Wild Edibles

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by Dustin Bise, May 5, 2009.

  1. Dustin Bise Active Member

    Posts: 3,089
    509
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    To me one of the best parts about camping/ being in nature is the ability to identify and devour wild edibles. We are blessed in the NW with a large supply of wild edible plants, esp in the puget sound region.

    Did you know that over 99 percent of the sea algea in puget sound is edible? Post your favorite wild foods and recipes if you have any.

    I really like....

    using acorns to create flour and then cooking up muffins (include some blackberrie)

    nettle stew

    dandelion pesto

    all the native edible berries (thimbleberry is my no1, with huckleberry at no.2)

    Wild edibles are a great way to supplemnt backcountry and front country cooking. Please share your thoughts. Also, when harvesting, please use responsible harvest techniques to ensure future success of the plants and future harvests.
  2. Ethan G. I do science.. on fish..

    Posts: 987
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    I usually grab a snack or two to supplement the regular backpacking food on the trail. my favorites include salads of sheep and wood sorrel with other wild greens like dandelion (where available), stonecrop, etc. A handful of wild blueberries or highbush cranberries in the morning oatmeal is always nice, as well. Indian plum is always a nice find, too. I also like to make teas out of young blackberry leaves.
    -Ethan
  3. Dustin Bise Active Member

    Posts: 3,089
    509
    Ratings: +7 / 0
  4. rotato Active Member

    Posts: 600
    home,wa
    Ratings: +66 / 0
    indian plum taste like cucumber
    refreshing
    i made pork tenderloins in a salal sauce last year
    nettle soup rocks
    still waiting for my morel spot to pop
    anybody try skunk cabbage?
  5. Dustin Bise Active Member

    Posts: 3,089
    509
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    yea i have. its alright but not my favorite. coming up on some wild onions is always a treat too.
  6. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,472
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,615 / 0
    I'm not much into eating grass or weeds, and I'm not really a tea drinker. I pick huckleberries, tho, but I figure it takes more calories to pick them than I derive from eating them. Couldn't survive that way.

    Sg
  7. rotato Active Member

    Posts: 600
    home,wa
    Ratings: +66 / 0
    striping baskets make good huckleberry containers
    just run your fingers through the plant and collect berries and leaves
    then float the brambles off
    yum
  8. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,650
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +540 / 0
    I'm curious as to how one prepares skunk cabbage. There's a lot of it growing around here. there are several plants growing in the low, wet area just behind my property. I might want to try that out, just so I'll know if its tasty or not.

    I have tried various edible wild greens around here, including red sorrel, dandelion, shotweed, and miner's lettuce. I prefer cultivated greens, as they are usually tastier and more tender. But the wild stuff will do if you're up a trail somewhere.
    Lots of wild strawberries around here at the beach, as well as native and Himalayan blackberries, red and evergreen huckleberries, twinberries, salmonberries, and thimbleberries. In the late Summer and early Fall, I can park my boat at dead high tide when hunting cutts up a coastal creek, and kill time picking native blackberries while I'm waiting for the tide to start running back out.
  9. Dustin Bise Active Member

    Posts: 3,089
    509
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    traditionally skunk cabbage was a famine food.
  10. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,097
    Near the Fjord
    Ratings: +563 / 0
    This is a great thread. I might point out that Himalayan Blackberry is not native, but I love'm! I don't eat much native stuff except red and blue hucks, and blackcaps, but anxious to try you guys suggestions. I do like chantrelles on steak! I'm embarassed to say I have a small native plant nursery at my home, but haven't learned the edibles!
  11. Randall Dee Castaway

    Posts: 372
    Cascadia
    Ratings: +16 / 0
    Don't forget the fiddle heads.
  12. Ethan G. I do science.. on fish..

    Posts: 987
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    They've been linked to stomach cancer in humans and horses (if eaten regularly). I've stayed away from them since I learned that...

    Larry- While Himalaya blackberries (and Evergreen blackberries, for that matter) aren't native there is the low-growing Pacific blackberry that is native here. They are actually way better, flavor wise, than the other species. In fact, a lot of commercial blackberry hybrids use Pacific blackberry as a starting material.
    -Ethan
  13. kingpuck new to fly fishing but loving every minute of it

    Posts: 104
    Mountlake Terrace, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    As someone who is newer to the backpacking version of camping I have been interested in getting to know what is okay to eat out in the wild to liven up the experience and teach my younger siblings some valuable nature skills. So here is my question that I'd like to pose to you, how did you learn what was okay to eat around here? Are you using books, friends, trial and error hoping that you won't die? What's the secret here.
  14. bhudda heffe'

    Posts: 1,946
    basement
    Ratings: +109 / 0
    not if your korean :) ....j/k, never heard of cancers before. ive eatin them since i was little, mostly in the fall winter time as a dried food, added to soups. very smelly as they dry but wonderful as an additive to broths, i have never seen them ate as a fresh green tho. my auntie , down in south sound area does alot of kelp and seaweed harvesting, tastes great! big difference between freshly dried and preservative dried, hands down we got good sea weed round' her' buddy! wish i knew more about shrooms' to actually eat them in the wild. great thread by the way


    bhudda
  15. Dustin Bise Active Member

    Posts: 3,089
    509
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    For me it has been a slow learning proccess. I took some ethnobotony classes, read some books, practiced, and learned things from friends. If you are in doubt don't eat it, advice to keep you learning. It's important to learn of plants that are dangerous as well. Aside from one, I do not eat mushrooms that I find.
  16. snarky clarki New Member

    Posts: 8
    johnson pt.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Our native blackberry (rubus ursinus) is usually called trailing blackberry. Not sure if this is what you are calling pacific. My favorite local edible berry has to be vaccinium ovatum (evergreen huckleberry). Picked enough last fall to make a nice thick pie from my property last summer. Be careful what you eat out there. Go with a trained expert not a friend who thinks they know what a chantrelle looks like.
  17. Ray Member

    Posts: 340
    Post Falls, ID
    Ratings: +21 / 0
    I've used wild ginger root to spice up a few meals while backpacking. Wild berries like thimbleberry and huckleberry go great with breakfast. Morels are a great (although buggy) way to enhance dehydrated lasagne or other hearty meal.
  18. Daryle Holmstrom retiredfishak

    Posts: 2,572
    Mount Vernon, WA
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    Are you sure you are not confusing Salmon berries with thimble berries. Birds don't even eat thimble berries. Nothing but seeds and dry nothing.
  19. UptheCreek Member

    Posts: 132
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Just picked some morels last weekend although they weren't as plentiful as I would have liked. They were tasty though!!
  20. Dustin Bise Active Member

    Posts: 3,089
    509
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    thimble berry is good to eat. its alot like a raspberry. You can bake with them, eat them fresh, or make jam.

    They are both of the Rubus family.