Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring Foraging in Franklin!

All these lovely plants were found in out local parks in Franklin, TN!  My dehydrator has been running full blast for the last week.  Many of these greens are fantastic as additions to soups, sauces and smoothies.

Geum canadense, White avens, in the rose family.  The roots have been used as a chocolate substitute and for flavoring beer.  It has also been used in Indian medicine for digestive disorders. 
Cleavers, can be eaten raw but is most frequently used in herbal medicine.  It tastes fresh and pleasant, but the texture is not so great.

Early Field Pennycress, the leaves are nice in a salad, very peppery.  The seeds have been used to flavor an ethnic dish, Lithuanian Skilandis. It is a small plant, at least here in Middle Tennessee.

Chickweed, one of my favorites!  Great in salads and pestos. 

Wild Garlic.  This has been on my family's plate for the last month!  It is fantastic in sausage soup and on baked chicken.
Early English Plantain, great used as greens and in herbal medicine.

Thistle - yes it is edible!  However you need scissors and thick gloves.  It's a lot of work for a small amount, but if you are ever starving, it is great to know it is edible and actually tasty.  The center portion of the leaf is what you want.
Wild Mustard, can be used in salads and as cooked greens. It's very tasty and one of the first plants to show up.
Wild Mustard, a little further along in growth.

Motherwort, makes a great tea and is very relaxing.

Purple Dead Nettle, this is everywhere.  You can eat it raw but it has an unpleasant fuzzy texture.  You will want to cook it in a recipe instead.  A similar plant also growing now is Henbit and is tastier.
Purple Dead Nettle
Clover, edible but the flower tastes better!
Watercress, a favorite. It is growing like crazy right now.  The good thing is that the weeds surrounding it are still dead so it is easy to access.  Watercress dies down as the weather gets hot and the weeds grow too tall to get around.  Collect while you can!  Great dehydrated!  It comes back in the fall but is too weedy.
Preparing Motherwort for dehydrating!  Once dehydrated, mix with dehydrated mint for a wonderful tea.


  1. Dr. Mom, be my friend!!! I live in Franklin too, and came across your blog when I googled to verify the green onions in my yard were indeed edible. I blog at about our homestead out in Leiper's Fork. Foraging is next on my list of things to learn about!


  2. Our mustards here are already in full bloom. It's really fun to take a road trip in spring... like going back in time as you drive north... and going forwards in time as you head south.

  3. These are just what things look like here, 1 hour North of Detroit on wooded rural land with some lawns and meadows. I was looking up Avens to get an ID on the purplish tinge I am seeing. I found your page. Nice. Clear and pretty ! Thanks