Foraging how to

Learn to forage

Learn to forage

If you search “foraging” or “edible species” in your particular area, you will likely find tons of resources on plants that naturally grow in your area that you can eat. It’s a pretty cool hobby and great survival skill. If you decide to give foraging a try, here are some foraging best practices:

Familiarize yourself with the weeds, herbs, bushes and trees in your neighborhood, investigate their uses, and try to learn as much as possible about the ecosystem of which you are a part.

Learn to identify the poisonous plants you are likely to encounter. Do not eat anything you cannot positively identify and deem safe.

When you think you know a plant, always cross reference to be 100 percent sure because non-edible look-alikes can fool you.

Familiarize yourself with the plants that are listed on the endangered species list for your area. Apart from it being unethical, it is also illegal to pick endangered plant species. Instead of taking rare plants, consider sowing their seeds in the wild.

Only pick as much as you need and never take all the plants of any one kind in a given patch.

After harvesting an area give the plants plenty of time to recover before returning to the same patch. Be very careful when it comes to harvesting roots. Remember that often harvesting roots means the death of the plant, so before you start digging ask yourself if this plant is really plentiful and if it can sustain a harvest of its roots. If in doubt, don’t collect.

Never pick in places that are subject to pollution, roadsides, industry or heavy spraying of farm chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers etc.) for eating as they are likely contaminated.

Don’t collect from nature reserves – these are areas set up to protect wild species, so give them their space and let them be.

Cast seeds of native species to the wind sometimes – as a way of giving back to the earth.

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