Fun with Wild Waterleaf

Fendler's waterleaf growing neglected near a highway underpass.

Waterleaf is an interesting edible wild plant that does not get a lot of press in the wild food media. The local species I know is Fendler’s waterleaf (Hydrophyllum fendleri), a native perennial that grows from Colorado’s Front Range west, in damp to moist soil from 5,500 to … [Read more...]

Don’t Forget the Tumble Mustard

A tumble mustard top, tender young flowerbuds surrounded by wispy, soft leaves.

If you’re looking to make use of local wild greens, why not give tumble mustard (Sisymbrium altissimum) a try? Tumble mustard—a non-native species from the Middle East thought to have been introduced to North America years ago via contaminated crop seed—is found throughout much … [Read more...]

Snowboarding, Nettles, & Jerusalem Artichoke Bouyah

Stinging nettles foraged in the Denver area last week before the latest bout of snowstorms.

My friend’s husband tells tales of growing up in northern Wisconsin next to the Menominee Nation, where as a boy he played with the kids on the reservation. When they got hungry, they’d head to whichever family’s house was hosting that week’s “bouyah," a Midwestern tradition … [Read more...]

Northeast Seaweed Farming & Foraging: A Chat with Charles Yarish

Native Gracilaria tikvahiae, an edible seaweed, in culture. A non-native Gracilaria that looks identical has invaded the east coast and is also edible. Photo credit: C. Yarish and J. Kim, UConn

If you’re planning to make blancmange—a traditional milk pudding thickened with Irish moss seaweed—don’t forget a splash of brandy, says Dr. Charles Yarish, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut (UConn). “The French always add a little … [Read more...]

Sprouting Flour with Quinoa’s Wild Kin

Carolyn Niethammer’s compilation of native recipes from the Southwest includes several ideas for lamb’s quarter seeds or flour (pictured).

I’d been eating a lot of store-bought quinoa while staring longingly at the seeds of its relative, the ubiquitous weed, goosefoot. In fact I kept a jar of the black seeds in my pantry for more than two years before attempting to eat them. Truth be told, I was stumped by … [Read more...]