16 April 2013

Going Wild in the kitchen with foraged greens

When we were kids growing up in rural Ohio, our grandmother sent us out for wild salad greens in the spring and summer. That was (ahem) years ago and foraging is back in style in a big way.

The Oregonian reports that Portland urban forager Becky Lerner's 'Dandelion Hunter' explores city's edible weeds, teaches classes and writes a blog about it. Oh, and did I mention a book?

Lerner loves plants, but her relationship with the botanical world is far different from that of the avid gardener or arborist. The Portland-based urban forager's interest is in the wild plants that choke out neglected lawns and creep up chain link fences in vacant lots.
Where most people see signs of neglect and decay, Lerner sees a meal.

In her new book, "Dandelion Hunter: Foraging the Urban Wilderness," Lerner aims to extend her enthusiasm for untamed nature to a broader audience.

"It was really important for me to get some of those ideas out there," she says. "I really wanted to make it fun and entertaining and engaging at the same time."

Lerner, a former newspaper journalist, channels her interest into a popular blog called First Ways and plant identification walks during which she shepherds paying customers through the Concordia neighborhood to learn about the practical uses for weeds growing between the sidewalk cracks.

What do you think? Beyond dandelion greens are you eating wild?


2 comments:

Carolyn ♥ said...

It sounds inviting but then, maybe not when you consider the chemicals that people so freely spray.

Molly said...

Hi Carolyn -
You are so right. Plus, many wild greens are mildly toxic until our digestive systems readjust to them.
Getting an authoritative tour would seem essential, much like foraging for wild mushrooms.
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!