During the recession of my youth there was one summer when I ate a lot of wild greens gathered in what was then a very new Discovery Park. My favorite was miner’s lettuce in salads, which would probably be even tastier now that I can afford the EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) to dress it. Now weedy greens are in, and you can buy seeds for miner’s lettuce and purslane. Farmers’ market vendors also sell wild mountain blueberries, and wild mushrooms. If you have a yard you may already have nutritious weeds at your doorstep, and if time allows you can still gather these delicacies and more yourself.
I’m very happy to see that the book I used long ago, Doug Benoliel’s Northwest Foraging has been updated and reissued this year. Another title that covers a wider range of plants, both edible and those with other uses, is Janice Schofield’s Discovering Wild Plants: Alaska, Western Canada, the Northwest. And for the wider ranging omnivore, Langdon Cook’s Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager also covers fish and shellfish, and has an anecdotal style better for reading cover to cover.
As part of The Seattle Public Library’s Urban Self-Reliance series, Cook will be giving a lecture and slideshow at the Beacon Hill Branch on Wednesday, October 26th at 6:00 p.m. Cook usually charges for his presentations, but this one is being sponsored by 4Culture, and like all library programs it’s free. Copies of his book will also be available for purchase courtesy of Elliott Bay Books.
~Ruth K., Beacon Hill Branch