Foraging for Wild Strawberries
My family and I had the pleasure of discovering wild strawberries last year. Strawberries growing in the wild never occurred to me. I know that strawberry plants that have been left unattended can go wild but those are the plants you buy at a nursery. I grew up in the city though so what do I know?
The kids and I were waiting for the bus one morning around the middle of June and I happened to recognize a plant. The leaves looked a lot like strawberry leaves, just a lot smaller. I looked closer and not only noticed that these plants traveled up and down our entire driveway, they had what looked to be tiny strawberries. The kids and I were so excited to find fruit growing wild on our property and on our driveway of all places. Before we dug into what I was pretty super sure would be a delicious treat I had to make sure what we had found we indeed wild strawberries and not some imposter.
I consulted my trusty plant reference book, Plants of Southern Ontario.
And to our delight these were indeed wild strawberries, or woodland strawberries and they were very edible!!
These berries may look tiny but they pack a punch of delicious strawberry flavour that will have you stepping oh so gently through these plants to find more.
Where can you find wild strawberries?
You can usually find wild strawberries growing alongside trails, gravel laid paths (like our driveway) and woodland edges. Sometimes they grow in places where they do not get the sun they need to flower so you may only find their beautiful green leaves and nothing else.
What Can you do with wild strawberries?
Eat them all!!
If you are lucky enough to find an abundance of these ruby red morsels and have the willpower to collect them and bring them in the house. I suppose you could add them to a salad or a lemonade. We do not have this willpower that I’ve heard so much about. We’re every man for himself here so we just eat as we pick.
** I tried to think of a good disclaimer where I point out that wild foraging always has risks, but lucky for me Concerned Children’s Advertisers took care of that for me way back in 1993 with this Public Service Announcement, enjoy this catchy and memorable throw back and remember boys and girls – “If you don’t know just what it is, don’t put it in your mouth” **