wild foraging for fresh greens

Fascinating Foraging

Gardening in a small space sometimes leaves me feeling envy for the the expansive veggie gardens and fruit orchards that I seem to see on endless magazine pages and websites. My new home doesn’t have much room for a backyard garden and not a lick of room for one in the front. I have to pick and choose what I want to grow very carefully, be it things I love but are hard to find at the market, or veggies that just taste a whole lot better when picked fresh. I was just thinking about this today as I get ready to start my vegetable seeds and then I read an article in Martha Stewart Living’s March 2013 issue about professional forager, Tama Matsuoka Wong. Fascinating!

Tama Wong Foraged Flavor

Photo: colinclarkphoto.com

I’ve often been interested in foraging, and have certainly gone on my fair share of mushroom hunts, but this is a great way to augment my limited garden production. I love that Tama not only collects a variety of wild edibles for restaurants  but also teaches school children this skill. Tama has a new book out, Foraged Flavor: Finding Fabulous Ingredients in Your Backyard or Farmer’s Market (Clarkson Potter, 2012), that I’ll be rushing to pick up. Particularly when I can see the range of edibles she describes.

Foraging wild greens

Photo: colinclarkphoto.com

This “glossary of greens” is described in the article as “flavors that range from sweet to savory, tart to nutty, all found in the underbrush of a New Jersey meadow”. I know many of these “weeds” well as they grow around my garden and usually just end up in the compost bin. Clockwise from top: garlic mustard, wild garlic, lavender bergamot, chickweed, mugwort, cardamine, wood sorrel, dead nettle, garlic pennycress. Center: dandelion (top), henbit (bottom).

wild foraging for fresh greens

Photo: colinclarkphoto.com

I’m also quite intrigued by the wild greens ravioli and mugwort soup recipes that were shared. The Ravioli in particular has got my chops watering but before I run off to forage for ingredients, I’ll share the recipe here: Wild Herb Ravioli

wild herb ravioli

Photo: colinclarkphoto.com

For the mugwort soup recipe and to read more about Tama and her fascinating world as a professional forager, pick up the latest issue of  Martha Stewart Living.  All photos from Foraged Flavor by Colin Clark and were reprinted with permission from Martha Stewart Living. 

Martha Stewart Living March 2013


  1. mel mccarthy
    mel mccarthyFebruary 28,13

    This looks like such an incredible book & recipe. Thank You!

  2. gineen
    gineenFebruary 28,13

    thanks for that great recipe, I can’t wait to try it once my spinach grows this spring

  3. Mimi
    MimiMarch 3,13

    This looks absolutely stunning! I’d love to try with other mixes herbs. Perhaps parsley and mint?

  4. Marilyn
    MarilynMarch 20,13

    Hi Stevie, Love the recipe. I wanted to share with you an innovative idea for gardening in small spaces. Check out our Tower Garden – an aeroponic vertical growing system. You can grow your family’s produce in just 30″ of space! Great for those of us with small backyards; works on a patio, balcony or deck too. .

  5. Kristy
    KristyJanuary 9,14

    This is so fantastic!
    Also, I need to know where to get that curtlery from!

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