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Best of 2003: Best Edible Plants

Foraging in San Diego's Canyons
Balboa Park

Could you live off Mother Nature in San Diego? Maybe, says Jon Rebman, curator of botany at San Diego's Natural History Museum, but only if you know what you're doing. In Balboa Park's Florida Canyon alone, the list of edibles is surprisingly long. The prickle pear's cactus pads and (delicious!) fruit, native elderberries, live oak acorns (after leaching), buckwheat, yucca flowers, fennel, nasturtium leaves, amaranth seed, not to mention the rabbits, gophers, rats, and -- why not? -- pigeons. Also in the region: chickweed, nettle, loquats, kumquats...the list goes on. But be careful! Poisonous plants like milkweed, castor beans, and hemlock also grow there and can be deadly. Know absolutely what you're picking. Wild carrot (edible) looks like the lethal hemlock. And another warning: a City Parks and Recreation gathering permit is required.

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Foraging in San Diego's Canyons
Balboa Park

Could you live off Mother Nature in San Diego? Maybe, says Jon Rebman, curator of botany at San Diego's Natural History Museum, but only if you know what you're doing. In Balboa Park's Florida Canyon alone, the list of edibles is surprisingly long. The prickle pear's cactus pads and (delicious!) fruit, native elderberries, live oak acorns (after leaching), buckwheat, yucca flowers, fennel, nasturtium leaves, amaranth seed, not to mention the rabbits, gophers, rats, and -- why not? -- pigeons. Also in the region: chickweed, nettle, loquats, kumquats...the list goes on. But be careful! Poisonous plants like milkweed, castor beans, and hemlock also grow there and can be deadly. Know absolutely what you're picking. Wild carrot (edible) looks like the lethal hemlock. And another warning: a City Parks and Recreation gathering permit is required.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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