Growing up there was always this one alley nearby that had that largest raspberry bush and it produced the most wonderful raspberries in summertime. My friend and I would grab plastic bags from home and fill them to the brim. After washing them we’d eat them raw, make a simple jam out of them, or freeze them up. This was all before we really knew what we were doing. Later in life some friends and I went mushroom picking on Vashon Island, with a guide who knew specifically what to look for and if we had any questions he was there to help us out. These are just small simple ways that foraging can be accomplished in our urban setting!
Here are a few books in our collection to do some urban foraging yourself:
The Front Yard Forager: Identifying, Collecting, and Cooking the 30 Most Common Urban Weeds by Melany Vorass Herrera is at the top on the foraging list mostly because the author is a Seattleite that’s fully aware of what this Pacific Northwest city holds. It has everything from decadent recipes to keeping it simple, all while educating you on nutritional information and precautions one should take when foraging in the urban environment. She really knows what she talking about! You will be surprised at what’s edible out there.
Savor: Rustic Recipes Inspired by Forest, Field, and Farm by Ilona Oppenheim is a very beautiful book more than anything else. I think most people can agree that the over-processing of food and additives aren’t the best thing for our bodies, however Ilona goes pretty far in the natural food endeavor so this may be for the brave. From the land to your local CSA this book has plenty of recipes to get you started on the forage lifestyle and even if this book isn’t the right fit, you can still get amazing ideas from it.
The Foragers Feast: How to Identify, Gather, and Prepare Wild Edibles by Leda Meredith is a wonderful resource for foraging enthusiasts and those new to the game. Weeds will be your new best friend! Step by step guide on how to identify plants to turn them into a meal and what season to hunt them down in so as to not waste your time. Simple recipes with accompanied pictures are highly drool worthy. First and foremost this is a cookbook so you may also consider taking a field guide with you if you are worried about plant identification aspect.
The Urban Homesteading Cookbook: Forage, Farm, Ferment and Feast for A Better World by Michelle Catherine Nelson is more than a forage guide, it’s a how to live the farm life in an apartment in the city! It covers keeping micro-livestock to making insect flour, but then also highlights pickling and growing vegetables in pots. It’s a little out there for most of us, but a beautiful book nonetheless. With any book take in what you can enjoy and learn from the ideas presented. While again somethings may be beyond us remember its one person’s way of life that allows them to be kind to the environment and knowledgeable about her food sources.
~posted by Kara F.