Very frequently when I talk to people about foraging for the first time, they have concerns and questions about where to start. What to do, what they need, where to learn, etc. But one of the most common things on most peoples' minds seems to be where to actually forage. The answer there can be as simple as your yard or neighborhood for most people. Or; it can be as complex as a drive to the country to a friend or relatives house or property. If you live in an apartment or condo the latter is probably the best place to start. If that isn't an option there is always public places; WORD OF CAUTION; be aware of the laws where you forage if you have to rely on public places. Finding out the law on what you can and can't forage can be very difficult, so be aware.
When it comes to areas to forage there are some areas and things to keep away from. Nature Preserves and Wildlife Refuges are a big no-no, as are any protected places like habitat restoration areas for animals or plants. Other than that, the answer on where to forage really depends on your city, county, state laws. As well as the rules in the place/s you plan on foraging. What happens if you have no other place because all that's around is off limits to foraging? The best answer for that would depend on your situation. I would first try private land, find some good looking property using Google earth or by driving around. Go and knock on the door and be friendly, open and honest about your intentions. You'd be surprised how many people would let you pick "weeds" right out of their yard, property, or garden. Make sure they know you will never leave trash, will always pick up after yourself, and will not destroy things; and make sure you stick to it.
If that doesn't work do some research about your local area or state. Many states have several areas where foraging is allowed. However; it just might be a bit of a drive for you, or take some calls to your local DNR to find these places. The key here is to be resourceful and do your research. Here in Indiana for example, we have a couple areas set aside as wilderness areas where foraging is allowed. There are also several parks in the area that are allowing foraging more and more, and why not? It reduces park maintenance and helps keep down noxious weeds, it's a rather beneficial trade off. Which brings me to the last option; check your local park office. Again, make sure they know who you are, what you are doing, that you will not leave trash, and will not disturb endangered or protected plants and animals. Usually they are more than okay with you taking food for personal use IF you ask ahead of time. Just remember to be friendly, and the worst they can say is no.
So get out there and look around, I'm sure many of you have a multitude of places to forage within 20 - 40 min. of you.
You never know until you try!
Hey guys, I'm Josh. I'd Like to welcome you to the Trillium: WE blog. Here I'll share things with you like wild food meal ideas, harvesting tips, conservation of wild plants, wild plant book reviews, and more! I'll also be including pictures from scrapped videos for entertainment purposes as well. Stay tuned!
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