Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Edible 100


Last night, after posting, we decided to make the list of the 100 wild edibles we would be eating this year. We are not new to wild edibles, but our previous list was far short of 100. We got out our copy of Samuel Thayer's Forager's Harvest and began to list edible plants by month. Living in Vermont, our prime months are May through October.

We got to 51 rather easily, and with the help of our friends and books steadily climbed to 79. Then things got tough. One of our goals is to truly enhance and supplement our meals so we were trying to avoid too many teas.

Thag added about 10 game animals to the list before I pointed out that neither of us had ever hunted before, we don't own a gun, and our experienced hunting friend caught nothing this year. He scratched the animals off the 100 list and added them to a section we titled Alternates.

We added several rich and tasty plants that we will go on field trips to gather--including wild rice, marsh mallow, and cranberries.

A few additions were originally cultivated but now grow wild--including apples, Japanese knot weed, and day lilies. We must find these items in the woods and not in our friends' yards!

When a single plant offered several different food items, we counted each item separately. So dandelion roots, flowers, and leaves are separate entries.

We are quite proud that the final list only includes five teas.

In addition to the meats, the alternate list includes several edibles we are a little uneasy about (crickets and road kill), things we think will be hard to find (ground nuts), items that are nutritionally null (flower essenses), and one item we tried before but really didn't like (Gill Over the Ground).

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