Sage advice herein and don’t forget to check with your local Native Plant Society to find a experienced edible wild plant forager to help you itemize your plants.

Everytime you or anyone is looking at a plant that might be edible, you need to “itemize” it, put it through four major steps (even the experienced should do it.) I use the word I.T.E.M. to remember what needs to be check out. It’s handy reference and is used in profiling most of the plants on this site.

So, let’s look at the word I.T.E.M.

First, it means (I)dentify the plant beyond doubt. Next, make sure it is growing or fruiting or otherwise available at the right (T)ime of year. Third is checking out the (E)nvironment. This involves two things. One is making sure it is growing in the right place. The other is making sure the plant is getting clean water and is not in polluted soil. And then, what is the proper (M)ethod of preparation. I’m sure you can do that. I.T.E.M. You can rearrange the letters to spell T.I.M.E. if you like as long as you always remember to apply the four steps.