Posted by Guest on Wed, 08/25/2010 - 12:34pm
Here is a great thread from the austinperm listserve. It includes a list of useful or edible plants that grow well in Austin and require little or no care and feeding.
- oaks - acorns
- sunchokes/jerusalem artichokes
- pawpaws? - haven't tried but maybe they are easy
- carrots/queen anne's lace
- Lamb’s Quarter
- Prickly pear cactus
- Agarita (pain to harvest, but tasty little berries and new growth)
- Chile Pequin (a little goes a long way)
- Sumac (sour berries make nice lemonade, and sumac reduction seems popular on restaurant menus these days)
- Turks Cap (berries are usable for jelly--I'm not too fond of eating the young leaves, but I haven't tried cooking them)
You know, we have two Mexican restaurants around here (Cedar Park/ Leander), La Tapatia, that serves nopalitos...pickled slivers of cactus pad/hands. They are SO good, too. I order them on breakfast tacos with scrambled eggs and cheese. I assume that some restaurants in Austin serve them, but haven't seen any that do.
Huh, I didn't know you could eat the Turks Cap leaves. I'd heard about the fruit I just don't think I've seen it. I tried some of the dry sumac berries years ago by sucking on them. Relatively good.Mulberries are good too.
I'd add elderberry and poke to the list, as they grow wild with NO help at all and produce edible and medicinal parts. Wild onions give us green onions for a long season, and there are lots and lots of good wild greens around. For those of you with poultry, yellow dock can provide quite a good harvest of seeds for them, and the same seeds can be eaten by humans as well.
I'd also suggest checking out this site on edible wild plants in Houston, as many of these can be found in/around Austin as well. Just get 'em started on your place and you'll have low/no care food automagickally.
Some problem plants: