If you're ever walking along somewhere and feel a bit peckish, this instructable might help you! You'd be surprised how many common plants are perfectly edible.
This instructable is a short guide to several plants that are good for just nibbling on as you pass them by - this isn't about foraging or cooking anything. Just tasty stuff to keep your teeth occupied... better than chewing gum!
All of these are pretty common (some localised) where I live in NW England, I assume most are easy to find over the rest of the country and possibly much of Europe or elsewhere.
Photos are all my own except a few from Wikipedia until the right time of year comes around and I can take some myself!
Step 1: Beech
Beech can be a huge tree or made in hedging, and is easy to recognise. It has smooth greyish bark and spiky brown buds that open into green serrated leaves (see photos). In the autumn the trees have plenty of nuts with a taste somewhere between walnuts and chestnuts.
In spring the new leaves can be eaten while they are still bright green and floppy, but get bitter fast when they become darker and stiffer in a couple of weeks. I find that if they're chewed too long they start to taste bitter too so just give them a couple of munches. Loads of them around though!
The nuts come in a hard outer shell that opens up by itself when ripe, the nuts (called 'mast') are small but plentiful and drop to the ground making them easy to gather. Looking like a steep three-sided pyramid, use your nail to crack off the thin inner shell then rub off the bitter hairs before eating it.
The trees don't seem to produce them every year, or sometimes just empty shells... Not sure whether this is just normal for beech or if it depends on the weather and seasons.