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Thread: Wild Edible Watercress

  1. #1
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    Wild Edible Watercress

    Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) is ready to harvest in our neck of the woods, and we will be out today cutting some.


    We have a favorite trout stream we go back to each year. Water quality is a big factor in locating a stream (we try to avoid runoff from livestock and fertilizer/pesticides -- trout are a good omen). And if on private land it is essential to obtain the landowner's permission.



    http://www.wildedible.com/wild-food-guide/watercress

  2. #2
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    My friend has a cabin in the woods with a stream running through the property. Lots of watercress in it. I always wanted to make little tea sandwifhes of watercress as they do in Victorian novels, but I have not done it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Interesting! I will have to look for it in our woods. There are a lot of little streams there feeding the 3 lakes that are the city of Lynn's water supply, so water quality in the woods should be decent. Any tips for a definitive identification? I looked at online images, and don't feel confident that I could differentiate it from other plants.

  4. #4
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    It grows in flowing water. The leaves of many watercress plants together form a tangled mat. I would favor a positive identification. Err on the side of caution.

  5. #5
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I tried to grow watercress in the "rain garden" hollow where rain collected in my yard, but it never took. What's the secret?
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  6. #6
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    I tried to grow watercress in the "rain garden" hollow where rain collected in my yard, but it never took. What's the secret?
    I have no idea, but I suspect your manmade environment isnt gonna cut it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member IshbelRobertson's Avatar
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    IL, I often make watercress sandwiches (on good white bread, crusts removed and cut into triangles) for a high tea during the summer months. They look so pretty served with cucumber sandwiches (rind removed)on brown bread. I serve them on a pretty cake stand.

  8. #8
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    Yes it grows locally, but in an urbanish environment, no I don't trust it, in any quantity anyway, not when I can get safe watercress at the store.

    Have I eaten a leaf or two of watercress found growing though? Yea, it is afterall confirmation for the ego on one's mad plant identification skilz. And they've been right on watercress. However, at times I've eaten a leaf of poison oak because it was growing next to an edible plant so ... (no reaction, I dont' think I'm very sensitive to poison oak, but clearly best not to tempt fate there).
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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