Edible Wild Plants -
Which are Safe to Eat and Grow in your Garden?
wild plants taste so much better
than domestic plants. See how to get free wild plants from your
neighborhood and how to relocate them so that they grow successfully.
The first time I tasted a domestic
raspberry was last winter. It came from the local store and I spat it
out thinking it was bad. It tasted like cough syrup to me. Came to find
out that it was not bad, it just wasn't what I thought of as a
The raspberries I have always had were
half the size of the one from the store, and have more seeds, this
could be why they made them larger and less seeded. However in doing
that they lost the flavor. I have found the same thing in strawberries
and many other sorts of fruits and berries I have tried both wild, and
domestic. Even the white mushroom you buy at the store has a completely
different flavor when picked in the wild.
The wild plants don't get the same
bugs, and illness that domestic plants do either. I know they say they
have bred them to be resistant, but to what? I have yet to figure out.
Edible Wild Plants: Strawberries
garden has strawberries
that have never have done well. I planted 75 the year before
last and they have
yet to impress me.
My wild ones that I dug up in the local
brought home mashed in my saddle bags. I think I had about 6 plants.
They are my trouble makers.
They spread so fast that I have an on
strawberry relocation program spring, fall and many times in-between.
They produce the sweetest tiny berries that no Tea Cup strawberry could
and cobblers I make with them would turn someone who doesn't care for
strawberries into a strawberry lover. While I have yet to taste a berry
from my domestic plants who have been around for years. They are still
working on establishing themselves.
Edible Wild Plants: Raspberries
I have also purchased raspberries from
nurseries over the years. They die. The raspberries I dug up along
ditches are thriving.
If I find them in a sunny ditch, I
in the sun. If I find them in part-shade I take note what part of the
day they would be shaded and relocate then to such in their new home.
They are unstoppable.
Due to their relocation I can also
them, making their produce abundant. I can honestly tell you it's worth
the drive down a country road to dig them up. If I have to eat another
store bought or "altered" berry I would rather starve.
Other wild plants that are great for
relocation are asparagus,
mushrooms, blackberries, and even ginseng.
Edible Wild Plants: Ginseng
I have been told you can't relocate
however I beg to differ. I take note always of where I find a
certain plant. Not all plants even from the same species like the same
things. Put that plant back exactly where you found it.
If you found
in the deep woods, put it back where years of leaves have accumulated
and with the same moisture and sun. If you find ginseng where it gets
sunlight only in the evenings, take note how far away its shade source
is, and plant it the same distance from a shade source and the same
angle, east, west etc, that you found it.
In doing this, you can transplant ginseng.
I have had more trouble with blood root then I have ginseng.
Only because my blood root was given to me and I wasn't there to see
where it used to live before its relocation at my home.
Edible Wild Plants: Mayapples
are another success. They
grow in force about 100 miles south of where I live, but do not grow
naturally in this part of Iowa. I'm on my third year of the May apples
reoccurring. Mayapples are also known as Mandrake. Like ginseng they
enjoy a shaded, wooded area. The ripened fruit is edible in moderate
amounts, though when consumed in large amounts the fruit is
Edible Wild Plants: Grapes
I am, however, about ready to go have a long conversation with
my wild grapes.
Wild grapes are something once established need to
really be culled
The male grape plants don't produce and take up as much room
as the female grape plants.
Wild grapes like
most wild plants don't produce that much, so culling
in some cases is the only way you can get produce in the space allowed.
Edible Wild Plants: Loganberries
My Loganberries are another example of
a take over. I brought home 4 plants years ago and now its all I can do
to maintain them.
Like my strawberries loganberries are
in a constant
relocation project. Like the wild grapes and strawberries they
fast that I'm able to sell many each year.
Thus the wild plants have
given me a small income that the domestic plants do not. So, another
reason to consider taking a walk in the country or in the woods and
just keeping your eyes open for what you can find.
Edible Wild Plants: How to Make Sure they Grow
Over the years I have brought home
thousands of dollars of plants that have never grown. Everything I have
relocated from the forest has produced well. Everything from Boletus
Mushrooms, white horse mushrooms, hen of the woods, and more, to
raspberries, garlic, wild onions and chamomile.
at what is available to you
naturally will not only save you a lot of money and heart ache, but
give you a better flavored produce to work with. Take a
walk down a dirt road and really look at what's around you. Take a plastic bag and
a small shovel and a knife. You will come home feeling like you spent a
fortune at the local nursery.
biggest thing to remember after you
relocate your wild plants is to leave them like you found them
as these plants are not
used to, nor
made for, a lot of fertilizer. You can kill them or make them sick if
you don't just plant them, and walk away. I don't prune them either. I
clean up after them, but I do not prune. They don't seem
to like that.
Like a wild animal they don't care for the attention of people much.
They are a 'plant-and-ignore' project.
One of my favorite parts of finding
wild plants is the walk. Its always peaceful. I always enjoy that as my
"Zen time" and when I have a friend with me its always a special time,
quiet enough to really talk and spend quality time together.
I would love to hear from you about
what you find in the woods to bring home this spring. Its always fun to
know what different areas have to offer and what people have success
with. You can let me know by just typing in the box below.
Share your own Favorite
Plants that you Use.
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