Foraging for edible plants in the spring includes looking for edible wild greens like wild garlic, also called spring garlic. This edible wild food is one of the first plants to start growing after the long winter, and is ready for your dinner plate. Wild Garlic looks like a young scallion plant or chives, and is edible. The taste has a slight garlic aroma, but its definitely in the onion taste family. You can find this edible plant growing in lawns and forest edges. Many consider it a weed, however we think it a great addition to salads or meals.
Be Safe In Your Foraging!
Double check with a good plant identification book! At the end of the post are some books we suggest. Always be sure with your plant identification before adding this to your soup.
According to Wikipedia, when cattle eat wild garlic, it can give a garlic-like taste to the milk and beef, interesting. It is native to Europe and considered an invasive here in North America.
I see this edible plant growing in yards a lot. I'm sure the homeowners don't realize they have food growing in their yard! To harvest the wild garlic, its best to use one of those 3 pronged garden fork hand tools. You have to dig down a bit to get out the bulbs, or you can snip off the green stems and they will grow back. As the plant matures, unfortunately the stems get woody and aren't good eating. If you pull this plant out of a park or someone's yard, make sure it hasn't been sprayed with an herbicide. Not a good thing to be eating that stuff.
Let us know what you know about this plant or any questions below:
I wonder if this is the same thing as wild leeks. I'm sure the names vary by region and by forager.
My garden is overrun with this stuff. It drives me nuts during gardening season.
Stumbled across your one video about planting garlic on YouTube. I really enjoyed it and learned quite a bit. But was just wondering about how to go about planting wild garlic. We have a bunch of it that's been growing for years on out property in Upstate NY. I just separated a bunch that was all together, and was just wondering the best way to go about replanting it.
Eric Gunnar Rochow
Hi Ashley, I would think one could transplant it much like any other green plant. It has a fibrous root ball, so it won't fall apart when you move it. Give it a watering with fish emulsion - seaweed fertilizer a few times after transplant. Thx. Eric.
According to a handout from the Nassau County cooperative extension (Cornell), wild garlic is poisonous.
My mother taught me to recognize, pick, and eat "chives" from our lawn in Maryland. These chives did not look like any I have seen for sale. It turns out that they were wild garlic. My mother died a mere 38 years after we moved away from Maryland and our only source of wild garlic.
Now that I am in my 60s, I'm looking for a source of wild garlic to establish in my yard. Perhaps, if I start eating the stuff on a regular basis, I will die a few years after turning 100!