I don’t usually assemble it on a plate like this, but I did it today to be able to see it all at once. Typically, this sort of forage food is eaten while walking around the yard, a fig here, a leaf of mizuna there.
This “meal” is never the same; it changes with the seasons, with the crops I choose to grow, with new plants reaching maturity and starting to fruit for the first time, with a flush of mushrooms after a good soaking rain. If you’ve never eaten a freshly plucked shiitake right there in the woods, you’ve never tasted the real deal.
It makes the growing and harvesting season that much more precious, to be able to graze like this in my own suburban yard. From the first fresh greens and little snow peas of spring to the last passionfruit drop of fall, with the blackberries and strawberries and herbs and sun-warmed tomatoes in between, it’s the best.
The perennials are the backbone of foraging in my yard. The reliability and relatively low-maintenance of fruit trees and vines and perennial herbs are such a joy. Choosing varieties native or easy to grow in the local climate makes it even that much simpler, such as (in my case) muscadines over grapes, Asian pears over European pears, and blackberries over raspberries.
As far as nutrition goes, this has got to be the most fun “diet” in the world: walk outside, see what’s ripe and tasty, eat it standing there, juice running down your wrists, wipe hands on pants, move on to the next thing.
What’s your favorite forage?