New To Foraging?
Welcome to the club! Not an exclusive club by any means, as I believe it ought to be inclusive by default. If you are indeed human, then identifying and harvesting wild plants is a time honored tradition that dates back to time immemorial and predates recorded history. There isn’t much that could be considered as truly and undeniably human as gleaning from nature’s excesses and building culture around their preparation and seasonality.
It is an integral practice that directly links us to the natural world and therefore demands patience, respect and dedicated in the field experience in order to develop the confidence necessary to seek out and correctly identify and differentiate useful plants from harmful species. It is therefore imperative and ought to go without saying that one exercises a healthy dose of caution and refrains from ingesting any wild plant unless they are certain as to it’s identify. Under no circumstances do I take responsibility for such errors that may be so unfortunate as to lead to self harm.
Of course I am by no means attempting to dissuade or discourage you from participating. Quite the contrary, as it was through developing an intimate relationship with my local plant communities that I became the person that I am today and an advocate for the cause. Reverence and respect are absolutely necessary to avoid ecological abuse and misuse, however I strongly believe that there is no more efficient route for learning caring about and appreciating the natural world then by creating connections to it by immersing oneself within it and developing a unique, personalized harvesting ethic.
Don’t Hesitate to Ask For Help
If you have any questions or concerns about any wild plants or fungi that you have come across in your travels then I encourage you to reach out to me. I love to hear stories and receive photos from my supporters and fellow plant and mushroom people! If not myself, please do reach out to other knowledgeable specialists or reputable field guides as secondary sources of information which you can compare and contrast information between before drawing any conclusions or confirming an identification. I only hurts to not ask!
So if you are not completely satisfied with your identification, do not take the chance! Taking specimens of flowers, leaves or the entire herb to bring home and research later is an excellent idea, although please refrain from collecting specimens unless they appear to be particularly abundant in your area so as to not interfere with the stability of wild populations. Lastly, please do not harvest wild plants from protected areas such as Conservation Areas or National Parks or from regions where that species may be at risk, endangered or otherwise uncommon. That’s just a nice thing to do.