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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
- 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.
- Do not forage endangered plants – always check before picking.
- Harvest only what you need.
- Obey signage — harvest away from parks and nature reserves.
- 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.
- Obey trail signs — tread lightly and try not to trample natural areas.
- Learn animal track, scat and sign to see what else might be foraging in the area.
- Take a tour and learn from experts.
- 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.
- Start foraging in your backyard — did you know dandelion leaves make an excellent salad?