The Bay Area Forager: Your Guide to Edible Wild Plants of the San Francisco Bay Area

B plucked this from the shelves of Bird & Beckett Bookstore this weekend to taunt me with a recipe for Miso Miner’s Lettuce, but the joke’s on him because this book is amazing. In a quick gulp, I learned about scads of things growing in the ground around us that are edible: from preparing acorns (shelled/mashed with mortar-pestle/leeched with water) to gathering blackberries (duh!) and wild radish and miner’s lettuce and nasturtiums (those omnipresence orange flower vine things in GGP). Also: acorns fall (or drop) twice! First drop is usually smaller and has more mealy, wormy, moldy acorns. Second drop is bigger and with healthier acorns. What else is edible: Bay Laurel, Blue Dicks (!! those gorgeous purple flowers near Ukiah- edible bulb is similar to garlic; flower/seeds also edible), cattails, nettles!, thistles!, clover, dandelion, wild fennel, ginko leaves!, madrone leaves/bark/flowers, strawberry tree (these are everywhere in the city), black walnuts, and more. The further away from civilization (and pesticides) you are, the better.