Thursday, October 16, 2014

October Foraging in Tennessee!

What can you find right now?  Here are a few easy to find wild edibles.

Curly Dock, Rumex crispus, is loving the cooler weather! Now is a great time to pick and dehydrate for the winter.  Curly Dock is a rhubarb relative in the Buckwheat family.  It is high in beta-carotine, vitamin C and zinc.  It was a popular edible during the Great Depression. Occasionally one will show up in my garden and it does so much better than my other vegetables!
Wood Sorrel, very lemony and great for sauces.
Amaranth, probably Amaranthus spinosus, grows like crazy everywhere. Leaves and seeds are edible. Amaranth seeds are a popular high end edible found at Whole Foods!
Amaranth close up.
English Plantain also likes the cooler weather.  Edible as a green though stringy but great for making salves.
Black Walnuts are dropping everywhere!
Rose Hips are starting to ripen.  They have more vitamin C than oranges!
Thistle, cut the thorns off and the center of the leaves are tasty.  Wear gloves!
Blackberry leaves make good tea and are medicinal.  It has been used to treat diarrhea.
More Dock!  It loves to grow in infertile soil and fields.  It shoots up a large amount of red seeds which can also be used as a flour.
Mulberry leaves for tea.  Great for diabetics.  It blocks sugar from entering into your bloodstream.
Motherwort.  Makes a calming tea. Red berries in the background are honeysuckle and not edible.
Motherwort close up.  Nature's Prozac.
Haws (Hawthorn berries), great for jams, jellies, and wine.  Great for the heart.  It strengthens the heart muscle and increases the blood flow from the heart.  It has also been shown to lower blood pressure.  Flowers and leaves can be used to make tea.
Acorns.  They vary in the amount of tannins which makes them bitter.  The smaller the cap the less bitter.  White oaks are generally less bitter.  White Oak leaves have tradition Oak shape but rounded edges not sharp.  Soak repeatedly in hot but not boiling water to remove tannins.  Can be used to make acorn flour.
More Haws from a different tree.  Hawthorn trees are variable with different shaped leaves and different size of berries. There are over 280 known species. Look for the thorns.
Bradford Pear fruit.  Can be used to make jelly, wine or a nice sweet and sour sauce.  Very tart.
Crab Apples are still available!
More crab apples, though much smaller.
Maypops, Passionflower fruit, are starting to fall to the ground ripe. Fruit can be used to make jelly while the leaves and flowers can be used in tea.  They have been used traditionally as a sleep aid and a calming influence.

What have you found growing this time of year?

1 comment:

  1. FYI: I'll be linking to your site tomorrow morning. It was great having you guys come through and see the food forest project. Hope to meet up with you again next time you're in the state. Love seeing all your great photos of wild edibles.