question for Author; do you know the wild edibles in the southwest high mountain regions?
Also how do you go about learning if something is edible for food? we have a plant that grows well here in early spring that i was told was Russian alfalfa and is good for cows. would it be good for humans as well? is is high nutrient like alfalfa? Some have complained of allergies to its pollen. How would i find out about this plant. i use it for mulch. but i am wondering if it could be a food source as well.
Is there a path to go in finding out for ones self if a plant is eatable and how beneficial it is?
Dear Anna, I know some of the food plants of the region your speak, but I do not possess any real expertise in that region (i.e., enough knowledge to gather a large number of different edible plants). I have spend some time in those areas and do forage when I'm there. Finding out if a plant is edible is about learning from the experts who forage (or did forage) in that area. Some of the indigenous knowledge (the real masters) is available in ethnobotanical writing. You can likely still find people with some foraging talents. They can help you cut through many years of self study. Best wishes on your journey.
I am new to the Southwest and have eaten many native foods in Texas and the Northwest. On my 5 acres in the mountains I am still identifying plants... usually start with Botany in a Day by Thomas Elpel, then get more specific on the internet. Once I know the plant I check pfaf.org and Native American Food Plants by Daniel Moerman.
I am blogging my experience creating a NM food forest at treeseeddreaming.com. I enjoy trying new edibles... if they taste better than raddichio its a go.
If you know your local First American tribes you can look up a list of their edibles in the Moerman book and specifically look for those.
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