Foraging - Get to Know it

What do you guys all know about foraging? Have you tried it? I've done a bit but I also did a heck of a lot of research before I did. You do not want to eat the wrong thing. Throughout my next few posts, I'm going to be posting some edible plants from around where I live. Be sure to consult local information before eating anything that you don't know what it is. Better safe than sorry.

NOTE: I have not tried all of these plants before and this information was collected from online and in books over many years. I am not a professional. If you try this at home, it is at your own risk.

Surviving in the Wild: Plants to Avoid

If you can’t clearly identify a plant and you don’t know if it’s poisonous, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Steer clear from a plant if it has:
  • Milky or discolored sap
  • Spines, fine hairs, or thorns
  • Beans, bulbs, or seeds inside pods
  • Bitter or soapy taste
  • Dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsley-like foliage
  • “Almond” scent in the woody parts and leaves
  • Grain heads with pink, purplish, or black spurs
  • Three-leaved growth pattern

Wild Edible Plant Safety

·         Test only one part of the plant at a time. Separate the plant into its basic components; leaves, stems, roots, buds and flowers
·         Perform a contact test to see how your skin reacts to the plants. Crush the various parts of the plants and rub them on your skin. If you have a reaction such as hives or redness, you probably wouldn’t want to eat it.
·         Touch a small portion of the plant to the outer surface of your lip and test for any burning or itching. If after a few minutes there is no reaction to your lip, place the plant part on your tongue. Holding it for 15 minutes. Again, if there is no reaction start to chew the material but do not swallow it until you are sure there is no reaction like burning, itching, numbing or stinging.
·         Wait 8 hours to see if you have any ill effects. If you do, induce vomiting and drink plenty of water. If you feel fine, then eat only a small portion and wait another 8 hours just to be sure.

It’s also important to remember that some plants may be edible when cooked but not when raw. You may have to apply the above rules separately to the same plant in its raw and cooked state.

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