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downtide's avatar

What wild food can you gather near where you live?

Asked by downtide (23515points) September 9th, 2010

And how far from your home would you have to go to collect it? Can you do so legally? How often do you collect wild food?

This question was inspired by @WestRiverRat’s answer in this thread:

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25 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Papayas, a little fruit called strawberry guavas, mountain apples, star fruit, loquats, and many other types of fruit. I don’t have to go far. Some of it’s in my backyard, and yes, it’s legal.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I could go fishing in the East River nearby, but I doubt any of what I’d catch would be edible. Probably lousy with mercury and other chemicals that GE hasn’t cleaned up yet. Oh, wait, actually, there’s some wild leeks in my nabe as well.

muppetish's avatar

Me? None. There are plenty of people with fruit in their gardens (does that count as wild?) but my backyard is non-existent. If I wanted to find wild food, I would have to go pretty far.

A girl I knew from university is the daughter of a botanist and would often identify various plants by sight and smell. She uncovered a patch of mint and rosemary in this hidden area on campus. It smells wonderful there. I don’t know whether anyone would notice if we had nicked anything, but I kept my hands in my pockets.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Deer,turkey,fish,berries,fruit,roots,farms,Taco Bell all within reach.

I garden but don’t hunt.I tried to fish recently and caught a shoe :)

DominicX's avatar

There are plenty of food-producing plants in my yard, but not much in the “wild” around here (mostly because there isn’t much of a wild). As soon as you get toward the Santa Cruz Mountains, which is plenty wild, there are just a lot of redwood trees and poison oak. :\

The best I can get is miner’s lettuce. And maybe a few berries. :)

downtide's avatar

I live in a city so there isn’t much, but there are plenty of places within a couple of miles where I can gather wild blackberries at this time of year.

When I was a kid I lived in a rural area surrounded by farmland. My friend and I would go out on our bikes looking for fields with crops we could raid. I would often take home bags of corn or cabbage. That wasn’t so legal.

Edited to add: one of the places where I take my dog for a walk has wild garlic, or wild onions. I know this because I can smell it, but I’ve never been able to actually find it.

Seek's avatar

Fishing’s easy enough. I don’t have the equipment or the dog necessary for boar hunting, but it can be done.

There are very few indigenous plants that make for good food – some vine sprouts, the cabbage palm (though, it’s a protected species), maybe some purslane if you’re lucky. Jerusalem Artichokes can be had in the middle of the state, same with some blackberries and dandelions. That’s pretty far from here.

I think there’s a good reason there aren’t any native american settlements in my general area. The ground’s nothing much but dust and sand.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Not counting the animals:
mushrooms several varieties,
wild onions
squaw cabbage
crab apple
A couple other native plants that I don’t know the names of, just know from learning from a wonderful NA wise woman.

all within an hours drive.

Aster's avatar

Nine million black walnuts in my yard and squirrel. As opposed to what I had in 1984: wild pear trees, mushrooms, billions of huge blackberries and hundreds of ancient peach trees. Now the peach orchard is a golf course and they left one lousy tree. Pathetic. Haven’t had a huge, juicy, sweet peach since.

syz's avatar

Blackberries, wild blueberries, mulberries, black walnut.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I wanna live @hawaii_jake‘s house.
I can get blackberries, bluberries, grapes, apples, and strawberries.

Deja_vu's avatar

Lilikoi’s, papayas, lychee and I have an orange tree. Mango’s across the street. There’s wild chickens where I live but I wouldn’t want to eat those. There’s also lot’s of wild boar, and if I go to the ocean I could get some lobster and ahi :)

Aster's avatar

@py_sue I’ve really been trying not to be jealous. )-:

shego's avatar

I can get mint, garlic, onions, and peaches. But that’s all I can get without going to my backyard.

Mom2BDec2010's avatar

I can get blackberries, figs, and lemons.

iammia's avatar

Blackberries, raspberries, apples, pears, plums, sloe berries

Not counting the local river for trout & salmon

Jabe73's avatar

Blackberries, raspberries, wild apples, dandelions, Queen Ann’s Lace, teaberries, mushrooms, blueberries, cherries, spring onions. Maybe there’s more but I can’t think of any at the moment.

chaz's avatar

wild garlic blackberries sloes elderberies .

anartist's avatar

Wild asparagus growing certain places along the Washington Beltway—Route 495 but I have not yet learned where. it is a cl0osely guarded secret

Civic_Cat's avatar

Apples. I had to cut out the bruises and cores due to varying molds, rot, and insects, but they were otherwise nice. Also mulberries, and spearmint.

meiosis's avatar

Near me I can gather blackberries, crab apples and sloes (my sloe gin will be ready in 3 months).

@downtide Wild garlic, also called Ramsoms, looks like this. You eat the leaves, not the bulb.

downtide's avatar

@meiosis wow I didn’t know it looked like that. I’ll look out for it next year.

anniereborn's avatar

um…feed corn hahaha, I can get it a few miles from here. I only got it once thinking it was sweet corn. boy was I sorry.

downtide's avatar

@anniereborn one time when I was a kid I was out cycling in the countryside near where I lived and I saw a massive field of corn. I stopped to look and took a couple of cobs, and they were ripe so I decided to go back with a bag to collect more the next morning. I did that, but by 9am it was all gone; the farmer beat me to the harvest.

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