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TheBringer
Dec 12th, 2006, 09:34 PM
There are plants averywhere, growing wildly where I live and I want to know which ones are edible.

Why go to the store and buy food when you can get it for free from nature? There is a tree that bears hard black berries with white stuff inside. Are they poisonous? Can anyone tell me?:confused:

Also my neighbors have an agave plant in their front yard. I really want to ask them if I can take a leaf or two. I'd rather it be one in my yard though.

RedWellies
Dec 12th, 2006, 11:18 PM
There is a tree that bears hard black berries with white stuff inside. Are they poisonous? Can anyone tell me?:confused:

Can you post a pic? Then someone might recognise the tree/berries. Be careful though and don't eat anything until you're sure it's OK.

PainterLady
Dec 13th, 2006, 12:35 AM
here is a link with some edible plants in Cali:
http://mnhc.ucsc.edu/edibleplants.html

auntierozzi
Dec 13th, 2006, 09:49 AM
Be careful when picking berries at knee level.
Here in France foxes have been carrying a disease, I'm sorry I can't remember the name) which is transmitted in their urine on to low branches of berry bushes. People have become seriously ill from eating blackberries that were infected like this.
I'm sorry to put a downer on this. I love fresh berries too. Maybe this has just happened in France but it would be worth checking. I will try and find more info.

auntierozzi
Dec 13th, 2006, 09:58 AM
The illness I have heard about is the fox tapeworm (echinococcose multilocularis) can cause fatal liver infection.
There is info. at this address :
http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=15978474

twinkle
Dec 13th, 2006, 11:05 AM
The Bringer - I'd consider investing in a field guide book you can actually take out with you to identify safe or harmful wild foods.

I don't know if Roger Phillips (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wild-Natural-History-Photographic-Guides/dp/0330280694) would be any good to you - I have this book plus several more of his, but I think they're mostly quite UK-centric. Very clearly illustrated and readable though, and I'd recommend something along these lines.

rantipole
Dec 13th, 2006, 07:17 PM
You can also try the Peterson Guide to Edible Plants and the Peterson Guide to Medicinal Plants. I love them and they are very helpful. You can find them on Amazon.com.

Cheers,
rant

cvC
Dec 15th, 2006, 05:21 PM
I have frutarian aspirations and don't know what fruitarians say about edible flowers, but, for what it's worth, here's a list of them:

http://whatscookingamerica.net/EdibleFlowers/EdibleFlowersMain.htm

PainterLady
Dec 15th, 2006, 06:49 PM
Be careful when picking berries at knee level.
Here in France foxes have been carrying a disease, I'm sorry I can't remember the name) which is transmitted in their urine on to low branches of berry bushes. People have become seriously ill from eating blackberries that were infected like this.
I'm sorry to put a downer on this. I love fresh berries too. Maybe this has just happened in France but it would be worth checking. I will try and find more info.


Luckily we don't have that over here yet. We have the Hanti virus in mice droppings, that's all. I think we killed most all the foxes over here in Amerikill.:(

herbwormwood
Dec 16th, 2006, 04:29 PM
Deadly nightshade, and Ivy have poisonous (to humans) black berries. Yew has poisonous red berries, also hemlock. Get a good identifier book, or better still an old neighbour who can teach you.
My sig file contains some info too.

Seaside
Dec 16th, 2006, 09:22 PM
There is a tree that bears hard black berries with white stuff inside. Are they poisonous? Can anyone tell me?:confused: Is it an evergreen tree? I would generally stay away from any berries growing on an evergreen tree. Sometimes animals or birds can be a guide to what is safe, but they are able to eat things which are poisonous to people. Bitter tastes almost always indicate toxicity, but it is risky to try even a tiny bit to see whether it is bitter or not. That sort of thing is mostly for someone lost in the wilderness without any books to refer to, and who is starving. Have you heard of Steve Brill? He does foraging classes in the New York area. You might be able to find someone who does it where you live. That would be even better than using a book, if you are really serious about it. I know of many of the wild edible plants in the Bay Area, but California ecosystems are so diverse it would be hard to advise you on what to look for.

