Identifying, Harvesting, and Cooking with Wild Edible Plants
In this lesson, students learn the difference between edible, medicinal, and poisonous plants. Students will take a walk in the schoolyard to identify and harvest wild edible plants. Students will record observations about the look and taste of each wild edible and will draw a colored picture of each as well. Students will harvest spruce and fir needles for a tea and lamb's quarter, wood sorrel, sheep sorrel, clover, purslane, and dandelion greens to use as toppings for pizzas.
- brainstorm and discuss the meaning of edible, medicinal, and poisonous.
- observe, taste, and forage for local edible wild plants.
- prepare tea and pizza with local edible wild plants.
Mini-dry erase boards
Dry erase markers
Worksheet - Describing and Tasting Wild Edible Plants (included below)
Ziplock bags for collecting wild edibles
Pizza dough or Pitas
Divide students into partner pairs and distribute a mini-dry erase board and marker to each. Instruct students to brainstorm ideas for the following questions:
- What does edible, medicinal, and poisonous mean?
- What are some examples of edible, medicinal, and poisonous plants?
Share and chart students’ brainstorm on chart paper.
Identify and harvest local wild edible plants.
Distribute, explain, and facilitate the worksheet - Describing and Tasting Wild Edible Plants.
Prepare edible wild tea and pizza buffet style.
Reflect about the following questions:
- What wild edible toppings went well together?
- Which didn't go well together?
- Why is it helpful to be able to identify wild edible plants?
- Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places by Steve Brill and Evelyn Dean
- Acorn Pancakes, Dandelion Salad, and 38 Other Wild Recipes by Jean Craighead George
- Harvesting a Wild Tea (attached below)
- Harvesting a Weed Salad (attached below)
- Describing and Tasting Wild Edible Plants (attached below)