Last night we attended a class at our local REI where TrackersNW sent a representative to teach a class about edible plants native to the PNW. It was interesting. The guy who gave the presentation defintely showed a passion for the material, but he wasn't the worlds' best public speaker. It was cool though. The presentation he shared with us not only pointed out some poisionous plants, but a TON of edible ones. I was most surprised by what we have growing in our own yard!
I already knew about this one. I'd looked it up when we first moved in because the plant was so different from all the other weeds in our garden. It reminded me of my mom's jade plants (poisionous house plants she had when we were kids), so I wanted to know if it was safe to feed the goats. Come to find out...it's not only safe for goats, it's actually chock full of nutrition for humans! This is purslane (the wild variety) and it's growing all over our garden:
Wild purslane - high in vitamins and quite tasty (similiar to watercress, apparently).
I did taste it - and it's nice. Mild but flavorful. I can see how it would be a great addition to salads.
Then last night, we found out that all of these 'weeds' growing in our yard are also edible:
White oak acorns - the acorns make a nice hearty flour if processed correctly (remove all the bitter tannins).
We have this one other plant that grows super fast and is very watery. The goats eat it often enough to keep it in check (it's mostly in the area that we fenced in for them) and it doesn't appear to spread at all. We still have not identified it. I'll take some photos of it this weekend and post them...perhaps one of my readers who are more educated than I am about this area can ID it for us. If it's edible - I'd be thrilled since it's so prolific!
In addition to the 'weeds' listed above, we also have tons of wild grapes and wild blackberries along the perimeter of our property. Food abounds in the PNW when you know what to look for...