blank'/> 66 Square Feet (Plus): Spring foraging

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring foraging


Tama Wong (author of Foraged Flavor, about which I posted, recently) left a comment on that post saying that I really should eat lesser celandine - Ranunculus ficaria. I had mentioned that some other local foragers are wary of it. But they have not eaten it, to my knowledge. It is eaten in Europe.

And I could not be happier. I know of several patches of it within the five boroughs, nice and clean, and I have always wanted to eat the young leaves as salad. She says to catch them before they bloom, when they turn acrid.

Here they are in bloom, in Pelham Bay Park.


It is a wonderful forageable because of how invasive it is. Yet another weed. And its flowers ain't bad, either. I am quite excited about early spring. It's just around the corner, waiting for the slow curtain to rise.

On the 29th I'll be doing an informal foraging walk, by the way, in the woods of Manhattan - we could easily accommodate one or two additional walkers, as long as they like picnics and field garlic, and perhaps owls, too.

Let me know if you would like to join us.

15 comments:

  1. I wish I lived in NYC as this sounds great.

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  2. I'd love to learn more... and hopefully make it out with you all on the 29th!

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    1. That would be fun, Pritha. I'm meeting one other at High Street, prior to our subterranean commute, but we could also rendezvous up in them thar woods. Email?

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  3. Hey, I live in Warsaw and I have about 5m2 balcony. I'm trying the balcony gardening. Greetings for New York.

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  4. So .... my front bed is full of it. After 10+ years, it decided to spread this year. When do I eat it? Are you saying go find a little patch that has not yet flowered? And, go easy lest there be bad side effects?

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    1. Eat now. Young leaves. But taste a small amount first, wait a day, and then proceed (with any new plant food)...

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  5. Hi, Marie. I love your blog and enjoy reading about your little terrace garden but I cannot support foraging for edibles in NYC parks. Leaded gasoline was used in the United States from the 1920's through 1973 when the phase-out began. Please do not eat anything growing in densely populated urban parks and lands unless the soils have been tested for lead and mercury content. As romantic a notion of a salad picked in Central Park may be it is not worth a case of lead or mercury poisoning.

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    1. Well, I've never eaten a salad from Central Park and don't suppose I ever shall.

      But thank you for making your point, which is a good one.

      I shall continue, though, to eat field garlic, Japanese knotweed and sundry other weeds. All growing in what used to be massive estates and parks, no development, ever, and no traffic on them.

      If these plants constituted my daily diet, and in some quantity, I'd probably go so far as to test soil, but for occasional and seasonal treats, I have no problem with the practise at all.

      Most conventionally grown crops suffer from worse contamination.

      Do you have name, or did the comment form flummox you? You can leave your name in the Name/URL option, and just ignore the URL part :-)

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    2. You know, I rarely comment on blogs much these days because people like your friend Clark (see below). For the record, I am a he, not a she and my comment was not in any way intended to berate or in any way abuse or ridicule or be ungracious to Marie. My comment was just that, a comment. Thank you, Marie, for crediting the value of my comment as such. I will still read your posts if I may but I will not be reading or contributing to comments any further.

      Don't waste any more of your sterling comments on me, Clark. I won't be reading them.

      Your Friend,
      Anonymous

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  6. Never did take to preachy, ungracious and unattributed offerings as to what we should and should not partake.

    I'm with Marie on this, and methinks "Anonymous" should give the master herself a bit of credit for knowing what the heck she's doing.

    A bit ago, I informed a visitor that I might pour us both another glass of fine Brunello. She did not inquire about the possibility of "mercury content," a thoughtful omission on her part that is appreciated.

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  7. "Goodness, Gracious!" the reader originally from South Georgia exclaimed, upon reading all the comments. In all seriousness, I wish I lived near enough to partake of the adventure. Happy hunting and safe eating!-HW

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  8. I will miss your 29th event, since I'm based in Chicago. :( Can you give tips for this (currently) Midwestern girl? I'm a proud Pennsylvanian, love NYC, and miss the gorgeous East Coast springs. I don't have a single square foot of land to call my own at the moment, but there are lots of parks... Kat, at kskovira [at] gmail [dot] com

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