A couple days ago a reader offered to meet up to go for a foray in the University area on her lunch hour. Lunch-hour urban foraging, the concept alone I couldn’t turn down. Take THAT all you ‘I don’t have time people!! Now granted her co-workers think she’s strange for foraging for her lunch, but whatever. Strange can be good.
So out we went for mushrooms. Quickly found a variety of Agaricus, which I’ve written so much about lately I’m simply going to lay off. We found many. Tis the season. Then into the river valley we went to see what else would turn up. It wasn’t exactly what I expected. After noticing horseradish in the river valley earlier in the week, I should have broadened my expectations. Some of the surprises were burdock, rhubarb, and gooseberries. Burdock’s a root veg I grow in my yard. We also found raspberries, a pile of different mushrooms, a variety of greens [the usual dandelion, nettle, etc], some jeans, a hairbrush, and a knife. Ah, urban foraging. I wouldn’t suggest eating the jeans – pretty sure those are non-edible. The horseradish, rhubarb, and gooseberries especially have left me wondering about the opportunities for guerilla forest gardening. Interesting.
Below: Hericium Coralloids [Comb’s Tooth]. One of the coolest looking local edibles. And bottom, my backyard Chlorophyllum Rhacodes [Shaggy Parasols] which have finally made an appearance!! The only reason I suspect that’s what they are is I’ve had them grow in the same place year after year, studied mature specimens, and spore printed it – otherwise at this stage, I’d have no idea.
It was great having you join me, made me feel a little less crazy to know other will forage for their lunch as well if given the opportunity.
I’m having a heck of a time identifying some of the specimens we collected, though a few have been easy once I looked into it. A quick note, don’t eat teh yellow coral-shaped ones we found everywhere, the only edible variety doesn’t grow here and is darn near indistinguishable without a microscope.
I’ll keep digging about the others and let you know.
Also, rhubarb harvested from your workplace and augmented with wild raspberries, choke cherries, gooseberries and saskatoons all of which can be tucked into a pie: heaven. Especially when you have an ice cream maker ready to go in your freezer at all times.
So, Jasmine – what DID you eat for your lunch? I love the idea, but it sounds as though you went pretty hungry – or, eat odd combinations of roots and berries!
SO suprized goose berries grow wild here!
I make a quick salad of various wild greens, smush some berries on top, blend with a little home-made mustard and local honey for a dressing. I also eat rhubarb, pea shoots, flowers, mushrooms (obviously) and whatever else catches my fancy. I wander all lunch hour and snack on whatever seems tasty. In the fall it’s great as there are chestnuts, cherries, crab-apples, etc. all over the place. I do prefer spring though, birch sap is pretty darn tasty. In the winter I snag some kinnikinik and conifer needles for tea.
Mind you, I can’t eat forage every day, or as a whole meal, it’s more of a supplement to my brown-bagged lunches.