Wildcrafting In Winter (Featuring White Beans with Wild Weeds)

December 9th, 2014 - filed under: The Food » Food and Health

epazote wild

“Wildcrafting” describes the practice of harvesting plants from their natural environment, for use in food and medicine. It’s something I’ve always loved, and it’s something I look forward to learning more about.

This past weekend we went wildcrafting with a small group of friends, in a nearby woodland. And despite the drought, and despite the fact that’s it’s December, we were able to find some wild edibles. Treasures . . .


wild bay

California Bay Laurels produce leaves which are larger, and much more pungent, than the Mediterranean Bay that’s usually sold dried in stores.

California bay tree

wild sage

Fuzzy giant wild sage.


wild epazote

And epazote, growing right up out of the creek. Epazote! That’s when I knew we had to make beans . . .

wildcrafting California

So, once we were back home, we turned our small but precious winter wildcrafting haul into a delicious meal: stewed white beans with epizote, California bay, and wild sage.

cooking with wild herbs


Just a quick note: I know I’ve been super MIA around here lately, and I apologize for that. This quarter will probably go down as the busiest, most maddening quarter of my Master’s career (oh gawd I hope!). And I’ll be back here soon – hopefully next week – to share a little bit more of what we’ve been up to over the past few months. In the meantime, I hope you all are enjoying the end of 2014!

♥ ♥ ♥

  • http://howtofeedawookie.blogspot.com/ WookieWifey

    Yay for foraging! We have quite a few nifty things that grow around here, dewberries and goldenrod among them. LOVE finding things I didn’t even have to plant! I need me one of those bay laurels.

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Yay I knew you’d like this one! I *love love love* finding nifty new things near where I live, too. Like, I had no idea we had wild epizote! And the Bays are soooo awesome. And there’s so much more, so much for me to learn!

    I remember you describing the goldenrod hanging from your ceiling, and I just loved that image. ♥

  • Stephanie

    What a great experience, if only more people knew what mother nature has to offer, maybe we would take better care of her, and lead happier, healthier lives. Good luck with your masters program, it will all be worth it in the end. Hang in there!

  • Rachel in Veganland

    I went wildcrafting today too! For mushrooms! Came home with several pounds of oysters and… a couple small lion’s manes! Thanks for a lovely post about a beautiful, simple practice. Foraging is so accessible!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Oh I want to forage for mushrooms! We get some pretty cool species around here, but I’ve never found any. But I’m going again this weekend – maybe I’ll find some mushies! ♥

    How were they? How did you eat them?

  • Rachel in Veganland

    I did eat them and they were soooo good! Just sautéed them up in a bit of olive oil with salt, pepper, and garlic and ate them over rice noodles one day, with baked home made mac and chesese the next. That second dish was soooooo good.