Foraging G - I

Good morning everyone, hope you all had a good weekend, I know I did. My boyfriend's cousin and her baby came to visit, they live in the US and it was the first time I've meet her, so we had a good visit. On Saturday my boyfriend and I spent the day reconnecting, as we've been super busy lately and stressed out. And on Sunday we mainly had a lazy day at his parents house, went into the hottub, and did chores around the house, oh and we took the carbs off of our skidoos to clean. But back to the article, please read carefully and use the information below at your own risk. Please comment and let me know your thoughts, it means a lot to me!


They are so common they are called the Common Gardenia They look like the Jasmine and indeed Gardenia blossoms are also used to make jasmine tea. It seems a little like bait and switch but since the pallet doesn’t know the difference your Jasmine tea may be flavored with Jasmine or Gardenia. As for the Gardenia flowers they are eaten raw, pickled or preserved in honey. The fruits are also edible and used as yellow coloring for other fruits.

Garden Orache

Leaves are edible raw. Leaves are suitable as a potherb. Leaves can be boiled or steamed and treated like spinach. Leaves have a bland to salty taste. Seeds are edible. Seeds contain vitamin A. Seeds can be ground into a powder for use as a flour. Grows in open areas. deserts, and ground with high salt content, including the seaside.
Warning: seeds contain saponins and should not be consumed in extreme quantities. Warning: plant tends to concentrate harmful nitrates in their leaves, avoid harvesting plants which grow in artificial fertilizer.

Garden Sorrel

It’s a Rumex and many of the wild sorrels are too bitter to eat, as are their blossoms and seeds. While there are exceptions — I know of only one locally that is pleasant — you can have a steady supply of sorrel leaves and blossoms if you include this old-world flavor in your kitchen garden. Rumex acetosa is used in nearly every ethnic cuisine in Europe, from being mixed into mash potatoes to flavoring reindeer milk. The blossoms are tart like the rest of the plan, lemony. Use as you would a lemon.

Garlic Grass

Garlic grass (Allium vineale or wild garlic) is an herbal treat often found lurking in fields, pastures, forests and disturbed soil. It resembles cultivated garlic or spring onions, but the shoots are often very thin. Use it in sandwiches, salads, and pesto or chopped on main courses like scallions.

Garlic Mustard

Edible parts: Flowers, leaves, roots and seeds. Leaves can be eaten in any season, when the weather gets hot; the leaves will have a taste bitter. Flowers can be chopped and tossed into salads. The roots can be collected in early spring and again in late fall, when no flower stalks are present. Garlic mustard roots taste very spicy somewhat like horseradish…. yummy! In the fall the seed can be collected and eaten.


Scented Geraniums have different scents, among them almond, apple, coconut, lemon, nutmeg, old spice, peppermint, rose, and strawberry. The flowers tend to agree with the plant’s name. They are used in salads, desserts, and drinks.


Glads (Gladiolus) blossoms are bland, lettuce like, and you must remove the anthers… take the middle out.  Basically, eat the petals. They can also be cooked. Like squash glad blossoms are often used to hold tasty tidbits.


Canada goldenrod is a weedy native in the US Midwest and Canada but considered quite invasive in
Europe and Asia.  You’ll help slow the invasion with this recipe by removing flowers (the plant’s reproductive organs) from their stems.  To prepare flowers for cooking, begin by rinsing the flowers off under cool tap water.  Lay the flowers flat on a cutting board and scrape from the base of the flower to the flower tips with a paring knife to remove them. Plants can be cooked, flowers are edible raw, seeds are edible raw. Varieties in Manitoba are Canada goldenrod, Giant goldenrodMissouri goldenrod, and Northern goldenrod. Grows in open plains, foothills, and montane regions.
Cornbread Recipe

3/4 cup Jiffy corn muffin mix
1/2 cup Jiffy yellow cake mix
1/2 cup Canada goldenrod flowers
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1.  Preheat oven to 375°
2.  Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and mix thoroughly; batter may be chunky
3.  Bake in an 8″ x 8″ pan for 25 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown


These are also common in the woods in northern Missouri, the branches are grey and have long red thorns, and the leaves are bright green and have 5 points, they have rounded edges and look like the shape of a maple leaf. The flowers in the spring are very odd looking, they are bright red and hang down, and the berries ripen around late May early June. Berries have modest taste, tart if picked too early. Berries can be collected and left to ripen. Berries can be dried for storage. Berries can be cooked and then spread to dry into cakes. Berries contain high levels of pectin, which benefits making jams. Varieties in Manitoba are White-stemmed gooseberry and Northern gooseberry. Warning: eating gooseberries in quantity may cause stomach upset.

