Two years ago, Nancy Klehm led a group of us foraging throughout the “grubby alleys” around Austin Gardens. We uncovered all kinds of edible vegetation growing wild and untended. As I wrote at the time:

We found over 24 edible plants (usually considered weeds), all of which we nibbled as we walked.

This was an absolutely fascinating look at ignored nature, the stuff growing in cracks and crevices and behind garages. This is nature that most homeowners don’t want: weeds, volunteer greenery, stuff you pull out of your garden and put into a big bag for the Village to haul away. This exploration of unwanted vegetation offered a fascinating perspective on what we deem fit to eat and what we consider weeds and thus unworthy.

This year, we’re going to give it another go. Klehm will take a bunch of us high and low (mostly low) looking for the food that’s growing all around us, including dandelion greens, wild onions, various types of mint, even Creeping Charlie and hosta (yes, all edible).

On Sunday, June 7th at 1PM, we’re going to meet up at the corner of Austin Avenue and Jackson, right by Columbus Park. The forage will last approximately two hours. There is a $30 charge for this forage. Klehm has asked that you pay via PayPal and her account address is (NOTE: all lowercase!)

Hope to see you there, and although I’m just the reporter here and the show is entirely Klehm’s, please feel free to call me if you have a hard time finding us at Columbus Park. My cell number is 708-902-3969

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David Hammond

David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David...

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