Here, on this page, we keep a record of all the multitudinous wild foods Mother Nature currently is providing, as well as those which may be presently brought into the Home or Garden.
There is a yearly cycle to what the Earth provides, and a subtle beauty to its pattern. Keep checking back, and you might begin to see it too; leaf to bloom and root to seed, there’s more to learn than a simple way to feed ourselves too…
SUMMER Season, 2019
This has been an unusually rainy Spring and early Summer, which means the El Nino is back in effect. So much rain can ruin the blooms of many early-fruiting species, and serve to cause others to re-focus their resources towards personal growth, rather than reproduction and the future. Plants, like many creatures, are funny that way.
While the dewberry and blackberry harvests may have been ruined in much of the South, the wild plums (which flowered before the rains) as well as the wild grapes, prickly pears, and beautyberries among others (all of which bloomed after) are much encouraged by the influx of water and nutrition.
Currently, the cattails, in all their various parts are in the greatest abundance. In the South, we’ve seen their edible male (upper) flowers emerge and already produce the golden pollen we collect as a flour substitute. Rich in protein, cattail pollen is a wonderful treat and is easily collected in tins and paper bags. Where it grows, wild amaranth is now also appearing, its prolific seedheads useful in much the same way as its cousin, quinoa. Amaranth is capable of producing several generations in a single season, and its leaves are just as delicious (and nutritious!) as its seeds. Where available, cactus pads (nopales) can still be harvested too, even though it’s flowers have already bloomed and fruits already quickly ripening in the June sun. Summer is the season of fruition, and the efforts of many lives are beginning to come to bear.
You can find ideas on how to bring many of these fruits and vegetables to the dinner table on the RECIPES page…
Gardening in the Summertime can seem daunting, concerned mostly with keeping existing beds from wilting in the growing heat. But wild plants are a bit different, and many of them will have already concluded their life-cycle for the year.
Once wild plants have gone to seed, for many of them it is important they be sown right away, to ensure they aquire the weathering they will need to properly sprout the following year. As the fruits of many species are harvested, the seeds can be removed and either soaked in a medium and stored in cool, damp sand or planted, straight away, in potting soil.
Succulents, like prickly pear cacti, are another matter. While for most plants, vegetative propagation is inappropriate during the warm months, young cacti pads can reliably be removed and transplanted to warm, dry beds without concern. Even if they have already developed flowers, transplanted pads can even still bear fruit, and within a handful of seasons develop into mature stands.
For more information on starting your own Wild Garden, and how easy it can be, visit the Gardens page!