TheBringer
Dec 19th, 2006, 08:24 AM
Wow I really appreciate the response!! I did not know that about the foxes...very interesting. Yes the tree is an evergreen. I am pretty sure the berriies are not edible. I would love to get a guide book for that. I'll get a picture of it too if I can. Thanks for the links. For now I'll just live off my meals. It would be nice to grow some native plants in my yard. Is there a home garden thread?

auntierozzi
Dec 19th, 2006, 07:39 PM
There is this one, today in my garden thread.

http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7507

Kirska
Dec 27th, 2006, 01:21 AM
Heh... I usually just take a tiny bite of whatever it is, and if I don't die, I eat a larger bite. If I don't die again, I eat more, and so on.

It's quite effective. Just don't eat things with bright, violent colors. XD

TheBringer
Jan 5th, 2007, 05:41 AM
You actually do that!? That sounds very risky to me. How many plants have you tried this with? Why should the vibrant ones be avoided?

VegandanieL
Jan 17th, 2007, 05:11 PM
Did anyone see this on ITV3 (I think it was) last night? I watched it purely out of interest. Funnily enough, the majority off the program was more about eating food which is easily available to your location. For example, seaweed which he picked from the beach, berries which he also picked and put into gin, nettles which he made into nettle soup and mushrooms (including this rather strange giant puffball mushroom). I would love to know more about this lol, it would cut my shopping bills right down, but for example, how do you know which berries are safe to eat, and what mushrooms won't take you on a trip, and is all seaweed safe to eat :p

harpy
Jan 17th, 2007, 06:45 PM
There are illustrated books to help you identify edible wild plants - I think this one http://www.amazon.co.uk/Food-Free-Richard-Mabey/dp/0002201593 is meant to be quite good.

I would be careful about mushrooms because in a few cases edible ones are easily confused with poisonous ones. I think there are escorted foraging trips you can go on in the autumn, which might be a good way to learn. Puffballs are quite easy to spot anyway :D

auntierozzi
Jan 17th, 2007, 06:52 PM
Hi Vegandaniel,
It is really important to check out how clean the sea water is around where you are picking your seaweed. Unfortunately there is a lot of pollution in some areas. I hope that the waters are cleaner around your way than ours...
Good luck with harvesting the good stuff!

harpy
Jan 17th, 2007, 07:10 PM
That's a good point, auntierozzi. ISTR the dried seaweed I buy is supposed to come from somewhere in the middle of the Channel, which one hopes is well away from sewer outlets etc :eek:

auntierozzi
Jan 17th, 2007, 09:15 PM
Hello there Harpy,
Yes, that should be OK! :-)
Our local doctor told us that she sees so many cases of tummy bug in the summer round here that she advises against any fishing and especially shell fish collection and so I think that seaweed is to be avoided unfortunately for us.

VegandanieL
Jan 18th, 2007, 12:19 AM
Well if seaweed and mushrooms are out of the window, has anyone tried nettle soup?? Mind you, most of the nettles round here are on footpaths which dog owners tend to use so its probably best to stay away from them aswell, oh, its a tough life =]

Risker
Jan 18th, 2007, 02:26 AM
I've been wanting to for ages daniel, but for the problem you've just mentioned. As for seaweed from the middle of the channel, I think there probably is quite a bit of sewage there to be honest.

Just have to wash and cook it well I suppose.

harpy
Jan 18th, 2007, 09:40 AM
I think it's probably the Atlantic rather than the Channel, on reflection. You're probably right that it's not all that clean, but at least the pollution is a bit more dilute out there than on some UK beaches. Not sure whether washing solves the problem if it's contaminated because the undesirable substances may get inside the plant?

Haven't found anything conclusive online although there's a bit about "seaweed safety" here http://www.ryandrum.com/seaxpan1.html

Nettles are quite good - you just have to arrive before the dogs ;) Seriously, I think you need the very young shoots rather than the manky old leaves.

harpy
Jan 18th, 2007, 09:46 AM
By the way there are some wild food recipes here

http://www.vegsoc.org/cordonvert/recipes/wildfood.html

Not all vegan but probably adaptable.

RedWellies
Jan 18th, 2007, 10:45 AM
I'll send you all some nettles in the spring! I end up with big areas here which I leave alone for the Peacock butterfly to lay her eggs.:)