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By Laura Stec

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Eat Your Wildflowers

Uploaded: Apr 6, 2017
With a really wet winter behind us – it’s the perfect season for hunting mushrooms and wildflowers. Before you head out, download the new guide from POST, Peninsula Open Space Trust.

Wildflowers of the Bay Area

The full-color guide identifies 30 native wildflowers, where to find them, and when they are in bloom. Start looking now! I reviewed the guide for Food Party! flowers (flowers we can eat) and found out Miner’s Lettuce has flowers – who knew? Miner’s Lettuce grows all over the Bay; pick it and make a delicious salad. The guide describes the plant as a valuable food source for the miners during the Gold Rush.

Here’s a few others:

Make herbal tea with Johnny Jump-ups

And use these for home remedies…

Blue Eyed Grass
Roots and leaves used by the Ohlone Indians as a cure for indigestion and stomach pain.

Coyote Mint
Used by Spanish missionaries as a cure for sore throats. Take a sniff to enjoy its fresh, minty fragrance. I think I saw this flower this morning at the Dish in Palo Alto.

Thanks POST!

Peninsula Open Space Trust

POST has protected 75,000 acres of open space, farms and parkland in San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz counties with the support of our generous donors. Their mission is to protect and care for lands that provide scenic beauty, clean air and water, locally grown food and a place for people and wildlife to thrive. Many POST-protected properties are private, so please visit the hikes page for publicly accessible properties.

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Patti, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks,
on Apr 6, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Thanks, Laura, for a great article! We are so lucky to live somewhere where there are so many wild edibles! I've planted some of these great edibles in far corners of my garden so I can forage at home! Miners Lettuce easily reseeds but isn't invasive. We also plant a large variety of edibles and medicinal plants in our school gardens! There are some excellent foraging classes here in the Bay Area. And, most importantly, as I tell my students, never eat anything in the wild unless they know for sure it's safe to eat!

Posted by Alan, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on Apr 7, 2017 at 10:57 am

Hi, Laura - it's important to remind people to be careful about they pick. Some wildflowers are quite rare ... The ones you listed here are common - especially miner's lettuce - so, if someone picks in an area where it's permitted, I'm fine with it. State parks don't allow the picking of anything. I don't know what the policy is for POST lands.

But - while we're at it - for tea - Yerba Buena is great.

If you want help the environment - eat (a modest amount of) oxalis pes-caprae. It's that nasty, invasive weed with yellow flowers you see growing out of control in people's yards.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: other,
on Apr 9, 2017 at 11:24 am

Thanks for the comments guys! Well said. And a shout out for Farm to Lunch program of Mountain View - teaching our kids all about growing and eating vegetables. Web Link

Posted by Blooming, a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley,
on Apr 9, 2017 at 5:01 pm

Just came back from a bike ride and the Miner's Lettuce is indeed blooming

Posted by Patti, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks,
on Apr 10, 2017 at 9:20 am

For anyone interested in learning more about foraging, contact Suzanne Elliot at She offers great foraging hikes starting at her wonderful cottage in El Granada.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: other,
on Apr 13, 2017 at 7:13 am

Love it Patti! A local forager with classes? Too bad - just missed the last class.

Posted by cool math, a resident of Menlo Park: other,
on Apr 20, 2017 at 10:42 pm


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