The Wild Foodies of Philly! In search of the food beneath our feet!
Wild edibles are the only truly sustainable food - because they don't need us! We are a collaborative learning group of wild edible enthusiasts! And we depend on our members to step forward to host & post wild edible events on our free MEETUP Group. No need to be an expert. Just use the resources below and go out there and find those wild edibles. We are also interested in "wild medicinals", "wild fibers", and "preserving through drying and fermentation". We need this group to be collaborative and self-organizing. So, please step up to the plate! And Munch On! With Care! Lynn Landes, founder
JOIN OUR FREE MEETUP Group for group and private tours (both free and fee-based are available). Contact Lynn Landes for free private tours - email@example.com / 215-629-3553
RECOMMENDED BOOK: Edible Wild Plants, A North American
Field Guide, by Thomas S. Elias & Peter A. Dykeman
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED WEBSITES - Eat The Weeds http://www.eattheweeds.com/ AND "PLANTS FOR A FUTURE" - http://www.pfaf.org/
Help spread the word with our calling card & postcard, or make your own. Put them on your front door, windows, cars, etc! Also, start your own neighborhood "Wild Edibles Study Group" see below.
more reference info below!!!
From founder, Lynn Landes:
Welcome to The Wild Foodies of Philly! We are the second largest 'wild edibles' foraging & education MEETUP Group! in the world! This is a collaborative educational effort. We are a group of wild foods enthusiasts who came together in the summer of 2010 to learn more about wild edibles, both plants and animals (although currently we focus mainly on plants). We are also interested in "wild medicinals", "wild fibers", and "preserving through drying and fermentation".
The Wild Foodies was founded in response to several serious concerns of the public, to include: the public's total reliance on cultivated foods, conventional farming practices, the use of chemicals and GMOs, and the degradation of organic standards. Wild edibles are surging in popularity worldwide in response to these concerns.
You are welcome to start your own Wild Foodies of _________ anywhere in the world (or call it anything you like). We are here to help. You are invited to come on as many tours as you like. Some are free and some have fees. The more you tour, the more you'll learn! The important thing is for people to come together to help each other identify, discuss, and eat wild edibles. We really encourage you to keep your own scrapbook on these plants and animals. And there's lots of reference material below to get you started.
Anyone, group, or organizations can announce a meetup if you live within approximately 50 miles of Philadelphia. You do not need any knowledge of plants if you are not going to charge a fee. Your meetup could be just a study group. However, if you need to control the size of the group, then you must contact me so that I can make you an event organizer. Don't get too concerned about scheduling a meetup at the same time as other meetups. Our membership is big enough at this point that it shouldn't matter.
I do free tour leader training and also lead free private tours on weekdays for students, chefs, and any other interested groups. I also do free group tours in the Art Museum/Lemon Hill area. For other tour guides, scroll down to LOCAL GROUPS.
Munch on! With Care!
LynnLandes@earthlink.net / 215-629-3553. Use my cell phone only if you are late for a tour: 714-204-2690
STUDY GROUPS: Open meetups are great, but we also need to build local 'wild edible' communities where we live. We have members from several states and surrounding counties, but no one knows where the other lives! So, please consider starting a Wild Edibles STUDY GROUP in your neighborhood or region. This is a great opportunity to meet people who live near you and are also interested in wild edibles. FOR EXAMPLE, just post a meetup on our page and call it "The South Philly Study Group", letting people know that your meetup is only for South Philly residents. You can also start a photo album featuring your local members. And, consider posting your meetings on community callendars and local papers. People really deserve to know about this subject which is so vital to our health and well being. One of our members started his own group in Bucks County -- http://www.meetup.com/Wild-food-foraging-in-Bucks-County/, which is another option.
General remarks about Wild Edibles:
Wild edibles are the only truly sustainable food, as they do not need human intervention to grow.
Wild edibles come in a wide variety of flavors: bland, bitter, sweet, sour, spicy, mustard, garlic, onion, pepper, mushroom, etc.
