Perhaps one concept we could stand to change is the idea that our lawns need to be a perfect picture of grass. If we were to allow the weeds to take over, we'd have a plethora of healthy food in our own back (and front) yards! I have to admit that I'm fairly new to foraging, and what I'm sharing is what I've recently learned.
The photo above is from a small part of my yard, and the reason it looks like a tangled mess of grass and weeds is because it is! We've had a lot of rain, and the ground was too boggy for DH to mow. The focus in the above pic is on a patch of wild onions.
The wild onions blend in well with the grass and are single stalk with a bud on top. In the forefront, you can see one of the buds opening. I pulled one up so I could show what it looks like.
The aroma of the plant also helps with its identification. In this case, it smells like an onion. (Look-alike plants, i.e. Crowpoison - Nothoscordum bivalve will not smell like onion even though the stalk and bud look similar.) According to Deane on the Eat The Weeds website, http://www.eattheweeds.com/allium-canadense-the-stinking-rose-2/, If it has that garlic/onion smell, it's wild onion. The whole plant can be used as food.
I have many patches of these growing all over my yard, but will only harvest one or two at a time, and only when I plan on using it in my food. By only getting what I need, I make sure to not deplete or lose what's growing. (I have to admit that I dug some up and planted them in my front garden where DH won't mow as a precaution.) I'm hoping the various onion patches survive being mowed and the hot, dry summers here. I'll be watching to see how they fare and update here periodically.
One final note: The experts on foraging recommend gathering no more than 10% if you're foraging on your own property so you'll still have plenty for later times.
The information contained in this blog is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.