Who knew that edible weeds populate the sidewalks and parks of major cities? Below are some tips for foraging delicious edible weeds wherever you live.
Foraging in Central Park
Wildman Steve Brill enjoys foraging in New York City’s Central Park. Here are some of his favorite plants to find and use:
- Garlic mustard: white flowers, 2-3 foot stems, with alternate leaves. It’s good in pesto or roasted like kale chips.
- Poor man’s pepper: single stem gets about 1.5 feet tall, with narrow and roughly elliptical leaves. Good in salad, but make sure to just use the leaves!
- Yellow wood sorrel: heart-shaped leaves, 5-petal yellow flower.
- Violet: heart-shaped leaves that come from the ground and have little teeth on the edges. They taste like lettuce, excellent for foraging!
- Field pennycress: white cross-shaped flowers, leaves that look like pennies with a notch in them. You can eat any tender parts: the leaves, flowers, or the top of the stem.
- Common mallow: related to the hibiscus, has round notched leaves, tubular 5-petalled flower. Relatively mild-tasting.
- Cattails: long, sword-like leaves from the rounded base of the plant, peel the outside off to taste the edible part inside, which tastes like cucumber!
Food you never knew you could eat!
You can make a whole salad from weeds you find in city parks, provide you know what you’re looking for. Imagine all of the incredible food you can forage if you actually went out into the country and sought it out!
Questions about foraging to discuss on Ohlelo:
- Does this information inspire you to go searching for food in your neighborhood?
- What surprising things did you learn from about urban foraging?
- Have you gone urban foraging before, and what did you find?
- What are your favorite ways to use plants you find?
Check out more great videos on the Inhabitat YouTube channel.