My Dad once told me that “you will never go hungry in the wild if you know what to look for”.
Learning what plants in the forest are edible is something that is not only fun, but so important for kids and adults alike. Over the Victoria Day long weekend, we took friends of ours and their kids on a nature walk on our property to look for edible wilds. We have a lot of wild leeks on our property right now, and they are perfect for leek and potato soup!
Kids need to know that there are lots of edible plants in the forest that are healthy for you and many contain medicinal properties. There is food in the forest — You just need to know what to look for.
You can make cedar tea and mint tea with leaves and sprigs. Wild strawberries and raspberries are always a welcome treat! It is important to know what to look for FIRST. Some plants, berries and fungi found in the forest can also be very dangerous and can make you very sick. It is very important to do your research and know what to look for before you head out to forage. Absolutely do not eat anything that you are not 100% of.
On our leek picking walk, I showed the kids a photo of the leaves so they knew what to look for. The kids also did a smell test. When we unearthed some of the plants, they were able to decipher what the plant was because of the distinct leek scent. It smelled so good!
Going on edible wilds walks with the kids is a great way to spend family time, get outdoors and active as a family, learn about edible wilds that grows locally, learn how to survive in the wild, and also learn team work. The idea of “from the garden to the table” (or in this case, from the forest to the table) is such a useful concept for kids. They learn how to look for edible wilds, how to harvest, how to make sure to leave a good portion of the plants so they can regrow and replenish themselves later on, and when the kids bring home their haul, they learn how to wash and clean their food and help parents cook and prepare their meal.
In this case, we made Leek and Potato Soup. I had my five year old helping me wash and clean the leeks so we could make the soup. She had a blast and was all tuckered out after a busy day outdoors! Active outdoors, family time, learning experience, homemade meal made with local edible wilds = Win-Win-Win-Win!
You might also be interested in:
- One of our favourite soup recipes with leeks: Vichyssoise Soup.
- For fresh vegetables available in Spring & what’s in Season.
- Cream of Leek & Potato Soup