For the past decade or so, I’ve been nurturing my green thumb in gardens and on farms, but in recent years I’ve been trying my hand at foraging.
I got to do a forage trip here on Oahu, with renowned ethnobotanist and chocolate expert from Madre Chocolate, and while I was living in the Bay Area last year I got to try my hand at foraging in cooler climes, discovering the abundance of edibles that live within the city (and Golden Gate park) limits.
The most important rule of foraging is to only eat what you are 100% sure about: a plant you have eaten before, a berry you know for sure has no poisonous lookalikes, and mushrooms that have been correctly identified by an expert forager. Once you know that rule, foraging is about discovering and learning more about the local plant and animal life that surrounds you. I love the idea of learning more about your local environs and then enjoying the abundance the local ecosystem has to offer.
I’ve worked with the fine folks at Insteading to create two articles about foraging: in one article I’ve covered the basics of berry foraging. Berries foraging seems like a pretty good place to start since most berries are easily recognizable and common ones (like raspberry and strawberry) don’t have toxic twins, so they are relatively safe bet.
I also wrote an article about hunting for mushrooms, which is a totally different story. Mushroom foraging is serious business, one that should be undertaken with a trusted field expert. Wild mushrooms can be amazingly delicious – but can also be quite toxic, so only eat those you are totally certain are edibles.
Now that all the scary stuff is out of the way, let’s dive into the joy of foraging! Click over to the articles below to learn how to get started with your own forage adventures. I hope they encourage you to explore the fields and forests to gather the treasures that surely abound in your neighborhood and community.