487: Peggy Sorensen on Foraging Edible Plants in the Desert.
Discovering the wonders of harvesting native and urban trees, weeds, and cacti.
In This Podcast:
What would you eat if all the grocery stores in your area closed? Peggy Sorensen has found her answer in the native trees, shrubs, weeds, and cacti of the southwest! Hear how she got into foraging edible desert plants, which southwest plants are her favorite to harvest, and some of the ways to process and prepare them. If you’ve ever wondered about making your own prickly pear juice, mesquite flour, purslane pickles, or mallow chips, you’ll love this intro to wild foods!
Peggy is a wild-foods enthusiast and forager who enjoys helping people discover the edible plants, trees and weeds that grow all around us but typically are not recognized as food.
She gives workshops and plant walks around the Phoenix area and not only brings in samples of the plants to see, touch and taste but she also likes to turn them into tasty treats in order to provide a well-rounded experience.
She has become known for her mallow chips, purslane pickles, prickly pear lemonade as well as mesquite nectar and truffles.
Peggy is also a gardener, an herbalist and a board member of the AZ Herb Association.
Listen in and learn about:
- The wild foods brunch that introduced Peggy to desert foraging
- Native and non-native trees that you can harvest
- Edible weeds by season and what to do with them
- How to know what you are eating if you are foraging
- Plant walks and classes where you can learn which plants are edible
- Mesquite trees and harvesting and processing the pods.
- Purslane Pickles
- Prickly Pear Cactus harvesting techniques, how to get the juice out, and recipe ideas
- The classes Peggy teaches and her favorite ah-ha moment
As well as:
Her failure – Trying a plant that she wasn’t very familiar with instead of eating only plants that are positively identified.
Her success – Getting asked back to teach more classes.
Her drive – Her love for wild foods, the discovery process, and the question of what would you eat if the grocery stores closed?
Her advice – Start learning now! Designate an area, water it, and see what starts growing naturally.
Peggy’s Book recommendations*:
Sonoran Desert Food Plants by Charles W Kane
How to reach Peggy:
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