Eastern Shore Food Lab

Wild Edibles Recipe and Foraging Guide

The waste spaces and unclaimed areas in any human-disturbed environment offer a bounty of wild food that is free, nutrient dense, and tasty.

Unfortunately, this perma-pantry goes unrecognized by many in the modern world, due to lack of education and the societal stigma against eating off the ground. In reality, wild edible weeds offer more nutrients than store-bought greens when properly prepared, and provide the forager with a greater connection to the local environment and subsistence skills long lost. Not only does the human benefit from immersion in nature and healthier food that skips the emissions-producing process of growing and transporting commercial greens, the environment benefits from the human’s increased conscientiousness toward it. In light of this, the ESFL intends to produce a guidebook of local Eastern Shore forage-foods, featuring proper harvest technique, prepping, and recipe ideas.

Vision

This guidebook will provide novice foragers an introduction to wild food collection, including ethical harvest, maximum nutrient and taste yield, and physical and emotional connection to their local environment. The recipes will have been provided or field-tested by members or friends of the ESFL, and the foraging information will be drawn from local foragers or approved published guidebooks with proper citations. The diction will be accessible, utilizing lyric and humor to keep the reader interested and learning. The book will be published with carbon-neutral or carbon-negative techniques only. It will be available from the ESFL for purchase or library-style lending in order to share the information with as many community members as possible. It may be used as supporting materials in other ESFL workshops or education initiatives. 

Long-term goals

  • Create a culture of ethical foraging as part of an ethos of self-sufficiency and sustainability in Chestertown and beyond
  • Create a work of functional art that can be passed along to others while showcasing some of the goals of the ESFL

First Steps

  • Decide focus groups of forage-plants and begin gathering information and recipes from existing guidebooks, Campus Garden plant profiles, and members of ESFL
  • Begin rough draft of text and brainstorming layout