How cool would it be to just take a stroll out back and pick your very own organic food that you didn’t plant….for free!?
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of foraging some very healthy finds. Foraging is big on my radar screen right now, although in the past I must admit I didn’t hold foraging in high regard.
Foraging is simply the act of looking for food sources that you didn’t plant. I had no idea what kind of nutritional finds there were to be had right on our property. What’s really exciting about foraging is that it isn’t just for those who live in the country. Urban foraging is huge right now! People everywhere are eager to find free food sources that are right under their noses!
Because it can be overwhelming to try to learn and identify too many plants at once, I’ve decided to just tackle one or two at a time. Right now, I am lovin’ mulberries and lamb’s quarters.
This gorgeous lettuce was harvested from my garden, on the way out back to forage. Amish Deer Tongue lettuce has been delicious and very hearty this year.
Nature’s “Mineral Tablet”
The health food store shelves are full of pills, including mineral tablets. But nature provides an excellent alternative-one that you take advantage of by eating. This is lamb’s-quarter, a spinach relative found worldwide in the wild. It probably grows in your garden even if you don’t plant it. Used raw in salad or in juice mixes, 100 grams of lamb’s-quarter (about a cup) contains about 80 mg of vitamin C, 11,600 IU of vitamin A, 72 mg of phosphorus, 309 mg of calcium, and small amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and iron. These figures are slightly lower when you cook the lamb’s-quarter for a spinach replacement, or in soups, egg dishes, or vegetable dishes. You could nearly survive on lamb’s-quarter alone! Source www.motherearthnews.com
How cool is that? I have lamb’s quarters growing everywhere! It’s in the garden and out back as well. For years and years, I’ve picked it and treated it as a weed – I had no idea that it could be eaten or that it could be good for me!
In a tough economy, I can get very excited about the way God is providing through foraging. We need the knowledge, however, to take advantage of it.
Mixed with romaine and carrots, the kids were none the wiser to the lamb’s quarters in their salad. Ranch dressing covers a multitude of sneakiness. :)
You are going to hear me singing the praises of mulberries a lot this year! I am so thrilled and blessed to have quite a number of these on our property, but guess what? I see mulberry trees in residential areas all the time! Mulberries grow in much of the eastern part of the US and are available to many of us.
Mulberries are often times considered to be a nuisance due to the fact that they stain easily and fall all over the ground if not harvested, as well as the fact that they are quite delicate. However, getting free, organic berries (and tons of them!) is totally worth the little bit of hassle in dealing with them.
Also, grab a field guide and/or take a branch with leaves and berries to a local nursery and make sure you’ve got correct identification, just to be safe.
We have been making mulberry jam, freezing berries for smoothies, making muffins and just munching out of the bowl! Here’s the recipe I used to make muffins this week, they were great!
What are your thoughts regarding foraging?