Foraging - Get Your Real Foods for FREE!

When I started to dig deeper into foraging this year, it was mostly out of curiosity. I had thought it would be good to have a greater awareness of my surroundings, to know what foods I could eat if need be. That's all. I was really just hoping to have some adventures, and try a few new foods.

But what surprised me and made me a forager for life is that I can collect serious quantities of food by foraging, padding my fridge, freezer, and pantry. Week to week, throughout the growing season, I've been able to bring home enough food to seriously decrease my dependence on the grocery store. Add to that the crops coming from my garden, and I hardly have the need to buy any produce. Because I have to very carefully watch my budget, that alone thrills me. But here's the icing on the cake. These are wild foods, they trump anything I could buy at the grocery store anyhow from a nutritional and freshness standpoint, and that's to say nothing of their fresh and full flavor.

Just take a look at what I brought home yesterday - apples, grape leaves and tendrils, milkweed pods, thimble berries, red currants, black currants, and a mushroom. If you think that eating real foods is too expensive, I'd encourage you to take a look at how much food is in this picture, and take foraging into consideration.

Interested in following my foraging adventures? Click here to see all I've harvested this year.

Comments

  1. Interesting! Do you worry about things being sprayed with pesticides?

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  2. That is soooo stinkin' awesome! What are thimble berries?? I wish I lived in a better area for foraging. Must move. ;)

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  3. Hi Pam. I most definitely worry about pesticides. I'm very selective about where I harvest, staying away from roads and paths and lawns, always watching out for signs of plants having been sprayed (for example, if some/all of the plants in an area seem to be yellowing, stay away). That said, it's totally possible to forage in a city, just be mindful and obey all local laws.

    Heather - Thimbleberries, post upcoming... dum dum dum...

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  4. Very cool. I bought a field guide several months ago on wild edible plants and it's so interesting. Haven't done much foraging with it yet but can't wait to get the kids out in the woods with me and start exploring. My parents own a couple hundred acres of land just down the road from us so we should do well. Would also love to find an older person around who has practical experience with this and learn from them...

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  5. I LOVE this post....
    I am so used to foraging for herbs and am just starting to get into foods (luckily there's a lot of crossover there)... yesterday I found a whole bunch of grape leaves, chickweed and lamb's quarters. I'd love to find mushrooms, but I think I'll have to wait till winter around here.

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  6. Awesome post Butter baby and so inspiring! I totally have to get a field guide and get out of doors and find more food! I have purslane, raspberries, lambs quarters, wood sorrel, grapeleaves, plaintain and chickweed all growing wild or transplanted to my property, but I want to find some of this other good stuff! :) You expand what I believe to be possible!

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  7. Jul- You are so lucky that your parents have a great acreage; you won't believe how much food you will be able to bring home.

    It is indeed great to have a mentor when foraging. But also keep in mind that there are a lot of edible plants out there for which there is no poisonous look-alike, if that's part of your fear. Be sure that your guide book has a section on poisonous plants in your area, so you know what they look like.

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  8. Rebecca - I'm laughing because I had a similar thought today. I'm used to foraging for food, but I'm unfamiliar with medicinal plants. But they seem like two sides of the same coin, and I can't wait to learn more about herbs and their preparation.

    If you do get into mushrooming, find a local expert in your area to help you with identification. If you can't do that, join a mushroom forum, where you can submit pictures and spore prints so that more experienced hunters can help identify your finds.

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  9. Alex- There is so much food to be had, right outside our doors. And the exciting thing is that the food breathes the same air that we do; it's the ultimate local foods experience, and it's economical to boot!

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