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Foraging in So-Cal

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 17, 2012 at 6:41 PM

As part of my transition to Paleo, I'd really like to get into foraging. This seems to be more than a bit of an uphill battle on my little island of Paleo. Any Hacks out there in the northern LA area got a lead on foraging? Anyone got a lead on gettting a lead on foraging?

12358894be02c2da1862ea3f4422c195

(319)

on October 18, 2012
at 04:37 PM

I'm more after the wild kind. I'll see if I can find a book. Thanks!

12358894be02c2da1862ea3f4422c195

(319)

on October 18, 2012
at 04:36 PM

I'd never think to ask someone to share their 'rooms, though it'd be helpful to know what I'm after. :-)

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on October 17, 2012
at 11:25 PM

If you think I'm going to share all my wild mushroom spots with you, you're crazy.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 17, 2012
at 08:43 PM

I forgot about the olive trees, I used to slip and slide on olives that had fallen on the sidewalk all the time on my walk home from school.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 17, 2012
at 06:56 PM

I haven't lived down there in a long time, but when I was a kid we would snack on the nectar from honeysuckle blossoms while playing in the foothills behind my house. We also gathered buckwheat to make pancakes with. It takes a lot of processing, but I remember acorns being a survival staple of the indigenous population in SoCal. My grandparents also made the most of roadside windfall produce collecting grapefruits, oranges, and avocados.

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F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on October 17, 2012
at 11:31 PM

You have two choices for foraging in So Cal. The urban kind and the wild kind.

For the urban kind, the rule is if the tree is hanging over a fence or in a public area (like the parking strip), the fruit is fair game. Look for alleys. Look for street trees (loquats are a frequent street tree). Look for crows. They know where the fruit and nuts are. Seek out neighborhoods that had orchards in the 60s and 70s. Go for a ride on a bike path and look for trees hanging branches over a backyard fence. Take a walk in an older neighborhood.

For the wild kind, you can either forage empty lots for wild greens like mustard or plantain elongata, or you can find these greens on hiking trails at lower elevation. Higher elevations can provide wild mushrooms and fiddleheads but you'll have to fight off a lot of knowledgeable hunters for these goodies. There are other less palatable wild plants. Get a good book on native edible plants to learn what they are, or take a class.

12358894be02c2da1862ea3f4422c195

(319)

on October 18, 2012
at 04:37 PM

I'm more after the wild kind. I'll see if I can find a book. Thanks!

1
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on October 17, 2012
at 08:32 PM

When I lived in SoCal I would often forage on (horseback riding) trail rides in the summer: oranges, pomegranates, anise or fennel, and others that I'm not remembering.

In Boston, there are classes on walking tours of edible plants: maybe you can find something similar in your area?

Edited to add: Oh! And I almost forgot the olive and carob trees that we had around.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 17, 2012
at 08:43 PM

I forgot about the olive trees, I used to slip and slide on olives that had fallen on the sidewalk all the time on my walk home from school.

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