Earth Day: Foraged Food

18 Apr

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I’m going to start this post with the disclaimer that I approach wild edibles with a very healthy dose of caution. There are a number of plants that look like edibles that are, in fact, highly toxic. For example, in the Marin Headlands fennel grows like a weed. It has a lovely scent and a licorice like flavor, but it looks remarkably similar to hemlock that also grows everywhere and has the slightly problematic property of being used to kill uppity Greek philosophers. Know what you are doing, use a guide that teaches you how to recognize a poisonous look alike, and do not go all Into the Wild on me.

Bliss

With that out of the way, foraging for food among the weeds growing around your house is a fun, if slightly challenging way, to go green. Eating hyper-local reduces your carbon footprint by cutting the miles and packaging between farm and plate, and it’s a fun way to get outside and become familiar with your natural surroundings.

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I’m fortunate to have a patch of miner’s lettuce growing only a few feet from my front door. Miner’s lettuce is remarkably similar to spinach in both texture and flavor. Around here the miner’s lettuce grows a little on the small side. I’ve seen it grow three times larger in the Sierra Foothills. Even with my patch’s lilliputian size it took me only a few minutes to harvest enough for a salad, and there was still tons left in the ground. I load my salads with toppings so I tossed on some sliced tomato, sunflower seeds, crumbled goat cheese, olives, and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

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Miner’s lettuce supposedly got it’s name during the California gold rush, when miner’s would eat it for it’s high vitamin C content. The added bonus of eating this foraged food? I am so not gonna get scurvy.

~Robin

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One Response to “Earth Day: Foraged Food”

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  1. Earth Day: All In One Place | Without a Map - August 27, 2014

    […] 15, Earth Day: Buying in Bulk April 16, Earth Day: UGH! April 18, Earth Day: Go Camp April 18, Earth Day: Foraged Food April 19, Earth Day: Go Celebrate! April 20, Earth Day: Weekend Images April 21, Earth Day: […]

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