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Bulk foragables: the Big Box store of your foraging habits.

 
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Hi, what's the best way to propagate the purslane, Stinging nettles, and dandelion? By seed? The nettles are definitely sending their seed out at this time.
Last year I broadcasted quite a few dandelion seeds, but none of them took by themselves, do I need to start them then transplant? I am in a harsher environment.
High 8000') and dry.
Thanks
 
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I am a little lower than you and also very arid. In my experience purslane is horribly easy to start from seed😉. Just scatter the seed and supply some water. Dandelion seems to need more water to come up from seeds, and the soil needs a little prep if you want to get nice dandies in alkaline soil. Dandelions are tap-rooted and I wouldn't try to transplant. Just prepare the soil ( I use a little cottonseed meal) and scatter the seeds and cover lightly in the fall, and they should appear next spring.
I was never able to get nettles to come up from seed. Not even one. Root cuttings are the way to go. They are sold on EBay these days! They need shade from our high-altitude afternoon sun and need quite a bit (relatively) of water supplied to get them established, and again in spring if you want to get nice shoots.
Just my two cents.
 
Tony Scheck
Posts: 12
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Hi Heather, thanks for your rely. I will take to heart and utilize your info.
I love Dandelions and purslane, so I will take another run at them.

When I have more time, I'm going to research your past posts. You definitely look like
you know what you're doing. Many thanks
 
Heather Ward
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Thanks Tony! Although none of us really knows what we're doing😉. If you get a chance, stop by my blog at www.albuquerqueurbanhomestead.com. Your season is probably shorter and cooler than mine, but there might be some similarities.
 
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Most of my foraging is small stuff, just enough for a meal or two. Only a few big bulk items, mainly nettles, apples and hickory bark. The apples are from untended trees in my suburban neighborhood, I turn those into dozens of jars of apple sauce. The nettles I cook and freeze, but I want to start drying them. I turned hickory bark into a few gallons of syrup, hoping to go back soon for the nuts to make some hickory milk. 2015 is / was a fantastic year for chanterelles, I am experimenting with a variety of ways of preparing and preserving them.
 
Tony Scheck
Posts: 12
medical herbs solar rocket stoves
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Hi Heather, I look forward to checking out your site. For comparison, we are a little colder and drier than Sante Fe.
My wife lived in Albuquerque, and we almost got jobs there back about 6 years. It's a great area enjoy, and thanks.
 
Posts: 51
Location: SW Ohio, 6b, heavy clay prone to hardpan
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Our top "foraged" food is certainly venison. It's a staple of our diet. The deer are very efficient at doing the foraging for me.
As far as the flora we harvest, we tend to collect selected wild plants and relocate them to our gardens. Although we do still collect a lot of foods "in the wild" we also are keenly aware of the additional pressures we place on wild populations and we avoid over harvesting by growing some our own "wild" plants in our garden.
By calories, the largest native staple we harvest is Apios americana, then, perhaps sunroot.
There are also abundant non-native species that have naturalized and Chinese yams and tuberous vetch are quite common in our diet, the giant Chinese yam roots and plentiful aerial bulbils are a very significant source of carbohydrates, and very tasty.
Wild fuzzy beans (Strophostyles helvola), can be very plentiful, in some years, but they are variable.
Edible fungi are common here and giant puffballs, morels and chicken of the woods are always collected when available, but the short season and limited wild populations allow these to be a "staple for this week" but not a real staple.
Way down on the list are the leafy greens, which don't provide nearly the caloric density of the roots, beans, and venison. Amaranth, dock, purslane, oxalis, garlic mustard, and lambs quarter are the most common of those we eat. They are tasty side dishes, but not a significant source of calories, for us.
Paw paw, black raspberries and mayapples are a delicious treat, but, as we compete with the very efficient deer, we don't collect enough to be a staple.

To be honest, having thought about it, I can't really consider any one foraged food a bulk staple (except for the venison, if that counts). We do eat quite a bit of foraged calories, but the source changes with the season, today's staple may be fried puffball slices with grilled ramps and smilax tips, but later in the season the "staple" could be venison roast with rosemary mashed apios and wild beans with carrots, another day perhaps venison burgers and fried yam chips. We also have large gardens, and, of course, we often mix our wild forage with our home grown foods, but that's not the focus of this thread.




 
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Location: South Boston, Massachusetts
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Hi:
I am new to the site, so I recognize I am posting on a topic that is a few months old.

This is how we grow dandelions:
1) collect seeds from heads.
2) prepare a shallow tray with seed starter mix.
3) sprinkle dandelion seeds in mix (microgreen style) and grow under LED shop lights (our standard urban set-up).
4) top water until the plants become to crowded to do so and then bottom water after that.
5) transplant to garden after ~4 weeks. -OR- eat the microgreens!

We have had some problems with mold growth on some batches.

