We had a great time going on a wild edibles walk with students of Pittsburgh’s SCA (Student Conservation Association.)
We knew we wouldn’t find any along the south side river trail, so we brought along some beautiful sky-blue chicory, which is in bloom all along the roadsides and all over the city these days.
We sampled herbal tea which had chicory in it, and discussed it’s use as a coffee substitute (drying and roasting the roots.)
(You can read more about chicory in my article in Natural News here.)
We did have some great finds along the south side trail that day, including:
- Garlic Mustard
- Purslane - delicious succulent plant, high in omega fatty acids
- Lamb’s Quarters - delicious “wild spinach” (please sign up for our newsletter (top right) for lots more info about lambs quarters!)
- Japanese Knotweed
- Staghorn Sumac (which we all sampled the sumac lemonade we had made for them, see previous post.)
- Poisonous Crown Vetch - the variety Penngift was made in Pennsylvania, to plant along the highway to prevent soil erosion…with limited results. The soil continues to erode, and while cows and other ruminant can safely eat the plant, which is high in nitroglyceride, it is poisonous to horses and other non-ruminants. It spreads very easily as well.
- Wild Carrot - which, though edible, we do not eat because of it’s similar appearance to the very deadly Water Hemlock and Poison Hemlock
- Mullein - an herb which benefits the lungs, and often smoked by Native Americans for that purpose
- St. John’s Wort - an herb used to treat depression
Here are some pictures of what the kids and adults of the SCA:
If you’d like more information about scheduling a wild edible walk for your group, please visit our wild event page. Or you can call Melissa at (412) 381-0116, or email to Melissa@FoodUnderFoot.com.
~ Melissa Sokulski, Herbalist
Food Under Foot