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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 it wrong. Purchase an identification guide to help you triple check the plant or fungi species you find, but if you’re beginning make sure you go with an expert. 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.
- To increase your chance of seeing wildlife in their natural habitat, leave your dog at home.
- Start foraging in your backyard — did you know dandelion leaves make an excellent salad?