Facts About Foraging


Mary LewisPlease read all the way to the end. Never, EVER, eat any food you forage without knowing for certain that it is not poisonous. Do your research, or better yet, take an expert along with you on your foraging adventures. Always wash wild edibles before eating.

Growing up in Maine, I gauged my summers by harvest times. June was strawberries, July was blueberries, and August was blackberries. The blueberries and blackberries only cost us in time, because we picked them on public land. This is called foraging, and you can do it, too.

Foraging is defined as searching for wild food resources. This is how humans used to survive, before factory produced foods and grocery stores existed.


My husband and I were hiking at the Minnesota Valley State Recreation Area a few years ago and came across wild plum trees. It reminded me of when I was young, and I wondered aloud if we could pick some plums. As fate would have it, we made the acquaintance of a DNR Conservation Officer, and we asked about foraging. He told us to feel free to pick the plums, but damage to any plants was a fineable offense. Minnesota code, under 6100.0900, Subpart 2, states explicitly: “Collecting or possessing naturally occurring plants in a fresh state in state parks is prohibited, except that edible fruit and mushrooms may be harvested for personal, noncommercial use.”

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