Friday, June 02, 2006

Frugal Fridays - Eating Weeds

Ok some of you out there are probably going to think we are total weirdos after this post. We have started foraging for food. Extreme? Maybe, but I just see it as an extension of the things we already do to be frugal. If we can find fresh, delicious and healthy food for free why not? It is easier than gardening. No tilling, planting, or weeding just finding and harvesting.

I have 'foraged" before for your more typical things like morel mushrooms or berries, but now we are looking at so much more. I think what got this started was a cookbook I bought around Christmas time. It is called Bootstraps and Biscuits. It was written by a lady in WV who grew up foraging and returned to it after health problems made it difficult to work. I was amazed at the variety of things she uses.

So this spring we have been learning. There is a big learning curve. I don't know much about wild plants. We have mostly been reading and researching. We did go mushroom hunting. We never did find those morels, but found tree ears which were pretty good. Over the weekend Delilah helped us identify Poke and we cooked up a mess of greens. We cooked more Poke last night and added it to scrambled eggs with mushrooms, wild garlic, bacon and cheese. It was really good.

We are a bit late on the salad greens. They are still there, but starting to get bitter b/c of the heat. We did make a salad the other night. To our store bought lettuce and spinach we added wild carrot greens, wood sorrel and chicory. It reminded me of the "spring mix" you can buy. A little more bite and a fuller flavor than your typical lettuce salad.

We are still learning and identifying plants. We have some plans for some we have found but aren't ready to use yet. There are some plants we are still trying to identify. And I want to try a few different things with some of the plants we have already used. I will let you know the results.

I am going to start talking about being frugal on Fridays so look for more on foraging for food and other things we do to try and save money. Have a good weekend all!


  1. And those fresh greens are so healthy -- full of vitamins and live enzymes! I've read some about eating wild plants, but haven't progressed as far as you have. Good for you!
    Aunt Nancy

  2. You can freeze Poke; just cook, drain and put into freezer bags. I've been doing this for the past few years and we love it. It tastes as good as fresh poke. Also, you may want to check and see if the tops of the poke is still tender.
    You can also fry the stalks! Just roll them in flour/meal. (I think you are suppose to "peel off" the first layer.

    Aunt D

  3. Tender tops mean it is still good? Fried stalks sound good. I may try freezing also. Parboil and freeze? I want to try pickling some of the stalks also.

    Anything else that you forage?

  4. Not really about foraging, but rather making better use of a throwaway item: broccoli stems.

    You can grate them for salads or soups, or even eat them raw as long as you PEEL THEM FIRST. This removes the "gas-producing factor' and makes them easier to digest. This stretches your broccoli dollar as well.

    As long as you're foraging, have you come across fiddlehead fern babies? These can be steamed, fried, or coooked and frozen for later use--I eat them raw in salads. They're chock full of iron, vitamin A&C, and other nutrients.

    Another tip: follow the squirrels for nut stashes. They bury what they cannot eat right away, then forget where they buried them when they need them. This is how most of our forests were created.

  5. Thanks for the tips. I use broccoli stems for slaws and a broccoli salad I make.

    Sadly we read about fiddleheads after they were gone so we will have to wait until next spring! I glad to hear from somone who has tried them!