Spring Beauty is flowering! Spring beauty is a tiny flower that comes out in the spring. The entire plant is edible – you can put the whole thing in a wild greens salad. With some careful digging, you can find a spring beauty tuber deep down on the root (about 2-3in) of the spring beauty. This clump looks like a tiny potato, and can be prepared the same way! After washing, boil the little potato for a few minutes, pop the inner root out of the skin, and enjoy! It is a surprisingly delicious snack, although you would need a lot of the tiny “fairy spuds,” to fulfill you for even a single day.
Ginger is recognizable by its two heart shaped leaves, fuzzy, and rising from the base. A small red flower will be barely rising above the ground. Dig as much of the roots up as you can, and prepare as you might any other ginger root! One of our favorites is making candied ginger. All you need to make this treat is some sugar. Clean the plant and keep just the roots. Cut into about inch long pieces and then simmer in water. Dissolve sugar in water and add the seamed ginger root. Boil for around half an hour, let dry, and then enjoy either as is or coated in more sugar! Ginger is also an excellent cure for flatulence.
Wild Leeks are another Spring-time favorite. Leeks are a wild edible with an onion flavoring. Their long dark green leaves coming up in pairs distinguish them. You can dig up the entire plant and use the root in many dishes as a substitute for onion, or put the entire plant in a salad!
Of course, you will want to consult with someone who really knows plants before you try tasting any wild edibles on your own! Look for more spring wild edibles tips and tricks in the book “Stalking the Wild Asparagus” by Euell Gibbons.
by Sonja Smerud and Kalina Pavlisich