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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, I wanted to make a topic about foraging because I'm really getting into it and I want to see if anyone else here does this as well.

What is foraging? Foraging for food is going outside and finding edible, wild food in nature. This is the way our ancestors collected their plant foods and it's really fun. Here are some reasons I think more people should forage for food.

1. It's really fun and gets you outside. This is how our ancestors collected their plant foods and it's neat to be able to do somethings the way they did it. You kinda get a little feel for how they lived.

2. It offers more variety to your diet. You can find foods that you aren't able to buy at the grocery store. Numerous plants have edible parts and lots of these species are not found in stores. Plus you can sometimes find the wild versions of domesticated and altered crops like wild carrots and wild strawberries which are different than the ones at supermarkets.

3. Everyone knows you should be eating more seasonally and this helps you do that because obviously plants come up only at certain times of the year.

4. Money! Foraged foods are free. Kind of like dumpster diving but not looking through garbage (or what some people consider garbage). You can buy greens and other veggies at the store but you can also find some in around your area outside for free!

If you want to start foraging here are some quick tips. Buy a some books on the subject , get some vids or look on youtube. Make sure you know 100% what the plant is before eating because there are many look similar s. Never forage for mushrooms unless going with an expert. This book and his second book are both great and I own them and have used them with success. Obviously only forage for plants in an area you know that isn't sprayed with chemicals and you shouldn't forage for plants next to roads. I've read that they should be about 50 feet or more from the road so car fumes do get on the plant.
This guyis pretty good. He has a youtube channel and all of his videos are really informative. I suggest you check them out. See if any of the plants in your area are on there. Sergei Boutenko from the Raw Family also teaches classes on this and recently came out with iPhone app.

The most common plant foraged I think is dandelion but you can also buy these at the store. This thread idea came to my mind because just the other day I saw the ferns growing in my yard and never realized they were there. Ferns just starting to grow are called Fiddleheads and they are prized in the culinary world because they have a great taste and can are obtained by foraging and are seasonal. I had them for the first time and they taste really good. You boil them in water because they can be a little bitter raw and you aren't supposed to consume to many of them raw (or so I read). My book said you can use them like you would asparagus. I just boiled them in water and then ate them with a little salt because it was my first time. Next time I have them I'm mixing them in a salad with beets and spinach and lemon juice.

I've also forage for dandelion greens and use these often. Last time I made brown rice I cooked it in veggie stock with shiitake mushrooms and chopped dandelion and it was good. In the field by my house are two crab apple trees and I want to try and make jam with them. I've tried them raw and they are super tart but jam would be good and I found some recipes online. I also want to do some stuff with acorns when they come and cattails too! So many things around here I found out are edible like water lilies even! Amazing!

This is really fun! Anyone else here forage? What do you get? What have you made? Pick up some books on it. You can get free, healthy food in a fun way! Spend some time collecting food in nature, it's more fun than collecting food at the store!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Bump because I have no one else to talk to about this lol.
 

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I get too paranoid to go foraging. I have little plant knowledge. Unfortunately that is a skill that has not been passed down to me from my ancestors. I had a friend who just posted the 10 pounds of morels he had found in the forest of fb, I was so jealous!

Also I live in suburbia where the lawns are chemically treated and who knows what's happened to the bushes and trees. Not a lot of foragable food here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Why get paranoid? You're more likely to die in a car accident...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doktormartini View Post

Why get paranoid? You're more likely to die in a car accident...
Well, maybe paranoid is not the right word. But I don't know what to harvest and am not sure if what I do harvest is sae to eat.
 

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Donno how do you find out whats safe to eat? I live in South Australia id do it but there are lots of poisonous plants here I like living :p

Edit: Although If I was certian what I was eating I would def do it it does seem like a fun/interesting thing to do and totally support it. I would eat dandilions but know they poison stuff here all the time
 

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There is a business park near my home and they have a few citrus trees around the parking lot. I pick a few now and then. They're small and the skin is always freakishly thick. What little juice I can squeeze from them just doesn't taste right. I'd love it if it did because I'd grab them all the time. I wonder if it isn't some sort of mutant variety that is bred to look pretty for ornamental reasons, but also to taste bad so people don't pick it.

As far as eating dandelions, I've tried them and don't care for the taste. Plus I remember all the poisons my grandfather used to dump on his lawn to keep away weeds, slugs, snails, gophers. I wouldn't eat anything off of someone's lawn for that reason.

The other thing that always comes to mind is the book/movie Into The Wild, which is a true story. A guy goes on a spiritual journey and heads out into rural Alaska. He carries a book on edible plants so he can forage his food, but he misidentifies something and ends up poisoning himself, and then dies. And then there was the news story from about a year ago where a woman went out to her garden to get some greens for her family. She mistakenly grabbed some jimson weed, which caused everyone to have hallucinations and end up in the hospital. Both of those sound like something that would happen to me.

I would be open to the idea of foraging, as long as I was absolutely certain it was edible, safe and free of man-made poison. But I also don't trust my ability to correctly ID plants.

There are some big empty lots nearby that appear to be abandoned. I've been REALLY tempted to lob some vegetable seed bombs in there in the hope some will take root. But that is more guerrilla gardening than foraging.
 

