When we moved to our new land, I never imagined all the free food I would find. I wasn’t really purposefully foraging for wild edibles at the time, more just getting familiar with my surroundings. But everywhere I looked, I saw food, FREE food!
Foraging For Wild Edibles On Our Land
We recently moved from the coast of South Carolina to the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. Moving from planting zone 8b to 6b and a completely different climate but similar in many ways. You can read more about our journey in past newsletters.
Our homestead back at the coast was 1/4 acre of sandy soil, high temperatures for many months, extreme humidity, salt air, short winters, and we were just 11 ft above sea level.
We now have 46 acres, clay soil, rich humus, freshwater springs, cool nights, many micro-climates, mountain air and are 1600 ft above sea level.
The Smokies have one of the largest biodiversities in the United States. Meaning they have a large variety of different types of animals, plants, fungi, and other organisms. You can read more about the Smoky Mountains biodiversity here.
Foraging For Wild Edibles- Safety Tips
Before anyone goes off looking for wild edibles, you should always exercise caution and safety. Always. Here are some safety tips to get you started.
- Only forage on your land
- DO NOT EAT ANYTHING YOU CANNOT POSITIVELY IDENTIFY AND DEEM SAFE.
- Take a field guide with you to help with identification
- Learn the poisonous plants for your area
- Stay protected from wildlife
- Wear safety gear
- Only take what you need and don’t harvest all of the food
- Make sure you’re not harvesting near a roadway or other areas of chemical runoff
For more safety tips on foraging for wild edibles, click here.
Foraging For Wild Edibles On Our Land- We will never starve
I wish I had time to share our entire journey up to this point, it really has been a complete act of faith and I feel very blessed. I knew God would provide for us (the faith part wasn’t always easy), I just had no idea what He had planned for our future. We didn’t know where we would live, how much land we would get, or even if we would have a shelter to stay in, not to mention what we would eat.
As a self-employed parent, moving to a new state and leaving our job is a scary thing. I often worry about the future and if I will be able to provide for my family. What will we eat if I can’t make money or grow a successful garden?
Then I am reminded of the verse Mathew 6:25-27
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
It is right about this time when I let worry and fear into my head that I find a new wild edible in my path.
Honestly, as I write this article, I haven’t even seen half of our property, so I have no idea what other hidden treasures are out there. Every day, every walk is a new discovery. Each time I see something we can eat (that I can positively identify) I feel a sense of joy. Because I know, no matter what happens in the future, we will be provided for with our land.
Wild Edibles- The Bounty On Our Land
As I mentioned above, I’m just scratching the surface in discovering all of the wild edibles that I can forage for, but I believe I am off to a good start.
So far I have found:
- Wild Strawberries
- Mulberries. I have a wonderful article about preserving Mulberries you can read here.
- Red Clover
- Polk Weed
- Not really wild edibles but we have Crawdads in the creek and they are good eatin’
As we move through the seasons, and we explore our land, I’m sure more wild edibles will reveal themselves. This is just the beginning of our journey, I can’t wait to see what the future holds!
What wild edibles do you have on your land?