Guest Post: Trash is for Tossers

Lauren, editor at Trash is for Tossers, came to our most recent NY Urban Field Guide class!  She shared some wild edible findings from our afternoon of foraging in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.
Have you ever been walking in a park, looked at a leaf, and wondered, "what do you taste like?" and wanted to take a nibble?

Well... that is what I spent my day doing yesterday, eating park plants.

I know that sounds dangerous, gross, and unsafe, however, rest assured that it was an Edible Plant Walk in Prospect Park coordinated by the organic cotton clothing company Loomstate. I came out unscathed except for a few huge mosquito bites. Luckily I have a great remedy for that thanks to Rhett Godfrey, Loomstate's Sustainability Director. I can't think of anything more Zero Waste than responsible, sustainable eating from nature! I learned from Rhett that there are three main types of wild plants: edible, medicinal or magical (which he called old school medicinal). You will see a few examples of all of them below.

STOP! Safety first. Before eating any wild plants it is really important to make sure you will not have a bad allergic reaction to any of them. To test for this first take the plant you are about to eat and rub a bit of it on the soft part of your inner elbow. Wait a few minutes and look for a rash or irritation. If you are all clear, take a bit of the plant and rub it right on your lip. If again, no rash forms, go ahead and eat! Also, be sure to look out for poison ivy (right). Young poison ivy has a shiny leaf where as the darker green tends to be more matte. It has two ears and a nose meaning to straight leaves and one leaf pointing down. Ok... on to the fun stuff.
1) Yellow Wood Sorrel. (Edible) This plant, often referred to as clover, is insanely delicious. It has three leaves that are shaped like hearts as opposed to clover which has tear shaped leaves. It also has a standing fruit that looks like mini okra. When eaten, the seeds inside the fruit will explode in your mouth and fill it with a bright, sweet, lemony flavor. You can eat the flower, fruit, and stems!

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