Wild Edibles:
Teaching Goals: Kids will be able to…
Identify local edible and useful medicinal plants safely.
Know how to harvest, prepare, and store these plants.
Easily identifiable plants for which there are no poisonous look-alikes
· Plantain – Ribbed, oval leaves in rosettes with short flower stalk. Edible, apply externally for insect stings and small cuts and scrapes. Grows in disturbed areas.
· Burdock – Large, ‘elephant ear’ leaves, dark green on top and silvery on bottom. Good example of biennial. Root dug with fork or digging stick, boiled. Nutraceutical.
· Chicory – Toothed leaves, blue flowers. Young leaves and flowers edible. Root roasted for coffee substitute.
· Dandelion – All parts edible, medicinal.
· Autumn Olive – Opportunistic. Berries are edible, very astringent. Become sweeter towards winter.
· Cattail – ‘The WalMart of the woods’. All parts useful or edible at different times of year.
· Japanese Knotweed, - Opportunistic, young shoots edible, taste like rhubarb. Roots potent antimicrobial ‘hu zhang’.
· Chickweed – Nutritive, above ground portions edible.
· Nettles – Nutritive.
· Acorns – Major food source, must be leached of tannic acid by soaking before eating. High in protein.
· Maple – Sap is high in sugar, must be boiled down.