Sunday, April 28, 2013

Wild spring edibles

What abundance we have growing wild around us!  We hosted our annual Wild Spring Edibles workshop today, and even though it's just the beginning of the season with wild greens only starting to peek up, our facilitator managed to find a wide assortment of delicious nutritious wild greens, roots and flowers already available.  She covered all aspects of wild edibles - including: ethical harvesting, traditional approaches, plant spirit medicine, phtyo-nutrients and medicinal values of wild foods, drying and storing, how to prepare wild foods for eating, juicing, safe quantities to consume, and of course (probably most important) proper identification.  We sampled an array of prepared foods such as burdock root tea, pine needle tea, garlic mustard pesto, purslane pesto, garlic mustard root "horseradish", fresh dandelion greens, rosehip jam, and fresh violet blossoms.  Then we had a walk around the Little City Farm property to identify these plants, plus a few others such as nettles, wood sorrel, mallow, evening primrose, wild ginger, wild grape, and ramps (wild garlic).  We are re-inspired to enjoy the bounty around us, to help build attentiveness and appreciation for these plants and bring greater health for our bodies.

Here are some photos of the spring wild edibles here at Little City Farm, with their names below.

Evening Primrose root and leaf

Large burdock root (centre)

Top evening primrose root, middle burdock root, bottom dock root

Stinging nettle greens

Garlic mustard greens

Ramps (wild garlic)

Wild ginger (just opening the leaves)

Violet blossoms and leaves

Young burdock leaves (harvest for the root)

Dandelion greens

Clover leaves

Evening primrose leaves

Wood sorrel leaves

Wild rose buds (harvest the rosehips)

Wild carrot greens (harvest for greens and young roots


  1. Karin, I would love to hear any good recipes you have/use with the garlic mustard. Do you just use it fresh in salads, or do you make it into something as well? Isn't Spring just so amazing, giving all of this amazing food FREE for the taking!?

  2. Loving all the green! We so look forward to the bountiful edibles after the barren winter days. Making ramp quiche in the morning from our ramp patch. Looking forward to making some wild pesto soon. Thanks for the reminder :)

  3. MarianneMay 02, 2013

    Would you mind sharing how you were able to get that entire burdock root up? I've never been able to actually get a whole root. I always end up with about 1/4 of it and can not seem to get more :0(

  4. So great to hear of all you folks who also appreciate these delicious wild edibles! To quickly answer your questions - digging the full burdock root, dandelion or yellow dock root is usually successful when I use a narrow treeplanting shovel, and dig when the soil is slightly moist. You need to be patient :)

    As for garlic mustard recipes, we have a few we've tried - garlic mustard in salads, added into steamed greens, into pesto, into spanikopita (but honestly, I prefer nettles for most of these recipes since they are higher in nutritional value and I think they taste better too). I'd love to hear what other people are doing with their garlic mustard greens. We have so so many of them here in the city!