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Foraging at Queens County Farm Museum


Oh man, feeling fortunate to hang out with friends in New York. We visited a true farm in the city! It’s Queens County Farm Museum. We saw the animals (cows, chickens, geese), then met up with Wildman Steve Brill for a foraging tour.

Here’s some of what we picked up (and ate)…

the common violet (blue, white, or hybrid) — you can eat the leaves and flowers, great in salad…

some wild greens, including chickweed, which tastes like raw corn,

and shepard’s purse (see the heart shapes… perhaps at some point resembling shepards’ purses?) Wikipedia tells me shepard’s purse is used Sichuan cooking, stir-fried as part of wonton filling.

Also, burdock (whose leaves we fed to some of the farms’ goats!), garlic mustard (tastes like it sounds), lamb’s quarters (like a more potent spinach), and this pineappleweed — which smells like pineapple and is used like chamomile for tea. According to Brill the tea can help relieve nervous tension, upset stomach, and insomnia due to stress.

My favorites were the wood sorrel (leaves that pack this delicious puckery citrus flavor, also known as shamrocks!) and the petals from this red bud tree…

They’re beautifully colored (imagine sprucing up a salad with fuschia!), but edible too. They taste like fresh peas. If you live in the northeast, you probably see them on your block. Just sayin’.


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