Wild Food Harvesting
We speak a lot about edible and medicinal properties of invasive weeds on our Blog. Here we would like to talk about wild food harvesting in general. While collecting useful invasive plants helps to balance native ecosystems and provides great natural resources to citizens, there are multitude of non-invasive edible plants are available. Knowledge of edible plants growing in the wild is a great advantage for anyone, for not only they high levels of essential micro-nutrients compared with mass-produces greens, but also helps to ward off illnesses and comes to you at no cost, except for the cost of your labor to harvest. No planting and no care is done- the nature takes care of it, the only responsibility you have is knowledge and great care of preservation.
Even NYC parks are a good source of naturally growing, organic food. Parks Department don’t spray pesticides, growth hormones or fertilizers in a wild- growth areas, and in this respect, the harvest is cleaner than what you can find in supermarkets.
Here is an example of today’s trip to park: we found a multitude of Wild Garlic (Allium vineale). Wild garlic is one of the most troublesome weeds in nursery production, and all we hear is “kill, kill, kill! – with pesticides. To us this plant is a beautiful early spring food resource. It has four and half times more sulfur compounds than common garlic, which means it is intensely good for you, offering all kinds of antibacterial and antiviral, supporting the Immune system when it is most vulnerable- the early spring, and is available as soon as snow melts. If wild garlic is troublesome, control its population by eating it. We’ll help you!
Wild Garlic pesto recipe:
1 cup washed, cut wild garlic greens, ½ cup virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon organic apple vinegar, 1/3 teaspoon salt. Place in food processor/ mixer and grind till smooth. It is an amazingly delicious super food, which helped me to recover from cold in only 1 day.
You can make a variety of salads, soups; use it with fish, meat or poultry. The entire plant is edible.