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Into to Foraging

Updated: May 18, 2022


Spend time outdoors, interact with nature, teach kids that not all food comes from a store and not all median comes from a pharmacy. Keep a few things in mind and follow some practices, foraging can be a fun and rewarding experience without harming the environment or oneself.


Always know your environment

Pick up a field guide for your region. Pay attention to identification characteristics, growing conditions, time of bloom/fruiting. Find local farmers, hunters, fisherman as resources.


Have a plan

What are you looking for?

Where should you be looking?

(Finding a new plant) Stick with the mission. Note your location and take a picture of the plant. Consult ID materials and field guides


Harvest from "clean areas"

Find untouched or lightly traveled areas. Forage in pollution, spray, and litter-free areas. Do not harvest from roadsides, city parks, along property lines, or industrial areas.


Identify

Never rely on one single characteristic like bloom or leaf for identification. Use three or more points of ID. Consider color, leaf, bloom, stem, fruit, bark/branches, fragrance, location, life cycle of the plant, soil conditions, and/or spore print (mushrooms).


Conserve your harvest

Harvest between one tenth and one third of any particular patch of what you see, and never from the only patch you find. Only harvest what you truly need, exercising restraint is sometimes difficult, but a key trait of an ethical forager.


Leave nature as good as or better than you found it

Remove all garbage, and conifer carrying an extra bag with you for clean-up and litter you may stumble upon. Nothing is more frustrating than seeing your spots spoiled, pillage, or ransacked by less appreciative people.


Prepare and Inform

Wear sturdy weather appropriate shoes, and when all possible, long sleeves. A good paid or protective, heavy-duty glove.

Check out legalities

Do not trespass, always obtain permission. Be aware of hunting season schedules and take proper safety measures.

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