Go wild!

The land if full of wholesome food just for picks.

Add healthy and organic vegetables to your menu for free by simply picking them out of your yard.

Pick your own salad

Whether you live in the country or the city, there is a wealth of free organic vegetables available to you for the picking. Take a look in your own yard. Do you see plantain, dandelion or wild violets? If you have these or a long list of other common weeds, you have the start for a delicious, healthy and free spring salad.

We are so accustomed to eating cultivated foods, whether from the store or the garden, that many of us don’t even realize the wide variety of edible plants that are provided to us in nature. Spring is the perfect time to start becoming acquainted with them. Spring brings a bounty of tasty and easy to identify plants that are available well before our backyard gardens start producing.

For spring salads some of my favorites:
Queen Anne’s Lace greens
Wild Lettuce
Common Blue Violets
Red Bud Tree flowers (more for looks than taste, use sparingly)
Winter Cress
Dandelion greens
Wild garlic or onion
Lady’s Thumb
Young Greenbrier leaves

Wild salad greens only need a quick rinsing before use.

Many wild greens that are commonly used as cooked greens do need to be parboiled before use. Be sure to consult a wild food guide for details.  Favorite spring wild plants for cooked greens included common milkweed, pokeweed, and day lily shoots.

Wild foods are incredibly healthy. They are full of vitamins and minerals, and many have medicinal benefits also. There are also other benefits to collecting wild foods. Collecting requires you to get out in the sunshine, and to get a little exercise.

Edible wild plants can be found in all types of habitats. The plants listed here can be found in lawns, overgrown fields, empty lots, parks, and areas where the land has been disturbed. Of course you want to use some discretion when you gather. Do not gather in areas that have been treated with chemicals, or near busy roads where pollution from cars will affect the plants. You will also want to ask permission before going onto someone else’s property.

Eating healthy and organic vegetables does not have to cost a fortune, or require you to plant a garden. An abundance of wild foods are available to you regardless of where you live. It will require a little education and a little effort, but you will be pleased with the return on your investment.