The foraging “trend” is gaining steam lately for many reasons – a sense of living off the land, health benefits gained from many of these wild edibles, as well as the opportunity for “free” food which can reduce the weekly food bill.
Locally, there are several local foragers who will gladly share what they have learned with anyone who will listen. These folks offer classes, foraging walks, and even create DVDs. The recipients of this information range in age from grade school to retirees, all interested in learning about the nutrient and medicinal value of wild plants.
Some key points to remember when foraging:
- identification – make sure you are absolutely certain what you are collecting and eating. When starting out, begin slowly and master the identification of a few plants and gradually build on that. Studying under someone is very beneficial.
- know the area where you are foraging – pesticides are widely used in public places, and unfortunately you don’t know what or how much was used. Make sure you forage on a property that has not be treated with pesticides for your own safety. Organic farms are a great place to start, and many farmers welcome people to come in and harvest their weeds!