An unusually chipper looking (for winter) burdock plant
Though winter seems barren, with these 5 secrets you will have a bounty of wild edibles in your basket in no time.
1. Know What Is Out There
One of the keys to foraging in the winter is knowing what plants are out and about in the winter weather…and there are more than you would think! Of course the red staghorn sumac berries are beacons on otherwise bare trees all winter long, but on the ground beneath our feet are some winter loving hardy plants which thrive in the cold and snow including chickweed, deadnettles, garlic mustard, onion grass, bittercress, dandelion, cleavers, clover greens, sorrel, and dock leaves.
2. Know Where to Look
Whether you live in the city, suburbs or country you’ll find one thing in common: edible weeds love people. Lawns, parks, lining trails in the woods: you’ll find abundant edibles in all these places.
3. Take Advantage Of Warm Sunny Days
It may be the very end of December in the Northeast, but if the sun is out chances are you’ll find a dandelion blooming, especially if the temperature makes it above 32 degrees (we call that a January thaw!) Dandelion, chickweed and deadnettles all bloom in the heart of winter, especially on those “warm” sunny days…so make sure you get out there if you see the sun shining!
4. Use Dead Plants As A Clue For New Growth
If you don’t find old burdock plants in the winter chances are they’ll find you…and you’ll be pulling the burrs off mittens, coats and dog fur. So keep your eyes open for them. You’ll also notice another thing: look down around those old dead burdock plants. You are sure to find leaves of the new plants all around. They are still small and tender at this point, and I am going to make some wild green crisps out of them one of these winter days…stay tuned because I will report back! (I’ve never eaten burdock leaves myself…the stems and roots yes and often, but not the leaves. But lately I’ve heard murmurings about them being edible and good, especially in winter. So of course I have to give it a try.
5. Use Dead Plants As A Clue When Looking For Edible and Medicinal Roots
Winter is a great time to harvest roots, especially when using the roots as medicine. During the winter all the energy of the plant returns to the roots. Japanese Knotweed, a very invasive species, is prized lately because of its possible use as prevention and treatment for Lyme’s Disease, and its high concentration of resveratrol, a substance beneficial to the brain and heart. The root is the the area of strongest concentration of these substances, and in winter the root’s energy is the strongest.
Also, look for old dead Jerusalem artichokes flower stalks, and just below the surface you’ll find their delicious tubers. If the ground is not frozen sold you are in luck. A crow bar or strong metal spade will help break through the frozen surface to the buried treasure just below.
And now for some super exciting news:
Our ebook Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting is now available on kindle!
For more information about what is out there in the winter time (secret #1!), along with full color pictures of all the plants in winter, and over 60 delicious recipes, make sure you check out my new book: Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting.
The title and cover have slightly changed but the content is exactly the same so if you already have it you have it. If not, now is your chance to zoom on over to Amazon Kindle and pick up your very own copy today!
And whether you bought it straight from us or you buy it on kindle, if the book was useful to you please let us know! We’d love to hear from you. Either comment below, send us a note by email (Melissa@FoodUnderFoot.com) or write us a kind review on Amazon or Goodreads.
Thank you, wonderful Food Under Foot family members who share so much with me - with at least as much enthusiasm as I share with you. It’s so much fun having a passion in common!
~ Melissa Sokulski
Food Under Foot
**Pick up Melissa’s new book, Winter Foraging Wild Food Feasting today on Kindle!
***If you have already bought the book and enjoyed it, please head on over to Amazon to leave a review.
Thanks so much!!