The Wild Foodies of Philly! In search of the food beneath our feet
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JOIN OUR FREE MEETUP Group for group and private tours (both free and fee-based) Contact Lynn Landes for free private tours - email@example.com / 215-629-3553
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Edible Wild Plants, A North American Field Guide, by Thomas S. Elias & Peter A. Dykeman
Help spread the word with our calling card & postcard, or make your own. Put them on your front door, windows, cars, etc! Also, start your own neighborhood "Wild Edibles Study Group" see below.
more reference info below!!!
From founder, Lynn Landes:
Welcome to The Wild Foodies of Philly! We are the second largest 'wild edibles' foraging & education MEETUP Group! in the world! This is a collaborative educational effort. We are a group of wild foods enthusiasts who came together in the summer of 2010 to learn more about wild edibles, both plants and animals (although currently we focus mainly on plants).
The Wild Foodies was founded in response to several serious concerns of the public, to include: the public's total reliance on cultivated foods, conventional farming practices, the use of chemicals and GMOs, and the degradation of organic standards. Wild edibles are surging in popularity worldwide in response to these concerns.
You are welcome to start your own Wild Foodies of _________ anywhere in the world (or call it anything you like). We are here to help. You are invited to come on as many tours as you like. Some are free and some have fees. The more you tour, the more you'll learn! The important thing is for people to come together to help each other identify, discuss, and eat wild edibles. We really encourage you to keep your own scrapbook on these plants and animals. And there's lots of reference material below to get you started.
Anyone, group, or organizations can announce a meetup if you live within approximately 50 miles of Philadelphia. You do not need any knowledge of plants if you are not going to charge a fee. Your meetup could be just a study group. However, if you need to control the size of the group, then you must contact me so that I can make you an event organizer. Don't get too concerned about scheduling a meetup at the same time as other meetups. Our membership is big enough at this point that it shouldn't matter.
I do free tour leader training and also lead free private tours on weekdays for students, chefs, and any other interested groups. I also do free group tours in the Art Museum/Lemon Hill area. For other tour guides, scroll down to LOCAL GROUPS.
LynnLandes@earthlink.net / 215-629-3553. Use my cell phone only if you are late for a tour: 714-204-2690
educate the public about wild edible plants and animals
make wild plants a significant part of everyone's diet
encourage public to landscape their yards with wild edible plants, trees, etc.
get members to host their own meetups as guided tours or study groups
urge restaurateurs to offer wild foods and drinks
establish wild edible areas in private and public spaces
work with schools, environmental centers, parks, etc.
explore the world of bug eating, Entomophagy, as well other wild animals
STUDY GROUPS: Open meetups are great, but we also need to build local 'wild edible' communities where we live. We have members from several states and surrounding counties, but no one knows where the other lives! So, please consider starting a Wild Edibles STUDY GROUP in your neighborhood or region. This is a great opportunity to meet people who live near you and are also interested in wild edibles. FOR EXAMPLE, just post a meetup on our page and call it "The South Philly Study Group", letting people know that your meetup is only for South Philly residents. You can also start a photo album featuring your local members. And, consider posting your meetings on community callendars and local papers. People really deserve to know about this subject which is so vital to our health and well being. One of our members started his own group in Bucks County -- http://www.meetup.com/Wild-food-foraging-in-Bucks-County/, which is another option.
CAUTIONS & ADVICE:
DENTIFY IT: Always be sure of what you are eating. If you haven't positively identified it, don't eat it. Plant taste can vary due to time of year, condition of soil, and varying species.
GO SLOW: Eat in moderation. See how your system processes the food. You could be allergic. Some greens pack a punch, unlike many waterlogged greens sold in stores. Many wild edibles are good as a condiment or garnish, not main course.
WHITE CENTRAL VEINS – For plants like dandelions, chicory, wild lettuces, the white central vein might adversely affect those allergic to latex. Therefore, eat on either side of vein first.
OXALIC ACID: Too much oxalic acid, such as in spinach, is said to interfere with processing calcium and contribute to kidney stones. However, the U.S. National Institutes of Health have determined that the negative effects of oxalic acid are generally of little or no nutritional consequence in persons who eat a variety of foods.
BE CONSIDERATE - Don't forage for food that is scarce. And don't take all the berries! Save some for others - people and wild life.
FORAGE IN THE AM - Some people say to forage in the morning when plants are at their best.
