Edible Wildlife

wildbook1Ever walk along outside, see a plant and wonder if it’s edible? Well, turns out, many of them are! Jill Vance, Interpretive Naturalist for Monroe Lake, shows us how certain grape leaves and other plants can be used for a quick snack or sweet drink!

Jill says many of these plants are all around us, even in our own backyards! She also says incorporating wild edible plants into your diet doesn’t have to be difficult. She advises, always be safe, make sure you can ID the plant correctly and know how to properly harvest/prepare it and that you are harvesting it responsibly.

Here’s more on what Jill helped us make today:


Break off the red berry clusters from Staghorn, Smooth, and/or Winged Sumac (Note: Poison Sumac has white berries and only grows in the northern part of Indiana.) – enough to fill a large pot about 3/4 of the way. Cover the berry clusters with cold water (helpful if you can place something heavy on top of the clusters to keep them under the water) and soak for at least 4 hours (overnight is great). Strain out and keep the liquid (discard the berry clusters outside). Chill and sweeten with sugar or honey. Serve cold.

wildbookWild Violet Soda

Combine wild violet syrup with seltzer water, stir gently. Recipe for Wild Violet Syrup here: www.kentuckyforager.com/2013/04/16/wild-violet-syrup/​

To learn more or to inquire about classes that teach you about the various types of edible plants and how to prepare them, visit:

www.facebook.com/monroelake or www.stateparks.in.gov/2954.htm


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