eating wild plants - ever tried that?

@stk40m (1119)
Koeln, Germany
November 26, 2012 6:05pm CST
Hi all (not just the veggies) well, the title already says it. Have you done it? If so, what plants were they and what was it like. If not, why not? Do you think it's healthy? Is it true that some fruits taste better when plucked right from the plant? Share your thoughts ps. plants you grow in your garden don't count here
2 responses
@veganbliss (3901)
• Adelaide, Australia
27 Nov 12
Hi I just couldn't resist after RawBill1's topic where he went into how he was eating weeds. I just pick some & marinate them for about half an hour & throw them in with the rest of the salad. I have no idea what they are, but if they look nice, I eat 'em & they haven't killed me yet! I don't notice the taste because it just goes in the blender with all the rest. I used to do this more when I was a kid on the farm. I ate so many nut grass bulbs that it gave me a guts ache. I reckon fruit tastes better when picked & eaten straight away (not in the noon-time sun here though!). Does fruit from other people's gardens count in this discussion?
@stk40m (1119)
• Koeln, Germany
27 Nov 12
Hi veganbliss, yes, there are many weeds that are edible. Be careful though if you don't know what they are, they could be harmful. The nutgrass you mention - I suppose it's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyperus_rotundus - looks like another interesting plant: ''Despite the bitter taste of the tubers, they are edible and have a nutritional value.'' I also think that fruits plucked right from the plant taste better, perhaps because they are as fresh as they can be and decomposition of its ingredients hasn't taken place yet or only to a small degree. As for ''borrowing'' fruits from your neighbor's garden, no, they were not meant to count as it does not answer the question if plants that grow in the wild and haven't been ''lent a helping hand'' by man can still be of use or help for him. But if you want to you can discuss any topic you like as you know your thoughts are always welcome Still - one might argue - some wild plants may have received man's help in the past, e.g. if their seed was somehow brought to the location where they grow. Or they were even planted there by someone. So we have to assume that those plants would also grow there without any ''help'' or if left alone and that they are not bred plants. I guess ''natural habitat'' and ''untouched'' are the most suitable properties to describe such plants.
• Adelaide, Australia
28 Nov 12
I can't find a reference to it, but that's not the one. The one I ate was quite abundant. It had a needle-fine stem, the thickness of a single leaf, no leaves though & I had to dig down a way to find the bulb (nut) at the end, maybe 10cm or so below the hard clay surface. I peeled it & ate it - quite bitter. Would have been good if marinated! What about what we call "blow in's"? Such trees, etc which have received no care from man other than landing in soil that may not have even been prepared.
@stk40m (1119)
• Koeln, Germany
28 Nov 12
I guess those blow in's would be okay it's really hard - if I think a bit more about it - to actually find ''real'' wild plants coz is there any place on Earth (except the rain forests perhaps) that has not been ''contaminated'' with human influence? oh I like those plant phantoms. We are having a few of them in our garden, too. To find out what they really are I need to take photos (many photos...) and put them on a forum where experts take a look at them an then tell me what they are. Perhaps I should install a herbarium here maybe you can use an online identification tool for your plant. Really makes me curious what you ate there. Here's some links: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/weeds/identification/index.html found in this link list: http://www.ala.org.au/faq/species-identification/
• United States
27 Nov 12
I used to eat honeysuckle off a tree in the lake area as a kid. Right now, I would love to find some stinging needle and juice it. I am far too afraid to eat anything that grows in the wild because I may mistake something poisonous for something edible. I would have to bring an herbalogist or someone with me on a nutrition walk in the wild so they can point out what to stay away from.
@stk40m (1119)
• Koeln, Germany
27 Nov 12
thanks for sharing your experiences. Yes, one must be very careful when plucking plants and their fruits for eating them. They might be poisonous as you said or infected with some kind of pest or be covered with animal excrements. But if clean and known I also try plants that come across my way. Yesterday for example I ate a rose hip. Did you know they contain up to 25 times (by mass) as much of vitamine C as oranges? But I also tried a fruit unknown to me, only to test the taste though. Luckily I didn't swallow it because it turned out to be Viburnum opulus (Guelder Rose) which is middly toxic. The taste was very interesting and strange though, never experienced something like that before.