When I was a kid, Euell Gibbons was a household name. Maybe it was the Grapenuts commercial where he looked fondly at that pine tree and drawled,"You know some parts are edible...", but whatever the case, old Euell was the punchline to many jokes. Later in life I was introduced to his book, Stalking the Blue-eyed Scallop, but even then, appreciation was not my primary response.
I'm not sure when I realized what a smart guy he was, but for years, I have been consciously cultivating my knowledge of the plants around me and what we can eat. Just tonight the neighbor kids and I spent a merry half hour trying to reach all the red bud blossoms we could from the tall tall trees in our courtyards, both to nibble on out of hand-- the pink buds are a little sweet-- and also to toss in our salad.
I kind of like the fact that they might look at a tree and think that some parts are edible, without a trace of irony.