Foraging for Wild Watercress

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It can be found along rivers and streams, around springs, ponds, lakes, and in marshes or low, wet areas.
It can be found along rivers and streams, around springs, ponds, lakes, and in marshes or low, wet areas.
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In the case of watercress, you'll be looking for a floating and/or creeping plant with leaves made up of three to five oval-shaped leaflets.
In the case of watercress, you'll be looking for a floating and/or creeping plant with leaves made up of three to five oval-shaped leaflets.

Turn a summer hike into a free grocery “shopping” expedition foraging for wild watercress. 

Foraging For Wild Watercress

This plant is delicious and a literal storehouse of vitamins (A, C, and E, to name a few) and minerals. It’s available free for the gathering in almost every inhabited part of the world . . . and certainly in every state of the Union and the most heavily settled sections of Canada. And, best of all, it’s harvestable year round in the southern half of this country . . . and during every month but January in the majority of our northern states.

The rather amazing wild food I’m talking about is watercress (Nasturtium officinale). And unless a friend has pointed it out to you, you could well have walked right past bushels of the “weed” on any tramp through the woods that took you along a stream, spring, small lake, or other body of water.

My husband and I “discovered” watercress quite by accident one day while out on a walk. We had just found our dog cooling himself in a branch of a small spring . . . when we realized that he was sitting up to his elbows in this pungent member of the mustard family. And to think: If it hadn’t been for our “guide”, we’d most surely have overlooked a small fortune (at supermarket prices) of the cress.

  • Published on Apr 28, 2021
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