Fields, Forests & Wetlands Foods of Eastern North America
A Complete Wild Food Guide
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Welcome to the Nature's Restaurant Wild Foods Website
This is a website on the greens, roots, seeds, grains, nuts and mushrooms you can find and eat in Eastern North America from fields, forests, wetlands and even urban environments. It is based on over four decades of my personal experience, and about three decades of continuous research. This site is both for the beginner who wants to identify, learn about, and incorporate some good tasting and nutritious wild foods in their diet, and for the more experienced who want a reference guide.
If you are interested in growing one of the plants you find here, follow the link on the page to the entry for that plant on my Wild Foods Home Garden website which focuses strictly on growing these plants, and goes into detail with the plant's requirements and maintenance needs.
In each entry, on each plant it has the common names, the Latin name with a link (in most cases to the plant in question on Wikipedia), what to look for, the season to find it, where to find it, what might look like it, how to use it for food and cook it, information on growing that plant at home, a description table for the plant, links to recipes, links to photos on the web, links to distribution maps, included distribution maps and many entries have photos or drawings included as well.
Layout for a Typical Page:
Below this you will find Range Maps and Pictures of the Plant
This site also includes many plants that are commonly used as wild food plants that I advise to not eat and why.
When creating Nature's Restaurant, my goal was for it to be a cornerstone to exploring the wide world of edible wild plants, trees, shrubs and mushrooms. Enjoy.
I very strongly encourage you to read the chapters: Basic Rules and Cautions, Important Notes when Identifying, Dangerous Plants to Avoid Touching, Poisonous Plants before looking for, harvesting or eating any plant.
You can use the "Contents" button that is on the left side of the stationary top panel, or click on the "Contents Page" blue button in the header to take you to the Table of Contents page.
There are also two search boxes on the top and bottom of each page.
The upper search box (smaller box) is an internal search engine built into this site. If I make any changes to the site, or add pages, I re-index the search and all the new information is ready to show up with a search. Works very fast and each and every word is indexed on all pages. If what you enter is somewhere on Nature's Restaurant Online or Wild Foods Home Garden, it will show up with a search in this box.
The larger, or lower search box is powered by Google, and is a custom search set up to return results for Nature's Restaurant Online and Wild Foods Home Garden. The downside of the Google search is that if I make any changes to a page, or add pages, they will not show up in a search until Google happens upon the changes as it is roaming around the web. This can happen in a day or two or more than a week. I have no control over this. I can submit the changed pages to Google, but that does not guarantee they will show the changes in the search results right away.
So why even use the Google search? If you do a search for a plant, or seeds in the Google search, at the top of the results page before it shows the results on my two sites, it will have ads that are related to the search terms you used. This can be good if you are looking for a place that sells the plants, rootstock or seeds that you are interested in. In my experimenting with this, I find the results are very closely related to the search terms entered. I also find the ad results are geographically sensitive, so it will show retailers that cover your general area.
So the bottom line is: if you just want to know what page to find a plant or where on the site a word shows up, use the upper box as it is more accurate and up-to-date most likely. If you want to see where a plant, seeds or rootstock are available as well as the page results, try the Google search.
Although I endeavored to be as accurate as possible in every way with the information on this site, there is the possibility that there may be mistakes. It is your responsibility to make sure before you eat any unfamiliar plant that you research the information further for yourself - never trust just one source of information. Also, people can be allergic to almost anything, and you don't know what you are allergic to until you find out by eating it. Therefore, only eat the smallest amount possible when trying any new food from any source. I want to stress, that eating anything is done at your own risk, and I hereby disclaim any and all legal responsibility for any harmful or unwanted effects that might arise from the eating, gathering or use of any plant in this book. Please read the "Basic Rules and Cautions" section. And, remember the mushroomer's motto: When In Doubt - Throw It Out. This applies to any wild food; unless you are 100% sure with the identification, do not eat it. If you are unsure if there have been chemicals used in an area, or, you are not sure if the area is polluted, don't collect plants or mushrooms from that area. Also, as often as possible, I have used links to Wikipedia and other pages when giving the Latin names of plants, trees, or mushrooms: I cannot guarantee the accuracy of any of these pages, as they can be updated at any time. I give them as a place to start further research, nothing more.
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Why does this site have ads?
Originally the content in this site was a book that was sold through Amazon worldwide. However, I wanted this story available to everyone free of charge, so I made this website. The ads on the site help cover the cost of maintaining the site and keeping it available.
This site is hosted by HostUpon. I am very thankful to them for all the patient technical support I received when I first set up my websites and had no idea what I was doing. I am happy to recommend them.
The site is designed to work with all browsers and is specifically designed to be highly functional on smartphones. I kept the site simple, with a clean page design to make using on a smartphone easy, quick & efficient. The Bootstrap framework is responsive, and automatically scales to any screen size.
If you encounter any problem using this site on any device, I would appreciate knowing. Let me know by using the contact page. Tell me what the problem is, and what device you are using it on.