Sunday, September 26, 2010

Wild Food Foraging

John Kallas, Ph.D., Director, Wild Food Adventures (holding wild sweet pea)

This past summer, including today, I have taken 3 classes on Wild Foods from John Kallas here in Portland. 
The first class, we went to an organic farm and learned about all the edible weeds that can grown on a farm, we picked an assortment and made a delicious salad with them..  I really do mean that it was delicious..You'd never realize how good some of these plants are!  He doesn't like to call them weeds, because really they are native plants that are indeed edible, but often mistaken for weeds. 
(rose hips)
The second class, was about survival. It was a foundation class that went over the types of survival and about some of the easier foods to find and prepare-ones to avoid because they take too much energy to prepare. He said that the number one important thing to do in a survival situation is to stay calm and simply look around for awhile and think about what your resources are and what is around you..  In other words, your psychological state is #1!!  Chances are you want to leave that situation and food isnt' really your first priority(oftentimes)--people are usually rescued within 3 days and you can survive a month without food depending on the weather and conditions..water you need much sooner, though.. 

Today's class, was neighborhood foraging and we found lots of foods from an old city neighborhood, from trees, bushes, weeds...bushes.  (rosehips, plums, english walnut, lindentree, (pokeweed bad-unless really cooked), sheep sorrel, chestnuts, cats ear, pulslane(sp?), hawthorne, mountain ash, wild fennel, mint, wild sweet pea, green amarath, english linden tree, oregon white oak, wild spinnach, red clover, etc..) Lots of food around here!!  Learned that wild spinnach and wild garlic mustard are among the most nutritious greens known (and taste really good)!
english linden tree-like lettuce

 Brought my husband and  kids with me this time--little bit tricky with my kids..3 hours is a long time for them, I realized to listen and stand around looking at plants..but I think it was good for them to try..  My husband needed to take them for a couple breaks..  Realized that it is good for kids to be pushed sometimes even when they are bored--wasn't as fun for us, but character building for them (I hope)

In any case, these were fun and valuable classes.   He offers many many more classes..I realized through the 3 classes that I took that there is a wealth of knowledge out there!!  I only got a grazing of it..  There are many plants that are poisionous, so you really need to be careful and know what you are doing!  (for example the wild carrot looks almost just like the VERY poisonous hemlock that can kill you even in a very small quanitity and tastes good..

John Kallas also has his first book out and plans to write a whole series. 


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