Wood Violets Forage Friday 2

Hello Friends. Tonight’s feature image is titled “Yellow Wood Violet 41909” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Because we live in such a litigious society I’m obliged to remind you that Forage Friday is only intended to be a conversation starter and not a guide. Having a positive ID on a plant is essential for safety and some of the plants coveted in this series do have poisonous look-alikes that might fool a novice. Wild foraging is a great way to get out and explore but be safety minded and do further research. I also recommend that you keep a copy of Peterson’s Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants handy.

In my part of the Appalachian Mountains one of the most abundant wild edible plants is the wood violet. In fact it’s so prevalent on my land that I have decided to consider it a volunteer salad crop. On their own the leaves are a little bland but they’re also rich in vitamin C as well as vitamin A. The leaves are basically a great substitute for spinach. Not being a huge fan of cooked greens I tend only eat them raw but they can be useful as a pot herb. The leaves and flowers are the only recommend parts. As a type 2 diabetic I avoid sweets but the flowers are often rolled in powdered sugar and eaten as candles. I’ve also recently been told of violet preserves and violet syrups has peaked my imagination.

I know that some people are looking at the yellow flowers in feature image and thinking that it’s the wrong color to be a violet. I have been told that it must be a pansy. Well, actually, both pansies and violets are in the genus Viola and both come in a variety of colors. One of my favorite violets is known locally as the Confederate Violet because of the grayish color.

Confederate Violet

Aside from color the leaves tend to be a little more round. But the shape of a leaf and the shape of the petals can vary depending on the soil nutrients and growing conditions.

Of course I have plenty of the common Blue Violets as well.

The blue violets are so competitive here that in some parts of the yard there’s more flowers than grass. I figured that was God’s way of making sure that I have plenty to eat so I let them have what they want.

One last word on safety and foraging for food. Be aware that we live in a post industrial world and that means that contamination is always a hazard. Chemicals that are used to control weeds can be found even in the most seemingly pristine setting and that includes farmlands. What looks like a park today can be hiding a place where illegal dumping has occurred. So look around before collecting and if something looks off then you might want to forage elsewhere.

So, tell me your experience. Have you ever tried violets as part of a camping trip or maybe an expiriment with Victorian cuisine? The comments are open to the public .

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