Wild Edible Plants . . .

This site is a database for wild edible plants of North America. I encourage any users to leave comments reflecting their experiences with a certain plant. Much of our knowledge of edible plants is either lost, superstitious or incorrect. There's a lot of hype about how dangerous wild plants can be, when in reality most are not only safe they're critical for your health.

My perspective is somewhat unique in that my family and I have camped as a lifestyle for over a decade - essentially lived with edible plants and used them on a daily basis. We have also been raw fooders for a very long period. Becoming 100% raw vegan sparked my interest in edible plants like nothing else. Every day I was out hiking the trails barefoot, eating grass, eating flowers, trying parts of the many plants I came across with a clean palate . . .

Using wild edible plants is the best way we can defy the system, maintain our health, and get our independence back.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ripe Silverberries!

. The Ebbing's silverberries (elaeagnus ebbingei) are now definitely ripe, and I picked a quart of them this morning:

I'm going to have to reverse my former opinion of these silverberries, and rank them very high as a wild food. Ripe berries in March! It's incredible. Those that are red and firm have a slight acid astringency and the flavor of lemon. When they're ripe they soften and almost liquefy into a raspberry/strawberry jam - very, very good. It only took me an hour to pick this quart. The berries still have large pits, so only the rind is edible - but it is very tasty.
We did our second wild edible plant walk at the Chattahoochee River NRA yesterday. I brought the silverberries I'd gathered in a beargrass basket for everyone to try. It's amazing how this coiled basket I made years ago still smells intensely of fresh beargrass. It takes me instantly back to camping in the Gila, gathering the fresh wands of beargrass above the hot spring. The rim of the basket is willow:
We had light rain on and off so no flowers were out for our walk. This is too bad because one part of the trail goes through a small ravine, which before was covered in flowers such as bloodroot and trillium and toothwort - very Appalachian. Bloodroot flowers covered the entire hillside. There is also a lot of spicebush in flower, with their fragrant twigs.
We found plenty to eat on our two hour walk. There were silverberries, unripe Oregon Grapes, redbud flowers; I pulled a young cattail shoot out of a swamp for everyone to try - there are several cattail swamps; we sampled weeds like chickweed and speedwell and onion and dead-nettle. We had a few dandelion flowers, some spiny thistle that was rather strong, violets; the earliest blueberry in flower, large bushes right off the river with tons of white pendant urn-shaped blueberry flowers; red maple keys, black greenbriar berries (carrion flower), rose hips still red from the year before, and young rose leaves . . . we found a lot of elderberry in leaf, both at the river's edge and up in the forest; lots of red buckeye (poisonous), and I dug up the little underground bud of heartleaf (a birthwort). Spring is an exciting time.
Here's one silverberry shoot weighed down with the clusters of silverberries:
And Mishka loves them!

He begged and begged to try some. I finally gave him a bunch in a bowl because I was sick of hand-feeding him. He eats them pits and all. It is actually natural for dogs to eat berries - they're omnivores. Coyotes will not only eat berries when they're ripe, they'll eat all the bear scat after the bear's eaten berries - this was something I witnessed camping long-term up on Pigeon Mtn. I even came across a coyote chasing a turkey once down the dirt road.
Mishka first discovered berries up at Graveyard Fields in August. We camped there for a couple of weeks, and every morning we gathered 6 cups of berries for our morning oatmeal. Mishka would watch us gathering and eating some. He would whine to be fed. So we'd give him some. But eventually it gets old feeding him, and you're like - they're all around you dog, and at your height, go eat! Eventually he did. He even waded in to the thorny blackberry and ate and ate till his fur had lots of juice stains.


  1. Hi there,

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