The Friendly Forager
garlic mustard and a jar of pesto on rustic array

Oh hi, welcome to Cafe au Naturel. The speciasl today are sure to satisfy any “invasivores.” Foraging the West? Might I interest you in some Shepherd’s purse? In the Midwest? How about a little garlic mustard pesto?

While I’m just having a little fun, eating invasive plants is becoming popular in trendy restaurants and farmer’s markets as a way to promote sustainable consumption. Come to think of it, foraging wild invasives does make the task of invasive control more pleasurable knowing you may get a tasty treat out of the ordeal. 

Foraging is a fun way to get outdoors and set out on a hunt. Just pack a few basic tools like scissors or maybe a knife, and of course something to carry all of your foraging treasures. 

Now, a lot of foraged food, especially mushrooms and berries, can be easily mistaken for poisonous plants until you learn what they are. Take the time to learn the difference before heading out. And that means knowing exactly which part of the plant is edible and where it was grown before consuming it.

If foraging falls outside your comfort zone, gardening is always an option. You can become a green thumb like me in no time. Get started by sourcing plants native to your area from a reputable nursery and avoid nonnative plants that self-seed. This helps keep your garden under control and beautiful. 

Happy foraging and/or gardening!

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