Mindy
 
master steward
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Location: Pacific Northwest
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Marc, reviving old threads is definitely acceptable here! It keeps all the info in one place and easier to locate. Thanks for sharing your methods .
 
master pollinator
Posts: 11653
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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It's interesting that it doesn't look like anyone has mentioned Cattail, the so-called "Supermarket of the Swamps." I have a bunch growing in my small frog pond, but found the leaf/stem/heart thingy rather fussy to prepare. I haven't tried making starch from the rhizomes, though I need to clear this pond of Cattail because they are too aggressive, so I could produce a lot of starch if I tried, I suppose. Does anyone here use Cattail starch for anything?

 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Buffalo Gourd Cucurbita foetidissima is a wild food which I can sometimes gather in quantity. It has edible seeds like a pumpkin, though the squash itself is too bitter to eat. I think it is supposed to have an edible root but I wouldn't want to kill the plant to eat it.

Canada Onion Allium canadense grows in big clumps, so I was able to dig many up to transplant to my garden, where it is now proliferating. It's one of our favorite onions, useful for any cookery needing chives or spring onions. It goes dormant in the summer.

Sotol Dasylirion texanum is easy for me to collect a lot of at once from a certain parcel of land which has been for sale for decades. I've transplanted many to my place, but I haven't learned how to cook it so it is good. I might do some experiments in the weeks ahead, since some of my plants are getting crowded. This is one you have to kill to eat - the stem or crown is the edible part.
 
Posts: 34
Location: Cache Valley, Northern Utah (zone 6a, 4,900 elevation)
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Top foraged staples on our northern utah property:

1. Immature milkweed pods (about 1.5" long) blanched and frozen, used in soups, stir-fries, or steamed
2. More mature milkweed pods (about 2-3" long): remove maturing silk and seeds, which should still be in the white stage. The outer case will be used for making various Stuffed Pods dishes! Blanched and freeze. To prepare, defrost, stuff with ground meat, cheese, wild rice, or whatever your preference, bake and serve (similar to stuffed peppers).
3. Milkweed shoots: early spring shoots when about 8" tall. Blanch and freeze. Prepare like asparagus.
4. Lambsquarter: blanched and frozen in bags containing 1 or 2 cup portions (the amount needed for most recipes).
5. Elderberries, made into elixxir for winter immune use, and for diluting and using as juice.


milkweed-pods.JPG
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blanched milkweed pods ready for freezing
 
Tyler Ludens
master pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Those are cute pods! Some people seem to find milkweed to be indigestible or toxic. We have tons of Vining Milkweed, but I'd be a little worried to eat it, in case toxic.

http://www.eattheweeds.com/asclepias-some-like-it-hot-some-like-it-cold-2/
 
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How about ramps, fiddle heads, grapes, pine nuts, frog legs(the animal), I was thinking of things I could get around here with my bare hands.
 
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do you guys know the use of wild sweet peas also know as Lathyrus latifolius
38_lg_lathyrus_latifolius_montage.jpg
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Peavine-Broad-leaved-Perennial-P.-Lathyrus-Latifolius-1-Perennial-VINEY-FORB-Pea-Family-Fabaceae-EUROPE-Blooms-Jun-Sep-Wet-Prairies-Meadows-Moist-to-dry-Partial-to-full-sun-Climbs-3-6ft.jpg
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Posts: 121
Location: Brighton, Michigan
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Black walnuts, acorns, hickory nuts, chirckory, chickweed, autumn olive berry, black raspberry, black berry, feral apples, pears,
 
Ray Moses
Posts: 121
Location: Brighton, Michigan
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jack goldsmith wrote:do you guys know the use of wild sweet peas also know as Lathyrus latifolius

We have some of those along sand dunes on Lake Michigan, always wanted to identify them. I know that some species are poisonous I thought. That movie that was based on a true story- into the wilderness were a guy died eating wild peas as survival food.
 
master steward
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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I'm hoping to forage a couple big sacks of wild rice in a couple weeks.  Last year was my first time and I got 3 lbs of finished rice after collecting for 90 minutes.  This year I'm hoping for 25 lbs since I know a bit more about what I'm doing.
 
Posts: 8
Location: Northern Ohio USDA Zone 6A
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I forage cattails, acorns, hickory nuts, black walnuts, lambsquarters, blackberries, sumac berries, autumn olive, sunchokes, asparagus, and some others. Sunchokes can be found in the ditches around here (Northern Ohio) and I didn't see them mentioned yet.
 
Posts: 134
Location: Zone 4b at 1000m, post glacial soil...British Columbia
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Nobody's mentioned buffaloberry, yet.  I make sure to fill tubs for the freezer, and put a small handful in my porridge for some Vitamin C in winter.
Dandelion is blanched and frozen for winter use.  I put older leaves on pizza instead of spinach, and the other flavours hide any bitterness.
I ought to blanch and freeze more lambsquarters, more, but plucking the leaves from the tough stem gets tedious, so I usually gorge when they're in season, plucking one meal's worth of leaves and seedheads at a time.
Saskatoonberries get frozen for future use, in a good year.
Feral apples, until mine start producing.

Many other forageables grow here, but not in big-box quantities.
 