We use at least four senses to identify plants: sight, touch, taste, and smell. Sometimes we need to scratch and sniff at roots (ex., garlic mustard), tear a leaf in half (spice bush), or roll a leaf between your fingers (mugwort) in order to capture the smell.
The same plant can taste differently depending on soil conditions, time of year, time of day, etc.
Many wild edibles are invasive plants. Many invasive plants have been in America for hundreds of years (ex., plantain). How to manage invasive plants is probably best determined on a case-by-case basis. That said, toxic chemicals should never be used to eradicate invasive plants.
CAUTIONS & ADVICE :The Wild Foodies of Philly are food enthusiasts, not experts!
(always under construction)
IDENTIFY IT: Always be sure of what you are eating. If you think you know, also look up "poisonous look-a-likes". If you haven't positively identified it, don't eat it. If you want to try it anyway, check out this website -- http://www.wikihow.com/Test-if-a-Plant-Is-Edible.
CONTAMINATED AREAS: Avoid certain areas, such as next to roads, former industrial areas, etc.. Lead contamination from cars or house paint can make plants taste sweeter. If you want to grow plants for food, have the soil tested. If it is contaminated, there are plants that can remediate the soil over time.
FORAGE IN THE AM - Some people say to forage in the morning when plants are at their best.
GO SLOW: Eat in moderation. See how your system processes the food. You could be allergic. Some greens pack a punch, unlike many waterlogged greens sold in stores. Many wild edibles are good as a condiment or garnish, not main course.
MILKY SUBSTANCE AND WHITE CENTRAL VEINS – If a plant leeches a milky substance from any part, avoid it (except for sow thistle and wild lettuce). For plants like dandelions, chicory, wild lettuces, the white central vein might adversely affect those allergic to latex. Therefore, eat on either side of vein first.
OXALIC ACID: Too much oxalic acid, such as in spinach, is said to interfere with processing calcium and contribute to kidney stones. However, the U.S. National Institutes of Health have determined that the negative effects of oxalic acid are generally of little or no nutritional consequence in persons who eat a variety of foods.
BE CONSIDERATE - Don't forage for food that is scarce. And don't take all the berries! Save some for others - people and wild life.
REFERENCE INFORMATION below:
GUIDEBOOKS & Websites:
Fieldguide: Mushrooms of Northeast North America: Midwest to New England, George Barron http://www.amazon.com/Mushrooms-Northeast-North-America-Midwest/dp/1551052016
LOCAL PROFESSIONAL FORAGERS for food and fiber, etc:
Kitchen for rent for cooking classes and
Reading Terminal Market
LOCAL FOOD HISTORIAN: Anita M. McKelvey http://thephiladelphiapepperproject.wordpress.com/about-me/
FOOD PROJECTS - Please work with your local urban garden folks and others to also grow & harvest wild edibles, because many are already there!
Philadelphia Food Harvest Map - http://maps.google Created in the summer of 2007 by David Siller, a farm educator for Weavers Way Farm, it now has dozens of entries, including ones with charming notes: "nice apple tree - get it before the kids do" and "feral hops on the dog park fence." http://www.philly.com/inquirer/food/
GENDLER'S LIST of Philadelphia's Wild (not all edible) Plants: (UNDER CONSTRUCTION!) The photos are great! This is list is being re-organized to make identification for the beginner easier. So far, many of the plants to not include information on edibility. We'll work to identify those plants, or go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_plants_with_edible_leaves, although this list is in dispute. We're only about 1/3 through Gendler's List. (July 25, 2010)
From Patrick Hurley, Ph.D. Ursinus College firstname.lastname@example.org Do you gather wild plants or mushrooms in Southeastern Pennsylvania? We’d like to talk with you. For more info: http://webpages.ursinus.edu/phurley/SuburbanForagingFlyer.pdf
http://www.urbanfarming.org/ Just noticed the Triscuit connection http://www.urbanfarmi... Not sure about using them and their corporate partners who have worked against real foods, so use with caution.
WILD LIFE: pretty much just small critters and insects (entomophagy)
Fiber, Basketry, Miscellaneous Info:
natural toothbrushes from trees - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teeth_cleaning_twig