Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Adventures in Foraging

Since I cannot find a class on foraging, I am forced to take matters into my own two hands. I have had some success lately. I have foraged pineapple weed and red and white clover tops for tea.

Pineapple Weed

Pineapple weed grows in compacted earth, and gravel drives and roads. It only takes a tablespoon of fragrant flower heads to make a cup of tea (or so I read)
Clover heads- I find both red and white at vacant lots in in Town. I pick the heads and dry them for tea

Red Clover Flower is a general detoxifying (blood cleanser) herb.
Red Clover Flower is a source of phytoestrogens said to help with hot flashes and general menopause support.
Red Clover Flower has a pleasant sweet taste. Historically, tea made of the red clover flower has been used as an antispasmodic, expectorant, a mild sedative, and a blood purifier; additionally, the tea has been used for asthma, bronchitis and respiratory spasms.
These flowers also make a good herb tea, although red clover is less labor intensive to collect and more healthful. This common, widespread plant also favors sunny meadows and lawns.
So I am gathering my guts and trying some foraging. Don't get me wrong- I still want to take a class on foraging, but feel a bit better about going on my own.

White Clover uses: Leaves of white clover are edible, raw or cooked. The young leaves are best harvested before the plant flowers, and can be used in salads, soups etc. They can be used as a vegetable, cooked like spinach. Flowers and seed pods have been dried, ground into a powder and used as a flour or sprinkled on cooked foods such as boiled rice. The young flowers can also be eaten raw in salads. The root can be eaten if cooked first. A sweet herb tea is made from the fresh or dried flowers. It is considered delicate. The dried leaves impart a vanilla flavor if mixed into cakes etc.

If you read this and get an urge to forage:




The Cheap Vegetable Gardener said...

With my lack of pesticide/herbicides in my garden I have planty of white clover growin in my yard. Might have to try making some tea, though will have to fight the bees for them...

Theresa said...

Aha, so that stuff is pineapple weed - thanks! I never knew it could be used for tea. And I have an abundance of red and white clover too - yay! I've had some good luck foraging yarrow and bergamot for tea - quite yummy. Enjoy your foraging!