you can see, I was very excited about it.
I’ve been using that book as a guide and taking it out with me when I have a look at the local flora, and I have found a surprising amount of food in my neighbourhood!
Not only does foraging save money on groceries, and also comprises an extreme form of locavore eating, it may just be healthier. I am partway through Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health and learning something that my anthropology background already had me suspecting:
Foraging food may be a key element in avoiding degenerative disease:

Hunter-gatherers had better bones, had no signs of iron-deficiency anemia, no signs of infection, few (if any) dental cavities, fewer signs of arthritis and were in general larger and more robust than their agriculture-following contemporaries.
- Michael R. Eades, MD

In agricultural praxis, we often unknowingly artificially select for sweeter, less nutritious produce: non-domesticated food sources potentially have a much more impressive vitamin and antioxidant profile, and much lower content of things like starches and sugars.
A large component of permaculture is learning to live according to the ideals of bioregionalism, that is, learning to live healthily and sustainably in your given geographical circumstances. Making peace with the weeds and wild food in your biome is therefore also an essential component of permacultural living.
In light of these findings, I’ll be doing a series of posts on foraging in my biome over at plant-a-day, and sharing them here. They will be tagged as #eat the weeds, so feel free to follow, or contribute to the tag with your adventures in eating wild!

This reminds me of last year when I was doing research on garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), an invasive plant. It has a garlicky taste (hence the name), so my colleagues and I looked up whether it can be eaten. It turns out that people actually make pesto with it. I’m looking forward to making some garlic mustard pesto. :)
Zoom Info

ubcbotany:

biodiverseed:

EAT THE WEEDS

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.

-Doug Larson

There is a very persistent weed in my yard: here it’s called “Skvalderkål”; in English, the common name is Ground Elder. Kål is actually the Danish word for “Cabbage,” and this plant is so-called because the young leaves are surprisingly tasty, very nutritious, and have been used as both a food and medicine for hundreds of years. Now forgotten as a food-source, it runs amok and wreaks havoc in flower beds. 

I am determined to contain the rapid spread of this plant, so today I went out an harvested a bunch of it: repeated harvesting will starve the roots and make the invasions less aggressive, giving me a chance to dig out the rhizomes and plant what I desire instead.

From this harvest, I made a tonne of pesto and froze it in individual portions. I also made veggie Frikadeller batter out of the leaves for dinner tomorrow. I’m going to have to get creative, but basically any dish that calls for spinach will instead be made with this semi-bitter green (until my current spinach crop can be harvested).

I have an amazing quantity of “non-desirable material” out there that I will be pulling up anyways, so I am trying to change my attitude about it (and other edible weeds like Deadnettle, Chickweed, Dandelions, Garlic Mustard, Stinging Nettle, and Vrouves for that matter). If I think of it more like “free salad” and go out there and harvest before meals, then it seems less like weeding, and more like the fun part of gardening: getting fresh, nutritious, home-grown produce.

There is a great website with numerous articles on the topic of edible weeds, simply called “Eat the Weeds.” I highly recommend you take a look. The best way you can learn to start foraging in your yard or area, however, is by finding a book written by an expert in your region. I received a book called Spis Vilde Planter (Eat Wild Plants), which is written specifically about the indigenous plants of my biome. 

As you can see, I was very excited about it.

I’ve been using that book as a guide and taking it out with me when I have a look at the local flora, and I have found a surprising amount of food in my neighbourhood!

Not only does foraging save money on groceries, and also comprises an extreme form of locavore eating, it may just be healthier. I am partway through Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health and learning something that my anthropology background already had me suspecting:

Foraging food may be a key element in avoiding degenerative disease:

Hunter-gatherers had better bones, had no signs of iron-deficiency anemia, no signs of infection, few (if any) dental cavities, fewer signs of arthritis and were in general larger and more robust than their agriculture-following contemporaries.

