Ellen Zachos

backyard goodies.

I’m a gardener by profession, a forager by nature, and a cook by necessity.  Why necessity?  Because I love to eat. By the time I’ve finished breakfast, I’ve figured out what I’ll be making for lunch. It’s THAT important to me.

So believe me when I say that if wild foods weren’t delicious, I wouldn’t be interested in them. Of course there’s the thrill of the hunt, and the satisfaction of feeding yourself for free. But for me, the single most important aspect of wild edibles is that they taste terrific. It’s great to know which wild foods you could feed yourself with if you had to, but wild edibles are more than just survival food.  Prepared correctly, with imagination and skill, wild edibles rival ANY food, ANYwhere.

Why is that? Wild edibles aren’t picked early to make shipping easy. They’re not bred for long shelf life or appearance. Wild edibles are harvested at their peak, when they are most delicious and perfectly ripe. They have strong, unique flavors you won't find on the shelf of any grocery store. Seasonal, local foods are all the rage these days and nothing could be more seasonal and local than wild edibles. And have I mentioned organic? You KNOW no one is out there spraying chemical fertilizers on the milkweed!


I'm the author of six books, including Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn't Know You Could Eat. I lead foraging walks for private groups all over the country, I teach at the New York Botanical Garden, and I lecture at garden shows and events around the world. I forage wherever I go: the wilds of Central Park, the deserts of New Mexico, the mountains of Scotland, and the gorges of Greece. (In other words, I'm always looking for free food!) Most fun job ever: teaching foraged mixology workshops to bartenders across the USA! Look for my book on foraged cocktails in early 2017.


I'm a Harvard graduate and earned multiple certificates in Botany and Horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden. I also studied acting at The Neighborhood Playhouse and spent some time on Broadway, mostly wearing rags in the chorus of Les Miz.

Ellen Zachos

If it's not delicious, I'm not going to waste your time.

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