Nibbles and Sips

Wildly Popular Edible Plant Walks Bring Different Food Source To Light

By April Blake
Thursday, May 1, 2014 |
Matt Kip
Matt Kip demonstrates how to identify a pawpaw tree, which bears edible fruit in late summer.

It’s true, we’ve all wished for a vending machine at the Riverwalk, but someone else has figured out a better way and wants to share his knowledge with us. Permaculturist and wild food forager Matthew Kip learned from an early age that the forest is full of delicious edibles and as the rise in urban foraging has become more popular, he’s been getting more questions about what he does.

And what it is that he does is take small groups out into the woods at the Riverwalk to open their eyes to the things all around that can be picked and eaten, as well as a few to avoid. Kip talks about safely gathering young stinging nettles for a healing tea, and passes out violets for the brave in the group to have a taste.

After learning about the pleasant lemony taste that wood sorrel has, or what you thought were just three-leafed clovers, you’ll suddenly see them everywhere and all in your own lawn. Same with pokeweed, a thick stemmed weed veined with hot pink that’s common to lawns across the South. Kip advises people to take a wild plant guide and to use caution when foraging for wild plants, but does mention that he’ll feed his own children the same foods that he shows new foragers how to identify.

You never knew it before, but this plant can go in your mouth.

For those who really want to get a good feel for identifying wild plants, more intensive workshops are coming up and fill up quickly. To learn more and register, visit

More blogs

Enter to win tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters
Enter to win tickets to SCSM's Museum of Oz
Enter to win tickets to Columbia City Ballet's Gala with a Bite and Dracula
Free Times Now Hiring
Download the Free Times app
Subscribe to Free Times newsletters