Goose Tongue

Use the young leaves raw in salads, or cooked in soups, in mixed cooked greens, or in any dish that calls for cooking greens.  Goose tongue is best in spring and early summer, before the flowers appear.  Goose tongue can be confused with poisonous Arrowgrass, so careful identification is essential. Goose tongue is also called Seashore Plantain.

Ground Elder

To many people this is one of the most pernicious garden weeds. It has an herbaceous perennial nature, with creeping roots that enable it to spread and colonize land. Growing to 1 m (3 1/2 ft.) or less, it has hollow stems that bear the leaves, and from early to late summer, white flowers in umbrella-like heads.
You’ll find it: on waste areas, especially near old buildings and gardens. Also look at the base of hedges and alongside roads.
Leaves: are 10-20 cm (4-8 in) long, medium to dark green and usually formed of three finely tooth-edged leaflets
Harvesting the leaves: young leaves are the best and tastiest, picked in spring and early summer. However, pinching out flower shoots helps to protract the season when young leaves appear.
Collect leaves before the plants flower, as after that time they have a strongly laxative nature.
Using the leaves: wash the leaves thoroughly under running water, then allow to dry in the air. Ground elder leaves can be used in a wide range of dishes and preparations, including soups, quiches, fritters and omelettes. These can also be steamed and used much like spinach. Add young leaves to salads, where they impart an aromatic and rather tangy flavour.


Berries are called 'haws'. Haws are tasteless, with a texture that is mealy and seedy. Haws can b
e dried for storage. Haws can be mashed into a pulp, cooked and then spread to dry into cakes once the seeds have been strained out. Haws contain high levels of pectin, which benefits making jams. Plant is a shrub or small tree, 6-11 meters tall with long sturdy thorns. Grows in open woodland, forest edges and road-sides in lowland and montane regions. Varieties in the Pacific Northwest include Black hawthorn. Warning: thorn scratches to the eyes usually results in blindness. Blood pressure and heart rate may be affected by consuming berries.

Herb Robert

Edible parts: The entire plant. Fresh leaves can be used in salads or to make tea. The flower, leaves and root can be dried and stored using it later as a tea or herbs as a nutrient booster. Rubbing fresh leaves on the skin is known to repel mosquitoes, and the entire plant repels rabbits and deer which would complement and protect your garden. (Like all herbs, pregnant women and breast-feeding woman should consult a physician first before use)


These common tree nuts are the highest calorie payout of the fall season, giving you 193 calories per ounce of nutmeat. Most hickory nuts taste like their famous relative: the pecan.
Hickory nut trees can grow about 50-60 ft. tall, their green leaves are spear like and can grow very large, they have pointed edges. The hickory nut is round and ten to ripen in September or October.

High Mallow

Leaves are edible raw. Young leaves are tenderer and less bitter than older leaves. Young shoots are edible raw. Leaves are suitable as a soup thickener. Seeds are edible raw. Seeds have a palatable, nut-like flavour. Flower buds and flowers are edible. Fruits are edible. Grows in meadows, roadsides, disturbed sites and gardens.


Hollyhocks look great on a plate, and their taste is bland for those who want strong colors rather than flavors. They have also been used to color wine in the distant past when such things were not regulated. The leaves are also edible raw and it’s still a cultivated vegetable in Egypt (the root has starch.)  Besides plating and salads, you can also make a refreshing tea from the Hollyhock.


Most everyone knows that horseradish is a hot root. In fact, the root is rather clever. The two chemicals that make horseradish hot must be mixed to be hot, but the plant keeps them in separate cells, so they don’t bother the plant. Only when the cells are crushed together is a hot chemical created. Young leaves can be added to salads, pickled or cooked as a potherb. Sprouts can be added to salads, or the roots can be cooked as eaten that way. The flowers are edible, quite mild compared to the root. Sprinkle them on salads, throw them in when pickling or cooking string beans and the like.


Leaves are edible raw.
Tips of young shoots are edible raw.
Leaves and shoots are suitable as a potherb and seasoning agent.
Grows in ditches and by roadways.

Italian Bugloss

Also known as Wild Bugloss, Alkanet and Anchusa. Originally from Europe it’s cultivated around the world, is intensely blue, and is used among other things as a dye. The bright blue blossoms are an excellent salad addition and are quite attractive when mixed with rose petals. Locals eat the tender stems boiled. 

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