Forage Albuquerque


Albuquerque exists on the unceded land of the Tiwa-speaking Pueblo people, specifically the Sandia and Isleta Pueblos.

The uses of plants is indigenous knowledge. Whether the Pueblo people who continue to steward the Rio Grande valley and harvest amaranth, quelites, and verdolagas, the Bedouin of the Sinai and Palestine for their use of khardal barri, or numerous east Asian cultures for kochia and Siberian elm, we are grateful for their knowledge and stewardship.

Responsible Foraging

This site lists only non-native and abundant "weedy" native species. If done with care, foraging for these species can provide fresh food while reducing our reliance on resource-intensive supply chains. Here are some guidelines on sustainability:

  • Take only what you will use. Leave most plants for others, wildlife, and so the plants themselves can continue to grow and reproduce. Often, processing and cooking your foraged food will take much longer than harvesting, so don't get carried away!
  • Learn the natives. If you harvest native plants, do so with extra restraint and care. Better yet, consider growing them!
  • Don't spread invasives. Harvest non-native plants before they go to seed. Take care not to spread seeds to new areas. Watch out for goatheads on your shoes!
  • Tread lightly. Many native plants are fragile and easily damaged by a misstep. Take care not to trample smaller plants when foraging, and stay on paths and trails when you can.
  • Cut, don't pull. Even if you're harvesting a non-native weed, pulling disturbs soil life and can contribute to erosion.
  • Start in your neighborhood. The plants listed here are probably growing near you, maybe even in your yard! By foraging near home, we avoid disrupting natural ecosystems and burning fossil fuels for transit. Get to know your neighbors, odds are they'll be happy to share some "weeds"!

Stay safe! A few basic precautions:

  • If you're not sure, don't eat it. Some plants have toxic lookalikes. Ask an expert or contact me if you're not sure, and don't eat anything that tastes bitter or strange.
  • Try a small amount first. Even if your ID is correct, you don't know how your body might respond to a new food.
  • Don't get lead poisoned. Wash thoroughly. Avoid plants growing near busy streets or gas stations, where leaded gasoline may have contaminated the soil.
  • Avoid pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Some weeds can accumulate toxic levels of nitrates when fertilized.