LIVE CHEAP - EAT FREE - A Foraging Adventure (Video)

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When to Harvest Edible Wild Food

Wild edibles should be harvested when the oils responsible for flavour and aroma are at their peak. Proper timing depends on the plant part you are harvesting and the intended use.

If you are collecting wild edible weeds for their foliage then to maximize the nutritional content, they should be harvested before they flower. After flowering they are still good for you and they still contain vitamins, minerals and nutrients, just not as plentiful.

Optimal time for collecting flowers such as chamomile should be done just before it reaches its maximum size.

Harvest roots, such as burdock, chicory orgoldenseal is best in the autumn after the foliage fades.

Some general guidelines are:

  • Begin harvesting when the plant has enough foliage to maintain growth.
  • Harvest early in the morning, after the dew dries, but before the heat of the day.
  • Harvest the wild edible before flowering, otherwise, leaf production declines.
  • Most flowers have their most intense oil concentration and flavour when harvested after flower buds appear but before they open.

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