I get excited when I see more people paying closer attention to the way food is gathered and the properties in what we’re consuming. While conventional grocery stores still remain our main source, we’ve seen a resurgence of the desire to venture out and gather anything from mushrooms, berries and weeds to edible flowers. This is what foraging is all about! The most common is fiddleheads, lovely dandelion greens or samphire which are harvested in marshy areas.
While foraging provides right-at-the-picking sustenance, there’s a much bigger picture when it comes to the benefits. The high nutritional value and medicinal properties contained in these healthy and fresh pickings are phenomenal! Food thrives when it’s left to grow in the wild, uninterrupted by environmental and human factors.
There’s also a joy that comes from being more self-sufficient. Imagine introducing your children to foraging and making a family adventure of it. What a great way of bonding over learning how to identify plants and teaching our future generations about sustainable food. In Nova Scotia and all over the world, there’s been a lot of buzz about foraging chefs. It’s a delight to see menus filled with wild edibles hand-picked by the chef preparing the food!
Foraging Tips Everyone Should Know!
- Always remember to be safe and aware of what you are foraging.
- Learn from an expert so that you train to have all your senses aware of what you are looking at to ensure positive identification
- Be mindful of environmental toxins especially in urban or industrial areas.
- Take only what you need and leave some for others.
- Respect the lifecycle of the plant to ensure its reproduction.
- Clean your finding thoroughly in case of pesticides or other contaminants.
- If you’re not 100% sure about a plant’s identity, do not pick it.