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Foraging Fridays: Field Garlic + "Wild Scallion Pancakes”

Field Garlic is definitely in this winter season.

Genny foraging field garlic
Genny foraging Field Garlic

Discovering Field Garlic and its Delicious Benefits

As I ventured into the crisp winter woods / city park in the Bronx, New York, I stumbled upon a treasure trove of Field Garlic, near a pond. Field garlic is scientifically known as Allium Vineale. Let’s describe Field Garlic as the offspring of garlic and scallion. Field Garlic also has many other names like Crow Garlic, Wild Onion, Wild Scallion and Onion Grass. 

This perennial plant thrives in the cold season. When I mean thrive, I can see shooting green stalks coming from the dry dirt often on my winter walks in the park. It’s truly beautiful.  Field Garlic offers a flavorful and healthy addition to my winter menu, and yes, it’s edible. Field Garlic brings a pungent and fragrant taste, just like garlic and scallion would. And the smell! Oh my goodness! So rich! Wild plants are cut differently. These are definitely richer in nutrients and activate the five senses.

Field garlic flourishes in winter due to its adaptability to cooler temperatures. As other plants go dormant, field garlic takes advantage of the available sunlight and moisture, making it an ideal winter foraging option.

Field garlic boasts numerous benefits. Rich in vitamins and minerals, it supports immune function and cardiovascular health. Its antibacterial and antiviral properties make it a great natural remedy for colds and flu.

My Foraging Journey.

I first discovered foraging, along my healing journey of course, but after learning about the powerful benefits of medicinal mushrooms in a documentary called “Fantastic Fungi”. The documentary highlighted the powerful antioxidants in mushrooms and even highlighted how Turkey Tail has been proven to reverse breast cancer. If you haven’t seen Fantastic Fungi, it’s on Netflix and I highly recommend giving it a watch. Shoot, I may rewatch it this weekend! 

black girl foraging
Genny in her foraging gear in PA

Fantastic Fungi provided me with my first exposure to learning about foraging, which is searching for wild food and resources like mushrooms, greens, berries, and plant roots and herbs. It involves acquiring the knowledge about edible plants, and understanding safe foraging practices, and respecting and getting closer to Mother Nature. Foraging for me is an act of liberation to reclaim the land. 

After watching the movie, I immediately googled “foraging near me” and came across a seasoned Forager, Wildman Steve Brill, who is a vegan forager, who has been foraging for nearly 50 years, and now his college-aged daughter, Violet, leads with him on tours. Wildman Steve Brill continues to forage, even through several arrests (as technically foraging is illegal in NYC, go figure), and has even written many books and developed an app to help identify plants. A truly remarkable individual. Steve is my low key mentor.

Genny foraging led tour with Wildman Steve Brill in 2022
Genny foraging led tour with Wildman Steve Brill in 2022

Anyways, back to Field Garlic. 

Field Garlic Benefits 

If you are wondering, allium plants are excellent sources of natural folic acid. Field Garlic also has many benefits like sulfur and other plants, such as flavonoids, antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins and minerals like niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, carotenes, and lutein. Field Garlic supports immune function and cardiovascular and bone health. It has antibacterial, antiviral and anticancer properties that make it a great natural remedy for colds, flu and infections. 

Now, I know what you lupus warriors may be thinking. “Lupus warriors can’t eat garlic.” Check this out below as I debunk garlic. I posted about how avoiding garlic outright is a myth in a separate blog. Yes, it may be intolerable for some, but it is not an outright NO. 

Putting Field Garlic to the Kitchen Test: “Wild Scallion Pancakes”

I decided to make a delicious 'Wild Scallion Pancake' with my foraged find. I simply cleaned the Field Garlic real good (it can get real dirty, since it is a root vegetable). I chopped the field garlic, mixed it with gluten-free flour, and a pinch of salt, and fried it in sesame oil in a pan until golden and crispy. The result? A savory, flavorful pancake that showcased the wild beauty of field garlic. Yum.

Wild Scallion Pancakes

Embrace the winter wonderland and explore the world of foraging! If you are curious, check out your local foraging group to start learning about wild and edible plants. Discover the hidden gems, like field garlic, and indulge in their culinary and medicinal benefits. 

Share your own foraging adventures and let's celebrate the joy of wild, delicious, and healthy treasures.

In love with Mother Nature,

Genny Mack


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