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Nov 23, 2005 06:29 AM

Foraging Wild Foods in Central TX?

  • d

Any other fans of foraging wild foods (mushrooms, wild onions, greens, etc) who live in Central TX? Would be great to have a group to pick mushrooms and other things with.

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  1. Dave,

    You should hook up with one of the mycological associations in Texas. I know they mount foraging expeditions from time to time. You might try to get in touch with the University Mycological Society at the link below.



    1 Reply
    1. re: Scott
      Dave Westerberg

      Thanks Scott. The last time I looked tehy were defunct, but it looks like they are coming around again. Glad I posted my request and thanks for responding.

    2. I do native pecans, dewberries, chiltecpins, and wild onions. Fish and hunt (small game), too.


      6 Replies
      1. re: Jim Washburn
        David Westerberg

        Thanks! I have harvested wild pecans and wild onions and chili pequin. What are dew berries?

        1. re: David Westerberg

          Dewberry is similar to blackberry. The dewberry grows a trailing vine and the fruit is a little smaller and somewhat tastier than most blackberries. I neglected to mention earlier that I also usually do wild grapes when I find them in the spring. I make jelly out of them, which, in the final analysis, is just plain grape jelly, so it's not something I get very excited about.


          1. re: Jim Washburn
            Dave Westerberg

            I like wild grape jellly. I get excited about all this stuff. What do you do with dewberries?

            1. re: Dave Westerberg
              Seamus Mitwurst

              And the crowning glory of Central Texas Wild Foods?
              Wild hog
              that's been eating all of those other things

              1. re: Seamus Mitwurst

                You make dewberry cobbler with dewberries of course! ;)
                It is soooo good. It's worth getting scratched by the small-thorny vines that the dewberries grow on.
                They are usually ripe about early-mid April, after they bloom their white blooms in Feb-March, along railroad tracks and open roadsides where there hasn't been mowing since the prior fall. Usually you will see people foraging for berries with jeans on, a proper stick (to poke around and scare off any critters undercover) since the berries usually are heavy enough to drupe down below the leaves, and a non-breakable bucket or bowl for the berries. And eating them right off the bush with a quick blow on the berry to dislodge any sand or grit will enable you to partake in a yummy Central Texas nature treat right there in the field.
                There are plenty of websites that can give you good recipes for dewberry (or blackberry) cobblers...and pies, and I can't wait for Spring!
                good luck,

        2. re: Jim Washburn
          david Westerberg

          Jim: Did you hear this story? it's great.

        3. I'm just getting into foraging. i found some morels this spring and it sparked my interest. I've found some onions now two, I'd like to go out with someone more experienced cause I know there's tons of food out there, but I'm having trouble identifying some of it.
          Shoot me an email if your interested.

          2 Replies
          1. re: AndyL

            I just read "The Omnivore's Dilema" and would really like to try out some hunting and foraging. I am not originally from Texas, so some of the native plants and animals are less known to me. If anyone would be willing to give me reading suggestions, or show me around I would be immensly grateful.

            1. re: AndyL

              I'm in a similar position, Andy, picking up what I can here and there. I currently have about 2# or frozen mulberries in my freezer. We made ice cream with a bunch of them, and are now waiting for inspiration for the rest. Last year was great for loquats, and we ended up making a whole mess of sorbet. And this is just urban foraging.
              I, too, would love to hear from fellow travelers, particularly if they care to share their spots for particular finds. gilintx at yahoo dot com.

            2. We've picked dewberries and wild grapes as well as wild peaches.You can also pick wild mustard greens and plantain greens too. I think you can eat shepherd's purse and of course dandelions which are all over the place.
              Don't know anything about mushrooms.Also you can get wild pecans and black walnuts and prickely pear fruit.In stores around here you can also buy nopals, or cactus paddles, in bags, sliced and thorn free.

              1. I live in Austin. I have loquats in my yard, and every spring I gather dewberries if I can, and agarita berries (sort of a holly bush, they're sharp tasting and make a great jam with a really complex flavor, great with Valentina hot sauce over pork or chicken or eggs), the two local types of grapes (mustang and fox), and sometimes the mustard greens. I haven't found anything really good to do with the mulberries (could they be used to reinforce dewberry cobbler?). I got a bunch of prickly pear tunas a few weeks ago...they looked so good, but there's very little flesh, mostly seeds. Might make a good sorbet or something like that. Also my back yard had a truckload of chilpectines last year, I don't know how well they'll do this year.

                3 Replies
                1. re: neilcronk

                  Hack the tunas into bits and steep them overnight in cold water in the fridge, add some sliced cucumber if you're of a mind.

                  Delicious summer beverage is then at the ready.

                  1. re: neilcronk

                    Chile piquin stores really well in a jar of cider vinegar in the fridge. You can either add a couple to your salsa (careful - they are really hot!) or you can even use the vinegar to season things like greens.

                    1. re: gilintx

                      i live in seguin , i would say i am a medium level forager. i make several jellies, teas , greens for salads, nuts and some medicinals. i would gladly share more info.

                      most important step is identification. make absolutley sure what your picking is the right thing.
                      we are well stocked with goodies in this area, due to many geographical zones, meeting near S.A..
                      check out for a great start.