Wild Foods Walk: Buena Vista Park

Apropos of my bewilderment when I considered the idea of foraging in the Bay area, I spent the afternoon on a Wild Foods Walk in San Francisco’s Buena Vista Park. It was sponsored by Forage SF and led by Kevin Feinstein.

Since we were in the city, the focus was on “cosmopolitan weeds,” which I already knew pretty well. Still, I learned some tips for preparing and using them, and I learned a few California natives I didn’t know before. For instance, you can eat yarrow as a green, but it’s also a coagulant (handy if you cut yourself while out camping, hiking, or foraging) and was historically used instead of hops in beer brewing. (So was mugwort, which we didn’t see.) How would you eat a thistle of the non-artichoke persuasion? Take the root or the stalk, peel it, and roast. And how would you use mallow? Dry the leaves and grind them to powder to use as a thickening agent, like corn starch.

a showier mallow

More pictures on flickr. And more info on how to use Bay Laurel nuts on Kevin’s blog. We didn’t see that tree on our walk, but I am intrigued.


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