How to Hunt Wild Kentucky Edible Plants

How to Hunt Wild Kentucky Edible PlantsKentucky's natural terrain offers a variety of regions where wild edible plants thrive. Whether in the mountainous regions, along streams or in the bottomlands, you can find something edible growing in this vast wilderness. Kentucky's wild edibles consist of nuts, berries, greens and potherbs. In a survival situation you won't starve in the wilds of Kentucky, but you need to educate yourself on what is edible. Harvesting wild edibles in Kentucky is not that hard, and you will only need a few supplies to do so.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Field guide to wild edible plants
  • Scissors
  • Knife
  • Paper bag
  • Mesh bag
Step 1
Purchase a field guide that describes the appearance and location of plants, with descriptions of the parts of a plant are edible, for the region of the state where you will be traveling.
Step 2
Pack necessary supplies for harvesting the wild edibles, such as scissors, knife, small cooking container, paper bags and mesh bags.
Step 3
Search for nuts such as hickories and black walnuts in the bottomlands and upland areas of the state. Nuts can be found in the fall and early spring. Crack the outer shell to reveal the edible nut which can be cooked or eaten raw. Store your collected nuts in a paper bag.
Step 4
Collect salad greens and potherbs such as chickweed (pictured above) and nettles early in the afternoon to allow the plants' active substances to accumulate. Trim off the young tender leaves and place them in a paper bag. You can usually find these herbs growing along stream beds or in open fields.
Step 5
Harvest fruits and flowers such as dandelions and blueberries early in the morning. Pick only what you will eat and place them in a paper bag.
Step 6
Dig up roots and bulbs such as wild onions during the fall or spring. Place your bounty in a paper bag.
Step 7
Harvest only the quantities of edible plants you intend on eating within five days, since they lose their nutritional value after that time.
Step 8
Use caution when harvesting wild edibles that are found along roadsides as they may be toxic as a result of chemical runoffs from the highway.

Tips & Warnings

Always harvest greens and flowers from healthy-looking plants.
If you are unsure of the identity of a plant, do not eat it.
Don't uproot the entire plant if you don't intend to use the whole thing. Trim off only the tender leaves or the fruits and allow the plant to continue growing.
Don't leave your edible plants enclosed in plastic or nylon bags, in direct sunlight or enclosed in a hot area such as the trunk of your car. Paper or mesh bags will allow air to circulate and keep the plants fresh longer.

Article Written By Joyce Starr

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

The Latest from the Community

This is a agreeable & interesting State Park & hike. The ocean has flooded a clef along the San Andreas Fault to...
I was a little confused where to park but once we found the trail next to the covered bridge, it was so beautiful...
Nice, pleasurable ride. Many birds and iguanas to see.