speedster7926
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air potatoes

are they edible we have tons of them and i heard you can eat them. all the sites i have looked at said they were in the yam family but nothing said they were edible
Thanks for all the help and advice Daniel G.

hit or miss
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I googled and found them on invasives.com which says they were imported as a food crop and are a food crop in Africa.

orgoveg
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One of my hobbies is foraging for wild food. I've studied and practiced it for several years. I don't have air potato listed in any of my guides as edible and from what I've just read after searching, it is known to be significantly toxic. There are some claims that they can be processed to remove the toxins, but I would research that very thoroughly before attempting it. A good source to ask would be Dean, the fellow who runs eattheweeds.com. He lives in Florida. Another would be Steve Brill at wildmanstevebrill.com.

speedster7926
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i have always wanted to learn what plants are edible here in the wild where would i learn which ones. how did you learn books, other people, what?
Thanks for all the help and advice Daniel G.

thanrose
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Green Deane is my ex. (Yeah, he'll tell you he's a life long bachelor. He'll also tell you to check at least two sources. He's a complicated guy.)

Don't think of eating air potatoes without researching. Probably won't kill you, but could render you infertile. Plus, it's not the bulbils that are eaten. That's all I'm gonna say on that. Way too complicated.

Foragers come into it from all paths. Deane and I both did some as children with parents and grandparents, and both of us planted things, saw how things grew, and watched what animals ate. No, we can't eat what animals eat exactly. Try a mouthful of hay sometime. Deane and I both have, as kids. Neither of us ate pokeweed until we tried it together. Eh, that's not true. He would always let me go first... :roll:

Some foragers are armchair only. They know how to set up a deadfall, or why months with Rs in them are bad for oysters, or what parts of thistles can be eaten. They just haven't done it. Even some of the best references out there for edible wild things are written by people who have no first hand experience.

There are a few fora that either specialize in wild edibles or have it as an adjunct. Paleoplanet, ForageAhead for two.

There are several folks on youtube, with Green Deane of eattheweeds the most visible and subscribed. I think his videos are over 170 now. Sunny Savage, Feral Kevin are two others. Steve Brill, Leda Meredith, Sam Thayer, John Kallas are a few other prominent folks but not much on youtube. I think all of them lead teaching tours. Henriette Kress and others have active websites. Lots of blogs out there with people who are knowledgeable about at least a few local wild edibles.

ALWAYS be absolutely certain of your identification before you try eating something. There are two mnemonics to remember for the same key steps: TIME or ITEM. Deane says Identify, Time of year/season, Environment, and Method of preparation. If something you think you've identified is growing in the wrong environment, you are probably wrong. If you pathetically think that we should always eat everything raw: Then I'll see you in the ER, if you make it. Sometimes there are good reasons that highly prized wild edibles are not generally available on the market. Pokeweed being a prime example. I love it, by the way.[/i]

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soil
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i love eattheweeds, ive learned a lot from his videos
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

orgoveg
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Green Dean was married once? That's very interesting. Besides Sam Thayer, I consider him to be the most knowledgeable forager out there. Would you agree? (Or did you teach him everything he knows?) :)

I still have yet to get brave enough to try pokeweed. It grows right in my neighbor's yard but I've never seen the young shoots without red in the stems.

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ozark_rocks
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orgoveg wrote:Green Dean was married once? That's very interesting. Besides Sam Thayer, I consider him to be the most knowledgeable forager out there. Would you agree? (Or did you teach him everything he knows?) :)

I still have yet to get brave enough to try pokeweed. It grows right in my neighbor's yard but I've never seen the young shoots without red in the stems.
If you cut poke off at ground level it will send up new shoots.You can extend your gathering season by doing this. I grew up eating it as a spring green, and scrambled in eggs. I stopped eating poke, when my asparagus patch started producing.

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!potatoes!
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eric toensmeier's book perennial vegetables says that the invasive variety of air potato, that's got so many floridians upset, isn't edible, but that others (most of which are hard to get your hands on in the us, and are reputed to be less invasive) are edible.

this is just book-hear-say, no personal experience with them.

oh yeah, and i gladly forsake asparagus for either solomon seal shoots or milkweed.

thanrose
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orgoveg wrote:Green Dean was married once? That's very interesting. Besides Sam Thayer, I consider him to be the most knowledgeable forager out there. Would you agree? (Or did you teach him everything he knows?) :)
Nope. Not married, but something about a dozen years says a kind of commitment. By the time we were through, we probably both could have been committed. 8)

Deane is knowledgeable, for sure. He does make an error on rare occasion, does step on toes, and I laugh at some of his stories because I was freakin' there and "that's not how it happened." But sometimes creative editing makes for more interesting patter. Folks who went on our field trips found our interaction memorable and instructive. I think I tempered his impulsivity.

I'd probably say John Kallas is the foremost in terms of breadth and depth of knowledge. I think he just had a book out. Steve Brill is fantastic and has an app out for foraging that's getting some good buzz. Sam is definitely up there, too.

The thing with foraging is that it is so regional at times, and so highly specialized in some aspects. I have a mycology expert, and a few herbal healers among my acquaintances. It's come a long way since Euell Gibbons. I'm just a dabbler, sort of intermediate. Capable of giving a decent tour with solid info, or devising recipes.

Sunny Savage is pretty good at finding other experts in her travels, so her videos and blogs will be about a wild foods camp in the Pacific Northwest, then a trip to remote Appalachia, then to someplace with drum circles type of thing. She's actually had a cable series, though I haven't seen it.

orgoveg
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You just led me to discover a whole new world. I've had Sunny Savage's blog bookmarked for a long time (sunnysavage.com). I never found much of interest there. Well, that links to her other website: wildfoodplants.com. I didn't know about that one and she has alot of resources listed.

Pleased to make your acquaintance :)

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