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Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

Backyard Foraging for Edible Ornamentals

You may not know it, but your backyard may be host to a range of edible flowers and berries

Pretty, and pretty tasty too: ‘Issai’ purple beautyberry. Photo: Nancy J. Ondra

Gardens are all about engaging the senses: colors and shapes to catch the eye, rustling leaves and birdsong to please the ear, all kinds of plant textures to touch, and a wide range of fresh scents to tickle the nose. So why not please your palate as well? Fortunately, you can enjoy delightful flavors from your garden without planting a home orchard (or even going to the effort of adding traditional edibles to your borders) by learning about backyard foraging: discovering the edible properties of plants you already have growing in your landscape. You may be surprised to find out how many plants you can nibble on as you work or wander around in your yard.

You do need to be careful when you start snacking from plants not commonly grown as edibles. Make sure you have correctly identified what’s growing in your yard, and that you know the plants…

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