A forager is a person who gathers edible wild food and medicine plants in their own natural environment. “Every day, at almost every meal, I eat something that was a gift of unbroken land.” – Samuel Thayer
Incorporating wild edible plants and food into your diet is both easy and beneficial. For instance, you will be eating highly nutritious food that will boost your immune system and give you better health. In addition, you will be spending time outdoors getting exercise while exploring your natural environment. Above all, foraging can also enable you to be prepared in an emergency survival situation.
What About Poisonous Plants?
Getting sick from food poisoning while eating at a restaurant in common. However, we still eat at restaurants. I have been foraging edibles for many years and have never gotten sick.
One day, I was foraging by a creek and discovered what I thought was the purslane plant. I had seen pictures and read about it, but had never located it before. Therefore, I pulled it up from the earth and took it home, hoping to add it to my lunch salad. I immediately began looking for a positive identification on the internet and in my books. Well, it wasn’t purslane. It was a look-a-like called spurge that is not edible and wasn’t going into my salad. In conclusion, there are non-edible (medicinal) and poisonous plants out there and you should never eat a wild plant unless you are 100% positive of the identification.
How To Start Foraging
Over 25 years ago, when I first learned that the “don’t eat or you may die!” dandelion weed is actually edible and highly nutritious, I began my journey of studying and using plants. If I can learn how to identify plants, you can too.
It’s best to start with a common plant. For instance, dandelion grows everywhere and is easy to identify. Download my free worksheet below to help you learn.
Learn how to:
- Identify the plant 100%
- How to use it in various ways
- The health benefits
After you master the dandelion, pick another plant to identify and learn. It’s helpful to keep notes on each plant so that you can refer back to them each year.
Free Wild Edible Plants Worksheet
Free wild edible plants worksheet – pdf download that you can print and use when learning each plant.
- Search for experts in your area that give herb walks.
- Locate books at your local library on wild edible plants and foraging.
- Plant fruit trees, berries and nut trees in your own backyard.
Apps for iPhone and iPad
Wild edibles Forage app – explore free edible plants in your backyard. Identify, cultivate, and prepare over 250 plants! Created in collaboration between “Wildman” Steve Brill, Becky Lerner, Christopher Nyerges, and Winterroot
iPlant app by Brigitte Mars – a wild plant medicinal reference that delivers accurate, dependable information on North American edible, medicinal, and poisonous plants.
Board Game & Playing Cards
Wildcraft! by LearningHerbs – a fun herbal adventure game that explores healing herbs.
Herb Fairies Children’s Learning System by Learning Herbs