I remember foraging the wilderness for edible wild herbs when I was a kid. Not that I knew what was growing, I just loved picking and tasting wild fruits. Now there are neither woods nor meadows that grow wild food. All that green cover and what was left of the forest is gone.
My earliest memories of rummaging the nature was in the wilderness of a village, we would find lemongrass that grew in the wild and use it for making tea. To this day, I could not forget the delicious flavor of lemon and earthy herbal flavor.
In fact, if you are lucky to live in a zone where you can get down the car, walk down a mile and get hold of wild flowers and shrubs that are edible. However nothing stops you from getting those wild herbs in your backyard.
You are ensured to a delicious meal that is wild in taste and yet completely different to what you are accustomed to. For instance, the wild plants growing in your garden might be right where you can forage the wild food.
As for those invasive weeds, don’t call them weeds, it is disrespectful you see. You might be actually looking at some medicinal herb for all that you know. Native plants are better because they have more nutrition, besides they are not genetically modified by humans. In its natural form, these herbs are the purest and 100% more potent where they grow in a complete eco-friendly natural eco-system.
Guidelines for Foraging Wild Herbs
Here are some guidelines that you need to follow till you become an expert in identifying those herbs that magically appeared in your garden and you are definite that you did not plant them –
- Do not remove the local plants considering and calling them weeds. They are best acclimatized to grow in the local climate where you are planning to cultivate foreign plants.
- In order to help these wild herbs survive the next season, never take more than one third of the plant. Leave it to grow, do not uproot the entire herb plant.
- Do not forage on the roadside, the plants contain chemicals and fumes from the vehicles that pass on the road. Instead, go a bit deeper and look for healthy and clean herbs.
- Do not consume the wild herbs until you have identified the herb and are sure that it is not poisonous.
- Educate yourself by reading and identifying wild herbs.
Cultivating Wild Herbs
Dandelion, nettle, plantain, evening primrose and many other herbs that used to thrive in wilderness is grown now in farms. There is every chance that while foraging your garden you might come across them. How do you prevent chaos in your garden beds destined for vegetables or flowers?
Let these herbs grow in pathways and borders where they are easy to harvest. In time you can develop some weed friendly strategies and allow plenty of space for both cultivated food and wild herbs.
Many of us are accustomed to package foods nowadays but in good olden days people used to depend upon forests for food. These edible wild plants provided all the nutrients and nourishment which was natural and devoid of any genetic modification.
For more information check out –
An Evergreen Edible Wild Herb Garden