Foraged mushrooms and berries.

Whether it’s morel mushrooms, Saskatoon berries, wild blueberries, strawberries and raspberries in the Prairies or salmonberries, blackberries and young stinging nettle on the West Coast – foraging can net you a wide variety of food.

Foraging also brings more time in nature as well as the thrill of seeking and finding.

If you’re a city dweller or don’t come from a lineage of gatherers, don’t fret. You can take a foraging tour in a local city park. Look for tours or courses led by businesses, non-profits, Indigenous groups or parks where you live.

Tips for foraging

  1. Avoid poisonous plants — even experienced foragers have got this wrong — use an identification guide to help you triple check the plant or fungi species you find or make sure you go with an expert. Overall, if you’re even a little unsure – don’t eat it.
  2. Do not forage endangered plants – always check before picking.
  3. Harvest only what you need.
  4. Obey signage — harvest away from parks and nature reserves.
  5. Beware of pesticide or herbicide-sprayed areas — if you’re collecting in ditches for example, watch for signs of spraying (brown vegetation) or call your local municipality to check.
  6. Obey trail signs — tread lightly and try not to trample natural areas.
  7. Learn animal track, scat and sign to see what else might be foraging in the area.
  8. Take a tour and learn from experts.
  9. Leave your dog at home — to increase your chance of seeing wildlife in their natural habitat it’s best to leave your pooch out of the picture.
  10. Start foraging in your backyard — did you know dandelion leaves make an excellent salad?