Although the name of this website is Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, for the most part my garden is nature’s garden. Yes, I do still garden, and here is where you will find a host of information on edible wild plants and mushrooms.
Recipes, yes, but also guides on how to identify, harvest, store and cook what you gather.
Some of this information, plus a great deal of stuff not on this website, can be found in my first book, Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast.
A few general points to understand: There is no magic way to tell what plants are safe to eat in the wild. But like all organisms, plants and mushrooms fall into set families, and you can learn how to identify those families, and from there the individual species. Some are easy, like the blackberry family, some a bit harder, like the carrot and parsley family.
This information is for North America, mostly the United States and Canada. I have gathered edible wild plants and mushrooms in almost every state and province in these two countries, so I have a fair bit of first-hand knowledge.
The categories below should help you narrow down your searches.
Edible Wild Plants and Mushrooms
Wild Greens and Herbs
Greens and herbs are the primary edible wild plant people gather, so start here. Nettles, lamb’s quarters, dandelions, wild radishes, seaside vegetables, etc. will be here. If it’s green, it’s here.
Acorns, Nuts and Other Wild Starches
I work a lot with acorns, wild nuts and other wild starches. Here are all my processing and harvesting tips, plus lots of recipes.
I am a constant mushroom hunter whenever they’re around. You’ll find a lot of identification tips and recipes for all sorts of wild mushrooms here.
Pickle Recipes and Preserved Foods
Life isn’t the same without pickles. I pickle and preserve a lot of foods, mostly wild edible plants, and you’ll find all my recipes for preserved foods here – with the exception of cured meats, which have their own section.
Berries, Booze, Sweets and Syrups
I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, and I am only an occasional baker, but here is where you will find all kinds of recipes for sweets and desserts, mostly from wild nuts and berries.
I love the esoteric, and here is where you will find information on growing unusual garden vegetables, from fava beans to cardoons, borage and crosnes. If it’s in the dark corners of a seed catalog, I’ve probably grown it.
Gathering Wild Asparagus
Finally, since wild asparagus fits into none of these categories, here’s how to find it, identify it and harvest your own spears in springtime.