Small budget? Lots of healing to do? First Stop: Unsprayed Lawn
No, I'm not kidding. You would not believe how many nourishing plants are "weeds", and how many people will pay you to take home bags of some of the most nourishing food you can find -- after you've pulled it from their yards.
The thing is, you need to be able to identify plants. Fortunately, most young children, and most autistics, are very, very good with attention to details like:
- Is the stem and the underside of the leaf hairy?
- Is that leaf toothed, lobed, or compound?
- How harmful would it be to eat the closest look-alikes?
If you're not good with attention to detail, don't gather wild foods. Period.
In addition, there are a whole long list of things you need to be aware of so that you don't damage yourself, or strip your local ecosystems. I'm afraid my notes on these "Awareness" bits are a little cryptic, because I crammed so many common food and tea "weeds" onto those lists.
However, there is a good list of references on this double-sided cheat sheet. If you're new to plant identification and foraging, read up about it, learn about the life cycles of the plants, and make sure you only harvest from places you know no-one else will harvest from.
In my neighbourhood, there are sections along the riverbank that will never support wild leeks and fiddleheads again, because of irresponsible harvesting, probably from ignorance. Don't be ignorant. Please.
But do learn about wild foods, and try them out. Responsibly.