I’m a lifelong lazy environmentalist.
I learned the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle) at an early age and my family brought canvas bags to the grocery store even before “paper or plastic” was in the vernacular. In those days the cashier would just look at us like we were nuts and proceed to plastic-bag our goods anyway.
Overtime I’ve made lots of small changes to reduce my impact, like making my own laundry soap, switching to a natural deodorant, switching to ‘green’ companies, making my own kombucha, yogurt, and cooking beans from scratch, holding clothes exchanges, growing a garden, and bike commuting. I enjoy all of these things (except the laundry soap, after a few batches I went back to the store-bought stuff) and they often save me some money along the way. That’s where the lazy part comes in, I stick with changes that suit me, ones that enrich my life from many angles, including the reduced environmental impact.
Forget the paper or plastic quandary, the latest question many environmentalists, lazy or otherwise, ask themselves is “how far did my food travel?”.
Looks like I need to do some weeding, eh?
Right into the salad bowl!
Foraging is the act of searching for food, any food, but is often used in the context of seeking and picking wild food.
The above salad contains violet flowers and leaves, redbud flowers, and dandelion greens, all of which grow wild in my yard, along with some wintered-over arugula and kale from my raised beds.
Doesn’t get much more local.
The large and lovely redbud tree in my front yard.
The blossoms are a little bit sour with a nice “pop” when you bite them.
I’ve only eaten them raw but think they could be fun and gorgeous baked into a dessert like my coconut flour lemon muffins.
One of the fun things about foraging for wild food is that the seasons are fleeting. The redbud blossoms are already drying up and giving way to lush leaves and soon the dandelions will be too tough and bitter to enjoy eating.
If you are interested in foraging for wild food it’s important to pay attention to a few things,
- make sure the area your picking is free from heavy pesticide spray and/or, in the case of low-growing plants, animal poop
- if the land is public than certainly respect any laws surrounding picking and always leave some for the other foragers and the health of the plant
- know what you’re picking!!!
- pick what you like to eat, it’s way more satisfying that way
The lazy (and thrifty!) environmentalist in me loves walking out in my yard and picking beautiful, nutritious produce.
Do you forage?
Happy Earth Day!
I love the violet and dandelion salad! My yard is overrun with these pretty little weeds, but since we have a doggie who runs and rolls and plays and…, I’m a little reluctant to eat what grows back there. 😉
Mike @ MidwesternBite
After my adventure with finding Lamb’s Quarters last year, I made sure to bring an entire bag of seeds to our new house. The new garden is starting to take shape, but there’s a lot of work left to do!
Mia (Savor Everyday)
What a pretty, colorful salad – almost too pretty to eat!
Have you heard of the blog “66 Square Feet”? She’s an urban gardener in NY and shares a lot of foraging stories as well. I think you would enjoy her blog!
Thanks for the recommendation Mia!