The 28th of October is Wild Foods Day.
This is one day for sure on which you can haul out your “stalking the wild asparagus” jokes.
Some wild foods, such as wild blueberries or wild rice, may indeed be more gourmet than their cultivated counterparts, but for very many other foods, for example cultivated dandelion, cultivated purslane, cultivated cardoons and cultivated strawberries, the domesticated counterparts are generally superior.
Some conservation areas and wild life parks that observe Wild Foods Day will observe it sometime around 28th October, either a bit before or after depending on when they can hit a Saturday or Sunday so that people can participate — they seem to aim for the last Saturday in October.
They offer field trips and later show you how to prepare what you’ve found.
Remember not to try gathering wild foods on your own: go with a certified expert, particularly if any of the food collection involves mushrooms. Because remember: everything’s edible, once.
Mentions of Wild Food Days in print media start to become common roughly from 1974 onwards. They were likely inspired by Euell Gibbons (8 September 1911 – 29 December 1975) a wild food advocate who became a minor media star. He was famous for his first book “Stalking the Wild Asparagus” (1962) but also wrote a series of others afterwards. Example: Smith, Elaine. Euell Gibbons Always Stalking. Connellsville, Pennsylvania: The Daily Courier. Thursday, 24 January 1974. Page 29, col. 1.
The mentions for Wild Food Days are for various times of the year, including the dead of winter.
From the 1990s onward, it becomes usual in print media archives to see a mention of Wild Food Days on a Saturday in October closest to October 28th. In 2015, there’s a mention of it being on a Wednesday:
“This Wednesday [Ed: Wednesday, 28 October 2015] is National Chocolate (or Wild Foods) Day.” — Ireland, Lynne. Gratin features potato, rutabaga, and mushrooms. Lincoln, Nebraska: Lincoln Journal Star. Wednesday, 28 October 2015. Page D1, col. 1.
|↑1||Example: Smith, Elaine. Euell Gibbons Always Stalking. Connellsville, Pennsylvania: The Daily Courier. Thursday, 24 January 1974. Page 29, col. 1.|