12 – 2 p.m. Saturday July 6 at Gerald R. Ford Middle School with Laura Casaletto, OKT Urban Forest Consultant
The Southeast Area Famers’ Market will host an Urban Foraging Workshop for the third year in a row, 12 – 2 p.m. Saturday July 6 at Gerald R Ford Middle School. Just like the grocery stores have helped us forget that food comes from farms, cultivation of domestic crops has helped us forget that many of the native species we see around us (and label as weeds) once were a prize source of both food and medicine. Here is a list of some of the edible plants (weeds) growing in Grand Rapids neighborhoods:
- Purslane, dandelion and sorrel: delicious salad greens
- Queen Anne’s lace: Deep fry the flowers.
- Wild grape and mulberry leaves: wrap rice and meat mixtures, think Middle Eastern cuisine.
- Mulberries: a great summer fruit snack and delicious made into jelly or jam.
- Peppermint: brew as tea to settle an upset stomach; chew a leaf instead of a breath mint.
- Plantain: the leaves can relieve insect bites and bee stings. Roll and crush the leaf, apply it to the sting, use a whole leaf as a “band-aid” to hold the crushed mixture in place.
When foraging, make sure you pick plants from an area that has not been chemically contaminated. For example, utility companies usually spray a swath of herbicides under electricity towers.