Tag Archives: edible wild plants

Fall Foraging Workshop…


Come join BigPig Outdoors for a day of foraging on Sunday September 29. We are excited to bring in a special guest instructor, Robert Silas, of Outdoor Re-Education.

Robert’s 20 year background in foraging and bushcraft coupled with his passion for sharing will make for a great day in the woods!

Register here.

REI Knoxville and Spring Foraging dates announced…


BigPig Outdoors, Team BUSAR, and REI have teamed up and put lifesaving skills and knowledge in the hands of over 200 adventurers so far with the “Reality of Survival” series. We are headed back to REI Knoxville on April 11 to spread the word again. Click here for more info – REI Knoxville



Foraging class is set for Sunday April 14. Get your hands dirty and learn to dine on the wilds. Click here for more info – Spring foraging

P.E.M.U. 0002 – Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)


New to P.E.M.U.? Start here: https://bigpigblog.com/2015/03/20/p-e-m-u-project/ Do the work!! Use a good field guide for identification and start your journey. Items in “bold” are first hand experience.

This week’s featured plant is another yard food, Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)


Common Chickweed (Stellaria media)

Family – Page 114 of Botany in a Day – Elpel

Identification – Page 274 of Newcomb’s

  • Single line of hairs down stem
  • Sap not milky

P – oisonous

  • Can be distinguished from poisonous look-a-likes by absence of milky sap 

E – dible

  • Raw
  • Cooked
  • Pesto
  • Cream soup

M – edicinal

  • Skin poultice
  • Skin ointment
  • Tea for coughs

U – seful

  • Weather indicator 


Chickweed pesto… chickweed, olive oil, some garlic, parmesan cheese, sunflower seeds, and salt



PFAF – http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Stellaria+media

Eat The Weeds – http://www.eattheweeds.com/chickweed-connoisseurs-2/

Interested in learning more about the Poisonous, Edible, Medicinal, and Useful plants around us? Check out BPO’s foraging classes http://www.bigpigoutdoors.net/poisonous–edible–medicinal—-useful-plants.html

P.E.M.U. 0001 – Curly Dock (Rumex crispus)


New to P.E.M.U.? Start here: https://bigpigblog.com/2015/03/20/p-e-m-u-project/ Do the work!! Use a good field guide for identification and start your journey. Items in “bold” are first hand experience.

This week’s featured plant is a favorite spring edible of mine and probably growing right in your yard or close to it.


Curly Dock, Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)

Buckwheat Family – Page 113 of Botany in a Day – Elpel

Identification – Page 85 of Wildflowers of Tennessee – Horn & Cathcart

  • Wavy leaf margins
  • Small green flowers

P – oisonous

  • Curly dock contains oxalic acid and should be eaten in limited quantities. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid it.

E – dible

  • Leaves (young) – raw, cooked, soup, or dried
  • Petioles – raw or cooked
  • Flower stalks – raw or cooked
  • Seeds – grain, sprouts, or coffee substitute

M – edicinal

  • Iron supplement
  • Bile stimulant
  • Anti-diarrheal
  • Laxative
  • Skin compress – psoriasis
  • Sting relief  for nettles

U – seful

  • Dye
  • Drinking straw


While it’s sourness is a great addition to salads, cooked Curly Dock is outstanding with equal parts tomatoes and onions (recipe from Nyerge’s book).


Strawberry Curly Dock pies…


I got sidetracked from my PEMU project last week, but building the BUSAR team had to get done.

It may take me a few runs to figure out the format, citing, etc, and where I want to take the project. There are plenty of great foraging blogs and PFAF’s database is top shelf. For now, I think my role in the green kingdom is as a motivator to get out and actually try stuff. If I have tried it, it will be in bold letters.

“Do work!!” the motto of my old fight gym, pertains to foraging too, so read up in Thayer’s or Kallas’ book for great edible info and most herbal medicine books will have Curly Dock listed.

Use the PEMU template https://bigpigblog.com/2015/03/20/p-e-m-u-project/ to start your own journey and you will be amazed at the bounty that surrounds us.


PFAF – http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Rumex+crispus

Eat The Weeds – http://www.eattheweeds.com/rumex-ruminations/

Summer P.E.M.U. recipes..


As promised, here are the recipes from the Summer P.E.M.U. class for the treats not made in camp.

Everybody’s favorite was the Blackberry-Raspberry Crumble Bars which came from here: http://kristineskitchenblog.com/2013/07/02/blackberry-crumb-bars/ The only thing my wife did differently was add some honey to it and purple flowered raspberries.



The Black Cherry syrup that we topped the bars with was just a 1:1 simple sugar syrup recipe.



The kudzu pesto was olive oil, garlic, salt, pumpkin seeds, some pepper, parmesan cheese thrown into a food processor with young kudzu leaves, oxeye daisy greens, and some violet greens. I don’t have an exact recipe since I was taught to just eyeball it when we made it out of chickweed at one of Marc William’s classes.


The spicebush muffins and dandelion jelly recipes can be found in Ila’s recipe book here: http://wildcrafting.com/

Sumacade and mountain mint tea…


Digging for grounduts..


Groundnuts that we later pan fried..


Processing elderberries for tinctures..


Class photo..