Tuesday, April 16, 2013

On Foraging

On the way to my garden every morning where I slave away in the hot sun, watering and tending delicate vegetables which appear to only have a predilection for dying, I probably step over 8,000 calories of self-renewing, highly nutritious plant matter that could be gathered each day.

All of my books on foraging deal with mainly northern and eastern plants. With a nod to the venerable Euell Gibbons, has nobody lived in these arid lands and written a book on the wild edibles which can be found here?

It takes awhile to learn them anywhere, as you generally have to see them through the entire growing season to properly identify them. Last year my attention was on other things and I'm just now beginning to be able to focus on nature again.

I try to follow what I call the "rule of three". Don't worry about identifying ALL of the wild edibles. Just start with the three most common ones in your area and identify those. Be observant and find out what you have available to you in abundance, and then identify that and find out its uses.


Gorges Smythe said...

Gibbons actually grew up out west, I think. I don't know if any of his books reflect that, or not.

Humble wife said...

I went to the county extension office when I moved to southern New Mexico. From there I found a cookbook made by Mescalero Apaches on edible foods in the desert and how to identify, to cook, and the healing or medicinal value. Best book I have ever found on foraging and utilizing foods in the area.