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5 Wild Edibles Found Everywhere


Everyone, it seems, wants to know more about wild edibles they can forage for that are easy to harvest and plentiful. What most people don’t realize is that many of the common plants we consider weeds are actually edible. Not only that, they pack a powerful nutritious punch!

A lot of people know about using willow bark tea for headaches and still more know about dandelions being edible and people using them for making wine. When I started looking into more about the hardy dandelion though, I realized that the entire plant is edible. From the flowers to the roots, this plant that millions of people curse and spray chemicals on to eradicate them from the lawn (notice how they always come back though?) is 100% pure food. Plentiful, easy to harvest, and easily sustainable. Here in Southeast Alaska, we actually get two bloomings of them a year.

So what about stuff other than these two? What else is there that fits the criteria of easy to get and plentiful? The real challenge for me was finding edibles that were found in as large a global area as possible. It is easy to find information on specific areas but something that takes in all the inhabited continents? That is more difficult. Here is what I came up with.

  • Clover – Clover grows the world over! This wonderful little plants is 100% edible from the leaves and flowers all the way to the roots. The catch is that clover should be eaten fresh or completely dry. Fermented clover is poisonous. The flowers are either purple or white (though the purple flowered ones are called ‘Red Clover).You can use the dried flowers in a tea or make syrup. Chickens love to gobble them up as well and makes for a free treat to keep the girls happy.
  • Berries – No matter where you live, there is some kind of berry that you can harvest. Usually, there are many kinds of berries that are available at different times of the year. Blueberries, wild strawberries, raspberries, rose hip ‘berries’….the list goes on and on. This is a fantastic way to provide all of your jams, jellies, and preserves the whole year round! Freeze some for a treat in the winter or dehydrate them to add into a trail mix or yogurt at breakfast.
  • Nuts – This one may be a bit more of a stretch for some people, particularly those in really urban areas, but it is still possible! Different kinds of nuts still grow in the wild out there such as walnuts, acorns, pecans, and hazelnuts are just a few examples of what is waiting out there to be picked up.
  • mushrooms-537974_1280Mushrooms – Mushrooms are found in all kinds of colors and in diverse growing conditions. While they can be an especially tasty treat (and are easy to dehydrate and save for later) I cannot stress enough caution on this particular wild edible found the world over. Mushrooms are something you should be very careful with before attempting to harvest. Be sure before you harvest! Bringing a book with color pictures or having a smartphone you can look varieties up on is highly recommended.
  • 1280px-Portulaca_oleraceaPurslane – Also called pigweed, little hogweed, red root, pursley, and moss rose, purslane is something I just learned about this winter. Like many other edibles, this is an extremely common plant that is considered a weed. There is reportedly more nutritional value packed in purslane than any other ‘green’ out there. It grows everywhere and usually in large patches.It is used on sandwiches, pickled, fried, and just about any other way you can think of.

There truly are many other wild edibles that people in both the city and the country pass by or walk over without a second thought. Once you start to get into foraging food and wild edibles found in your area, you will be amazed at just how much free food is out there. Right in front of you, free for the taking.

When foraging wild edibles, please use common sense and caution. For those in urban areas, consider pollution that may make plants inedible. Even those in the country need to exercise caution. Just because it it out in a field doesn’t mean that area hasn’t been sprayed with chemicals lately. Always wash and inspect your foraged edibles before consuming. When in doubt, toss it out!

For an expanded list, see “10 Wild Edibles Found (Almost) Everywhere.”


LeAnn InAK lives in beautiful Southeast Alaska with her husband and fur babies. She is the owner of the site www.homesteaddreamer.com and focuses on working toward a more self-sufficient lifestyle while trying to be prepared for the unknown.

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