As a family, we enjoy collecting wild grapes, fennel, blackberries, dandelion, chicory, chickweed, miner’s lettuce, mushrooms, elderberries, and more to augment our own supply of fresh and preserved foods. Foraged foods are free, and they are fun to collect.
We usually spend a day doing it, take a packed breakfast, snacks, and a picnic lunch. Bringing swimming clothes in the summer is also a good choice because you never know when you might come across a nice, cool body of water to wade in.
You don’t have to live on a farm to enjoy foraging. You can do it now, wherever you live.
The best way to get started with wild edibles is to start with one you know. Blackberries, raspberries, or wild strawberries are well-known and easily identified. Once you’ve gotten a handle on the collecting, preserving, and using the edible you know, branch out (yes, I did just make a foraging pun), to something new.
Join a foraging club or list. Purchase good quality field guides for your region, attend informational hikes in your area, meet other people who are interested in the topic and share information, and begin to learn.
Pick (couldn’t resist) a new item to forage each season and learn everything you can about it before you go foraging. Bring it home only after you’ve collected everything you will need to prepare it for eating at home and process it immediately.
For more information on wild edibles check out Wild Edible or other foraging sites.
Have you ever foraged for food before? What did you forage for?