CONTAMINATED AREAS: Avoid certain areas, such as next to roads, former industrial areas, etc.. Lead contamination from cars or house paint can make plants taste sweeter. If you want to grow plants for food, have the soil tested. If it is contaminated, there are plants that can remediate the soil over time.
REFERENCE INFORMATION below:
Highly recommended: Edible Wild Plants, A North American Field Guide, by Thomas S. Elias and Peter A. Dykeman, 1990 (traditional style field guide with lots of color photos)
Wildman Steve Brill's http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/
A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and central North America by Lee Allen Peterson. Also: Peterson Guide, "Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants and Herbs"
"Nature's Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting and Preparing Edible Wild Plants" by Samuel Thayer (2010). Also, The Forager's Harvest, A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing edible wild plants, by Samuel Thayer, 2006 (much fewer photos than A North American Field Guide, but more information) ALSO SEE ONLINE: http://www.wildflowers-and-weeds.com/The_Forager/forager.html PHOTOS: http://www.wildflowers-and-weeds.com/Plant_Families/Plant_Families_Index.html
Doug Elliott - http://www.dougelliott.com
Other BOOKS and WEBSITES recommended by our Wild Foodies of Philly:
Ancestral Plants by Arthur Haines, see http://www.arthurhaines.com/purchase.htm
Stalking the Wild Asparagus, and other books by Euell Gibbons http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euell_Gibbons
Eat The Weeds, and other things too http://www.eattheweeds.com/
Excellent source: Plant For A Future - http://www.pfaf.org/user/edibleuses.aspx
Very helpful! Wikipedia (just type in name of plant in general search box), plus check out their list of plants with edible leaves and photos -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_plants_with_edible_leaves
http://njaes.rutgers.edu/weeds/thumbnail.asp Rutgers Weed Gallery
http://montana.plant-life.org/pics_edible.htm Montana's Edible Plant gallery
http://www.wildflowersofstrathclydepark.org.uk/ColourAll.htm Cool UK website, just click on the photo of the weed in flower
http://www.torrens.org.uk/FFF/index.html (It's British, but still very helpful)
http://almondstreet.net/Herblistpg2.html (medicinal information, but may not be reliable)
Ask Mr. Smarty Pants: http://www.wildflower.org/expert/new.php
Yahoo group: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/ForageAhead/
http://botanical.com/ mostly medicinal, but very useful
LOCAL PROFESSIONAL FORAGERS & enthusiasts for education, restaurants, landscaping, etc:
Sarah Murray (Wilmington, DE) --
Christopher Brown's BLOG -- http://foundationalskills.tumblr.com/
LOCAL FOOD HISTORIAN: Anita M. McKelvey http://thephiladelphiapepperproject.wordpress.com/about-me/
PLANTS & PROJECTS - Philly area
Great photo list of wild plants (edible and not) in Philadelphia: http://www.weedalogue.com/, plus reference list -- http://www.weedalogue.com/links.html We're reorganizing it for easier use. See below -- GENDLER'S LIST- (He takes great photos, but only a few of the plants are listed as edible plants, we will be working to identify all the edible plants. We're only about 1/3 through Gendler's list. (July 25, 2010)
Philadelphia Food Harvest Map - http://maps.google Created in the summer of 2007 by David Siller, a farm educator for Weavers Way Farm, it now has dozens of entries, including ones with charming notes: "nice apple tree - get it before the kids do" and "feral hops on the dog park fence." http://www.philly.com/inquirer/food/
GENDLER'S LIST of Philadelphia's Wild (not all edible) Plants: (UNDER CONSTRUCTION!) The photos are great! This is list is being re-organized to make identification for the beginner easier. So far, many of the plants to not include information on edibility. We'll work to identify those plants, or go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_plants_with_edible_leaves, although this list is in dispute. We're only about 1/3 through Gendler's List. (July 25, 2010)
From Patrick Hurley, Ph.D. Ursinus College firstname.lastname@example.org Do you gather wild plants or mushrooms in Southeastern Pennsylvania? We’d like to talk with you. For more info: http://webpages.ursinus.edu/phurley/SuburbanForagingFlyer.pdf
Wild Foodies recommended list of MEDICINAL BOOKS:
WILD LIFE: pretty much just small critters and insects (entomophagy)
Miscellaneous: natural toothbrushes from trees - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teeth_cleaning_twig