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Seems like I find a new edible plant on my lot almost every day. I have oak trees, so I can get the acorns. I have manzanita for the berries, pine trees for pine needle tea, wild onions, bluedick, and Ithuriel's spear for their roots/corms, wild mustard, plantain, wild parsley (it really is wild parsley, and not poison hemlock!), anise, plaintain, sow thistle, mint, milk thistle, miner's lettuce, mallow, and though they aren't wild, someone planted lots of grape vines and a couple of plum trees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post

There is a business park near my home and they have a few citrus trees around the parking lot. I pick a few now and then. They're small and the skin is always freakishly thick. What little juice I can squeeze from them just doesn't taste right. I'd love it if it did because I'd grab them all the time. I wonder if it isn't some sort of mutant variety that is bred to look pretty for ornamental reasons, but also to taste bad so people don't pick it.

As far as eating dandelions, I've tried them and don't care for the taste. Plus I remember all the poisons my grandfather used to dump on his lawn to keep away weeds, slugs, snails, gophers. I wouldn't eat anything off of someone's lawn for that reason.

The other thing that always comes to mind is the book/movie Into The Wild, which is a true story. A guy goes on a spiritual journey and heads out into rural Alaska. He carries a book on edible plants so he can forage his food, but he misidentifies something and ends up poisoning himself, and then dies. And then there was the news story from about a year ago where a woman went out to her garden to get some greens for her family. She mistakenly grabbed some jimson weed, which caused everyone to have hallucinations and end up in the hospital. Both of those sound like something that would happen to me.

I would be open to the idea of foraging, as long as I was absolutely certain it was edible, safe and free of man-made poison. But I also don't trust my ability to correctly ID plants.

There are some big empty lots nearby that appear to be abandoned. I've been REALLY tempted to lob some vegetable seed bombs in there in the hope some will take root. But that is more guerrilla gardening than foraging.
The guy on into the wild died from starvation not eating a poisonous plant.
 

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It's not something I've done a whole lot of, but it sounds interesting!
I've done a little gardening the past couple of summers, and love getting my own food out of the ground myself. I'd love to eventually, someday, grow and forage much of my own food myself - or be part of a community that does this. Permaculture, anyone?
 

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what can you do with cattails? Never heard of them being edible....we have a TON around here! also the water lillies?
 

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I've always thought foraging sounded like a really fun thing to do, but I'm scared of getting started hehe. I think I might try growing my own plants for a while just to get into the whole knowing-more-about-plants thing first.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doktormartini View Post

The guy on into the wild died from starvation not eating a poisonous plant.
Technically, yes. But it was brought on because he ate the wrong plant, which caused his body to shut down.
 

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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post

Technically, yes. But it was brought on because he ate the wrong plant, which caused his body to shut down.
He ate the wrong plant which was mildly poisonous. If he had been healthy his system would have been able to handle it. But in his weakened state he just couldn't handle it and it further weakened his body to the point where he could not get up anymore to go foraging or try to find other sources of food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rotoshave View Post

He ate the wrong plant which was mildly poisonous. If he had been healthy his system would have been able to handle it. But in his weakened state he just couldn't handle it and it further weakened his body to the point where he could not get up anymore to go foraging or try to find other sources of food.
However, an article in Men's Journal stated that extensive laboratory testing showed there was no toxin present in McCandless's food supplies. Dr. Thomas Clausen, the chair of the chemistry and biochemistry department at UAF said "I tore that plant apart. There were no toxins. No alkaloids. I'd eat it myself."[7] Despite these results, Krakauer's take has survived subsequent reprintings of the book.[3][7] Also, analysis of the wild sweet pea, given as the cause of Chris's death in Sean Penn's film, has turned up no toxic compounds and there is not a single account in modern medical literature of anyone ever being poisoned by this species of plant.[3] Or, as one journalist put it: "He didn't find a way out of the bush, couldn't catch enough food to survive, and simply starved to death."[7]
 

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I told my girlfriend about some weeds that i had in my garden that were edible and she flat out told me I wasnt allowed to eat them and eating weeds was disgusting. WTF! They are just plants. What is the difference between a carrot and a daffodil?

Its stuff like this that makes me really depressed. I can understand some things but to me at least what she said and how she reacted was totally irrational. My friends and family have almost the same reaction. Grr I say just grr :-(
 

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My grandmother makes the most fabulous Jam with the flowers of the dandelions! It tastes a little like honey.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doktormartini View Post

However, an article in Men's Journal stated that extensive laboratory testing showed there was no toxin present in McCandless's food supplies. Dr. Thomas Clausen, the chair of the chemistry and biochemistry department at UAF said "I tore that plant apart. There were no toxins. No alkaloids. I'd eat it myself."[7] Despite these results, Krakauer's take has survived subsequent reprintings of the book.[3][7] Also, analysis of the wild sweet pea, given as the cause of Chris's death in Sean Penn's film, has turned up no toxic compounds and there is not a single account in modern medical literature of anyone ever being poisoned by this species of plant.[3] Or, as one journalist put it: "He didn't find a way out of the bush, couldn't catch enough food to survive, and simply starved to death."[7]
Okay. Well, I just suppose it was just a case of him being a dumb ass then. Really, why people heroize this guy is beyond me.
 

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I'm too much of a scaredy cat to forage for food, but I've planted numerous fruit trees in my yard and I have a big garden every year. I foraged as a kid, though. I ate lots of wild blackberries and huckleberries.
 

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We harvested a lot of wild blackberries in the fall over here. We ate a bunch as is, and I made jam.
 
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