- Michael R. Eades, MD

In agricultural praxis, we often unknowingly artificially select for sweeter, less nutritious produce: non-domesticated food sources potentially have a much more impressive vitamin and antioxidant profile, and much lower content of things like starches and sugars.

A large component of permaculture is learning to live according to the ideals of bioregionalism, that is, learning to live healthily and sustainably in your given geographical circumstances. Making peace with the weeds and wild food in your biome is therefore also an essential component of permacultural living.

In light of these findings, I’ll be doing a series of posts on foraging in my biome over at plant-a-day, and sharing them here. They will be tagged as #eat the weeds, so feel free to follow, or contribute to the tag with your adventures in eating wild!

This reminds me of last year when I was doing research on garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), an invasive plant. It has a garlicky taste (hence the name), so my colleagues and I looked up whether it can be eaten.

It turns out that people actually make pesto with it. I’m looking forward to making some garlic mustard pesto. :)

pochamarama:

Horsetail, Equisetum species :: horsetail family (Family Equisetaceae)
The 15 or so species in the genus Equisetum are the only remaining members of a once diverse lineage which included large tree-like plants that were especially prominent during the Carboniferous period (see: Calamites). They possess vascular tissue but lack seeds and flowers. They produce cone-like structures called strobili at the tips of their stems, which house reproductive spores. Horsetails are sometimes called “scouring rush” because their gritty, siliceous stems were historically used to clean metal pots and pans. Their stems are photosynthetic, but their greatly reduced dark-tipped leaves are not.
Zoom Info
pochamarama:

Horsetail, Equisetum species :: horsetail family (Family Equisetaceae)
The 15 or so species in the genus Equisetum are the only remaining members of a once diverse lineage which included large tree-like plants that were especially prominent during the Carboniferous period (see: Calamites). They possess vascular tissue but lack seeds and flowers. They produce cone-like structures called strobili at the tips of their stems, which house reproductive spores. Horsetails are sometimes called “scouring rush” because their gritty, siliceous stems were historically used to clean metal pots and pans. Their stems are photosynthetic, but their greatly reduced dark-tipped leaves are not.
Zoom Info
pochamarama:

Horsetail, Equisetum species :: horsetail family (Family Equisetaceae)
The 15 or so species in the genus Equisetum are the only remaining members of a once diverse lineage which included large tree-like plants that were especially prominent during the Carboniferous period (see: Calamites). They possess vascular tissue but lack seeds and flowers. They produce cone-like structures called strobili at the tips of their stems, which house reproductive spores. Horsetails are sometimes called “scouring rush” because their gritty, siliceous stems were historically used to clean metal pots and pans. Their stems are photosynthetic, but their greatly reduced dark-tipped leaves are not.
Zoom Info

pochamarama:

Horsetail, Equisetum species :: horsetail family (Family Equisetaceae)

The 15 or so species in the genus Equisetum are the only remaining members of a once diverse lineage which included large tree-like plants that were especially prominent during the Carboniferous period (see: Calamites). They possess vascular tissue but lack seeds and flowers. They produce cone-like structures called strobili at the tips of their stems, which house reproductive spores. Horsetails are sometimes called “scouring rush” because their gritty, siliceous stems were historically used to clean metal pots and pans. Their stems are photosynthetic, but their greatly reduced dark-tipped leaves are not.

biodiverseed:

hyggehaven:

Some of the potato trenches, dug and planted.

I’m planting some varieties that do well in Northern Europe, or were developed in Denmark and Germany, for maximum yield:

I didn’t have the funds to order interesting or heirloom seed potatoes this year, but next year I have been looking at contacting some small farmers/biodiversity organisations in the Andes and offering to buy some rare cultivars and build up a reserve of some less common genetics.

There is a lot of amazing work going on among indigenous farmers in keeping the full spectrum of potato diversity alive, as well as with the International Potato Centre’s gene bank.

——

BiodiverSeed.com/tagged/seed-banks

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