Opabinia: I'll look forward to that article!
TheLorax: Maybe foraging is an even better diet secret than the tomato-leaf diet you guys were joking about over in the tomato forum.
Douglas: The forging is a new thing (well, new/old -- more on that in a minute) for me, really started by this conversation here. So, yes, I'm solo, and I haven't gone off this farm with it except for one big patch of dayliles along a dirt road on the way back from a workshop last weekend.
I really like the idea, and there's so much right here where I am -- all the nut trees I mentioned are on the farm, there's an old crabapple, field greens are plentiful, blackberries (the best bushes are in a neighbor's field -- I owe him a cobbler), wild roses (blossoms and hips), amaranth (whether I want it or not -- you should see my garden!) -- you get the idea. Curly dock, which it seems horses won't eat. Cattails down by the stream.
My husband and I put a lot into relocating here from the city (saved up, left good jobs we loved, etc) and I want to make the most of it. It's wonderful so far, almost a year in, and I feel like I'm just beginning to appreciate everything that's here. I haven't quite seen it through a full turn of the seasons yet, and the drought was so extreme last year that I haven't seen anything like a "normal" fall, anyway.
And foraging isn't a totally new idea to me. My parents taught me a lot of the edible plants growing up, and we ate them on many occasions. We'd have eaten more poke salat if my father had had his way, I imagine, but my mother's not as fond of greens as he is. So I come to it without the prejudice against "stuff that just grows" that many urban/suburban dwellers have.
I'd like to meet others with similar interests near me, and one of the organizers of the workshop last week mentioned someone I should talk to. I also have a friend who's an herbalist about twenty miles away. So it looks like I can make more contacts, which is good -- I'm not great at recognizing new plants from pictures, so I've been sticking mostly to ones I already knew. My mother taught me yellow sorrel as a toddler. I remember gathering hickory nuts with my father. The pecan I don't remember from my parents, but they'll take away your Southerner membership card in Georgia or
Alabama if you can't recognize a pecan tree!
Anyway, that's what possessed me.