Above, left to right: Milk thistle and wild Mallow, both edible plants.
Dear Readers, I have a little surprise for you! Today's post is going to introduce a topic which I know nothing about, but which certainly falls in the category of creative living. Just the other day it came to my attention that Ronit Peskin was knowledgable about foraging for wild edible plants, so I asked her to write a little guest post since it certainly does sound interesting! And the short list of edible plants that she gave me includes many that I already recognize from our nature walks, so exiting! Of course I'm not so sure I'll be harvesting any Milk Thistle anytime soon, due to those huge thorns, but you never know. Enjoy!
The following guest post was written by Ronit Peskin, a mother of 3, who lives in the Jerusalem area, and loves foraging for wild edibles, as well as writing about the topic of frugal living in general.
Living on a farm and growing my own food is a dream of mine, but unfortunately not reality while I'm living in an apartment with no yard... Even for those with a yard, gardening might seem a bit too daunting, getting the seeds to not only sprout correctly but overcome pests and bad weather... and in Israel, with the high price of water, gardening may not turn out to be so cost efficient.
The solution? Foraging for wild edibles! In Israel, I've heard that 90% of the plants that grow are edible. Now I don't know if that's exactly true, but it certainly seems that way; nearly all the plants I've been able to identify have turned out to be edible (with only a few exceptions). I've become obsessed with wild edibles lately. People have asked me when I forage and I respond that the better question is when I don't forage. You see, knowing just how many plants are edible means that when I see a plant somewhere, whether its on a walk to the library, at the playground, or going to the store, I can't help but pick some to eat. (Provided, of course, that the plants are in a place that I'm permitted to pick and its not stealing.) I've started bringing shopping bags with me any time I leave my house, after too many times that I was caught with a huge amount of plants I wanted to pick but no way to carry them home.
Because I love foraging, I love to share my knowledge of all these amazing wild edibles with anyone who'd like to learn. This Tuesday, Feb 21st, I'm leading a wild edibles walk in Gan Sacher in Jerusalem where I can pass on my love of plants to you, so that you too can discover all the delicious and nutritious food growing right beneath your nose. If you'd like to join us, you can find me on Facebook on the Gan Sacher Wild Edibles page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gan-Sakker-Wild-Edibles-Walk/133084346809802, email me at [email protected] or call me at 052-396-5577 to reserve a spot for yourself.
Cost of the class is 25 shekel for adults, 5 shekel for children between the ages of 5 and 17, and includes a print out with information to help you identify the plants even after you go home. If you can't make this class, we'll be having another class on Monday, February 27th at 10:30 am.
Above, left to right: Nettle (Photo courtesy of Greg Fewer) and Wild Fennel, both edible plants.
Thanks so much to Ronit for wetting our appetites on this interesting topic! Maybe we'll have to have her back with some recipes! In the mean time, you can find tons of information on the web, and just please do be careful to only eat plants that you are absolutely sure are edible. We certainly don't want anyone to get sick! Oh, and that list of edible plants that grow in my area is: wild mustard, wild fennel, chickweed, sow thistle, milk thistle, plantain, mallow, nettle, and many more!
I think foraging may just be a great reason to get out there and enjoy nature!