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Learn How to Forage for 25 Tasty Wild Edible Plants

Foraging can be intimidating, especially when you’re new to it. However, with a little practice and a few common sense guidelines, you can start collecting free food safely today! From time to time, I conduct hands-on wild edibles plant walks in order to help folks get comfortable with finding, identifying, and eating wild-crafted food. While I enjoy conducting these walks immensely, the ripple effect from my classes is small and limited to the people in attendance. In order to spread the joys and health benefits of foraging far and wide, I’ve attempted to record my weed walks many times. Unfortunately, the end result has never turned out very good due to a combination of poor audio and video and outdoor weather conditions.

Filming a group workshop outside is surprisingly difficult. The weather, location, camera, microphone, videographer, crowd, and speaker all have to line up perfectly for the recording to be enjoyable. After a decade of failed attempts, I finally managed to wrangle all of these elements together to produce a high-quality foraging video! Two weeks ago, I teamed up with Expand Yoga and led a foraging tour in Tacoma, Washington. My friend Andrew worked his camera magic and the stars aligned in all the right ways. Together we filmed a 96-minute in-depth video, which shows viewers how to safely and responsibly identify and eat 25 delicious, nutritious wild edibles.

For extra bonus points, I invite you to watch this video on your preferred mobile device while looking for the same plants in your backyard.

I highly recommend watching the entire video from start to finish. Should you choose to skip ahead, the following timecode will help you get where you’re going.


0:40 Introduction / PCT story
9:00 Plant knowledge quiz
16:10 Wild edibles tour starts
16:26 Wild Sweet Pea–Lathyrus latifolius
16:57 The true story of Into The Wild
20:15 Meristems explained
22:03 Grass–Poa spp.
24:12 Wheatgrass / Ann Wigmore
25:35 Sow Thistle–Sonchus spp.
26:17 Dandelion–Taraxacum officinale
28:19 Should you be worried about oxalates?
31:48 Sergei’s take on supplements
32:45 Pineapple Weed–Matricaria matricarioides
33:08 You five senses will help keep you safe and happy!
37:33 Sergei’s simple rules for foraging
39:56 Dandelion flowers
41:10 Dandelion stem test
43:21 Respect the roots
44:00 Horse Chestnut–Aesculus hippocastanum (don’t eat this one!)
45:00 Sweet Chestnut–Castanea sativa (eat this one!)
46:48 Blackberry–Rubus allegheniensis
49:08 Common Mallow–Malva parviflora
53:56 Purple Dead Nettle–Lamium purpureum
56:44 Maple–Acer spp.
59:18 Plantain–Plantago spp.
1:05:20 Wild Mustard–Brassica spp.
1:08:34 Hairy Bittercress–Cardamine hirsuta
1:10:20 American Beech–Fagus grandifolia
1:11:40 Chickweed–Stellaria media
1:15:28 How to identify different conifers (pine, spruce, fir)
1:17:10 Conifer needle tea
1:18:19 Birch–Betula spp.
1:19:00 Miner’s Lettuce–Claytonia perfoliate
1:19:49 Wild edibles are the best supplements!
1:22:43 Common Daisy–Bellis perennis
1:24:06 Clover­–Trifolium spp.
1:27:20 Harvesting pine pollen
1:28:00 Yarrow–Achillea millefolium
1:30:06 POP QUIZ, what kind of tree is this?
1:31:02 Spring needle harvesting
1:32:40 Cat’s Ear–Hypochaeris radicata

Recommended Reading

Wild Edibles: A Practical Guide to Foraging, with Easy Identification of 60 Edible Plants and 67 Recipes by Sergei Boutenko
Nature’s Garden by Sam Thayer
Forager’s Harvest by Sam Thayer
Incredible Wild Edibles by Sam Thayer
Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods From Dirt To Plate by John Kallas
Discovering Wild Plants: Alaska, Western Canada, The Northwest by Janice Schofield

More YouTube Videos on Wild Edibles/Foraging

Backyard Foraging:
Common Weeds and Wild Edibles of the World:
Mushroom Hunting For Chanterelles, Lion’s Mane & More:
Morel Mushrooms:
Don’t Eat Something if You Don’t Know What it is:
More Foraging: