Thursday, May 30, 2013

Some Simple Rules for Foraging Wild Edibles

1) Ask the landowner.  Without permission, harvesting is stealing.  In most cases, the owner will be thrilled that someone wants to eat their weeds.  In other cases, such as the big city cemetery I frequent, it is public property, and permission isn't necessary.  If it is, it'll be a good chance to meet someone that could be very interesting, and/ or interested in what you are doing, and you'll have a new friend.

2) Know what you are after.  Go out with specific targets in mind.  Positive ID, enough said.

3) Don't harvest where any spraying has been going on.  I live in Iowa, and anywhere close to a farmed field, I wouldn't dare harvest.  The weeds may look good, but so many chemicals are used now that some drift can't be helped.  Even in your own yard, if your neighbor uses a lot of chemicals, be careful. The idea here is to get some healthy food, so err on the side of caution.

4) Don't harvest along roadsides.  There are a lot of toxins in automobile exhaust, and some is bound to get absorbed by the plants beside the road.  If it is a seldom traveled rural road, then it is probably OK, but along any city street or highway, forget it.

5) Keep your eyes open.  While you are gathering what you are after, notice what else is there.  Probably some more interesting edibles.  If you can remember what they look like, or take a picture, possibly you can identify them later.  It is fun!  And that is half the point of these expeditions, fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment