Wildcrafting the parking lots of the high desert

vons olives

Olives!

There is nothing quite so exciting as finding food in trees, especially in the desert. Once you start looking, you notice more and more. Honey mesquite trees are commonly used in parking lot landscaping all over the high desert. The other day a friend and I were snacking on mesquite pods in a parking lot and were approached with curiosity by both the manager of the nearby McDonalds and a panhandler. Both were very skeptical about tasting the pods. If only they knew how much the flour costs in health food stores.

Olive trees are less common, but I just noticed these ones in a supermarket parking lot in Yucca Valley. Score.

I’m starting to keep season and location notes for myself so I will know exactly where to harvest things like olives, mesquite, palo verde, prickly pear, pine nuts and wolfberries from around town when they’re in season.

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