Paul’s Perambulations

July 2, 2007

Eating off the land

Filed under: Family,Recreation — admin @ 11:12 pm

Yesterday we went for a walk along Darby Creek near our house, looking for dinner. We found it in the form of such plants as nettles, plantain, daylilies, spicebush, etc. Although these items are usually described as weeds and wild flowers rather than food sources, they are in fact edible if correctly selected and prepared. See the dinner that resulted.

I admit to some trepidation about all this. These plants are described as nutritious and particularly endowed with life-enhancing vitamins and minerals. But after dinner last night, I expected that I should next be either getting my stomach pumped or leading the pack in the NYC Marathon. Neither event happened, and I slept comfortably.

Eating off the land can be considered the original “eating out” for we were gatherers before we were farmers. We are now pursuing this concept as an adjunct to our backpacking. This was Fran’s idea — part of how she never ceases to intrigue and surprise me. We are just getting started and educating ourselves using some of the fine resources available in print and online. It can add fresh food on the trail and lighten our packs at the same time.


  1. The following is copied from my Facebook post of March 29, 2009:

    This evening dinner was mostly foraged food (we went for a walk in the nearby woods and ate part of it).
    Day lilies were our mainstay for dinner. Not the flowers (that’s another season…watch out for your gardens when we’re around). The fresh green leaves are tasty, and the tubers were particularly filling (Fran sautés them and adds some magic). The knotweed crumble dessert was, well, interesting. The taste is hard to describe…maybe green apples, … but not really. Basically, the appearance leaves something to be desired. The fresh shoots resemble rigid asparagus stalks with a red head — not something any man would ever consider putting near his mouth. The presentation isn’t much better when cooked — it’s a yellow greenish color and the dish is sometimes known as snotweed. Well, think of LingLing the Panda and how much he enjoyed his bamboo shoots (before he died of something…overeating?). And the zoo never got the baby pandas, so maybe there is something wrong with males who can eat the stuff. Anyhow, so far I’m feeling OK

    Comment by admin — March 30, 2009 @ 8:17 pm

  2. I sometimes ask myself “What would it been like if Fran and I had met forty years ago?” Sweet.

    Comment by admin — March 31, 2009 @ 7:48 pm

  3. Thinking of getting outdoors with Fran, I appreciate that hiking for mushrooms goes five for five – it’s fun, outdoors, exercise, social, and can provide dinner. So how does that compare to a favorite that’s simply four for four — sex while on a backpacking trip? It’s fun, outdoors, exercise, social…but offers nothing good to cook up for dinner.

    Comment by admin — October 8, 2009 @ 11:49 pm

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