Posts: 96
Location: out in the woods of Maine
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About 10 acres of our land produces fiddleheads. We harvest 50 pounds each season, so we have 1-pound per week from harvest to harvest.

 
Posts: 7366
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Until this past year when we moved, we would forage for persimmons...dehydrated for year round eating and mostly eating fresh every day for a three month harvest on various groves of trees visited daily; muscadines canned as juice and made into wine; black walnuts; lambsquarters, our favorite and most prolific green for most of the summer....Many of our medicinal herbs were wild crafted and reliably plentiful to gather and dehydrate fresh every year or so....passionflower vine, selfheal, bergamot, goldenseal......rose petals...I'm missing our old place when I think about this...haven't found the same foraging here.  Persimmons especially...haven't gone with out them in the fall for thirty years until this last year.....
 
pollinator
Posts: 1038
Location: Meppel (Drenthe, the Netherlands)
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Now it's the season here for picking and eating 'Aegopodium podagraria' (you call it bishop weed?), but those leaves are best eaten fresh, in a salad. The story says the Romans brought it here as a vegetable, but most people consider it a weed.
Stinging nettles (the upper leaves only) are very good for drying. You can use them in soup or stew, or as a herbal tea.
 
pollinator
Posts: 378
Location: Clemson, SC ("new" Zone 8a)
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I just recently learnt about three edible weeds I can forage from my own meadow/baby food forest, which I maintain in place of a lawn.  I have had all of these in abundance for years - and in one case had been attempting to control or eradicate - without knowing they were edible!

#1 Redbud - Here on the eastern seaboard the Eastern Redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) is extremely common both in the wild as an understory tree along wood edges and as a cultivated ornamental.  I learnt that the profuse flowers are edible and tasty (add to drinks, desserts, or to ornament salads) and the flower buds can be pickled.

#2 Purple Dead Nettle - Also called Red Dead Nettle (Lamium purpureum), this little weed in the mint family absolutely carpets my meadow and garden beds in the early spring.  It is one of the first to emerge.  Pick the young leaf/flower heads off the tops of the stalks and eat raw, cooked, in soups, or blended in smoothies.  Supposed to be highly nutritious.

#3 Cleavers - These annoyingly velcro-like weeds (Galium aparine) have been spreading like wildfire.  Pick the most tender tips off of the clumping, vine-like plants and cook in soups, or blend in smoothies.  Also called Goosegrass because it is a favorite fodder for waterfowl.  I cannot wait until I introduce free range muscovies and see if they will keep my cleavers under control.

Made some chopped dead nettle/cleavers/scallion fritters for breakfast today.  Not bad.
 
author
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Here in The Bay Area and northern California, I have bulk gathered the following over the years:

wild plums
pine pollen
chanterelles
candy cap mushrooms
bay nuts
acorns
thistle stems
wild artichokes/cardoons
 
gardener
Posts: 1870
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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I can't even imagine how much work it would take to gather pollen in bulk. How is that done?
 
gardener
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Dandelion, lambs quarter, wild grapes, acorns, I think I found a black walnut on an empty lot, will have to wait for it to leaf (so 2017 forage), pine nuts, rose hips, my semi-feral basil, walking onions (consider them a forage, I got them with the second house as abandoned and forgotten). I grow grapes, peaches, apples as part of my yard food forest and will be adding many more things in the next two years.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Right now there are loads of tender nopales on the Spineless Prickly Pear.
 
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Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
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Here's one of our bulk collections. Lepidium latifolium in late April to early May here is abundant in certain spots, including, conveniently, a spot our bus passes on the way to town, so we just jump out for 15 minutes a few times in that season and collect enough for several meals for a hundred people. No thorns either, just easy to collect. I posted the instructions here.
2017-lepidium-shangsho-collection-secmol.jpg
[Thumbnail for 2017-lepidium-shangsho-collection-secmol.jpg]
 
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  • Purslane
  • Plantains, Plantago major, minor, lanceolata
  • Sida spp.
  • Sheep Sorrel
  • Chickweed, & Tropical Chickweed
  • Ponyfoot


  • These are definitely my top harvests, living in central Florida (Plantago major isn't common here, but I found some and have been spreading it). Once I get on the road around the end of this year it will all be changing, exciting to be able to sample the wild goodies around the country!
     
    Wyatt Bottorff
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    Rebecca Norman wrote:Here's one of our bulk collections. Lepidium latifolium in late April to early May here is abundant in certain spots, including, conveniently, a spot our bus passes on the way to town, so we just jump out for 15 minutes a few times in that season and collect enough for several meals for a hundred people. No thorns either, just easy to collect. I posted the instructions here.



    I love it's cousin Lepidium virginicum, we call it "Poor-Man's-Pepper." Quite abundant here in Central Florida, our visitors from northern states are jealous.
    Lepidium-virginicum.-Poor-Man-s-Pepper.jpg
    [Thumbnail for Lepidium-virginicum.-Poor-Man-s-Pepper.jpg]
     
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