In September 2012, I spoke with Portland-based forager and author Rebecca Lerner about her experiences learning about wild food and foraging. Becky is the author of the FirstWays blog and the recently released book Dandelion Hunter.
Here's a link to our conversation or play it in the player below!
Here's the blurb about the book:
In this engaging and eye-opening read, forager-journalist Becky Lerner sets out on a quest to find her inner hunter-gatherer in the city of Portland, Oregon. After a disheartening week trying to live off wild plants from the streets and parks near her home, she learns the ways of the first people who lived there and, along with a quirky cast of characters, discovers an array of useful wild plants hiding in plain sight. As she harvests them for food, medicine, and just-in-case apocalypse insurance, Lerner delves into anthropology, urban ecology and sustainability, and finds herself looking at Nature in a very different way...Humorous, philosophical, and informative, Dandelion Hunter has something for everyone, from the curious neophyte to the seasoned forager.
Becky was kind enough to both sit down with me to chat and then take me on a foraging stroll around her neighborhood. We ate some kousa dogwood berries, gathered some acorns, and checked out some other plants. Click here for the full gallery.
She introduced me to the concept of eating hens and chicks. As a desert-dweller for most of my life, I was, of course, famliar with these little succulents, but I didn't know people ate them. They are quite tasty - I think would be delicious in a stir-fry.
While the audio for this is not as good as it should be, I thought Becky's story was interesting and worth sharing. So please take a listen if you are ethnobotanically inclined. Also visit her blog and check out her book!