If you’re just picking up a foraging basket for the first time, what a truly special moment. I’m willing to bet that getting to know your local food and medicine plants (and bringing them home to your kitchen and apothecary) will be one of the most meaningful experiences of your life.
When I first began foraging my own food and medicine, I focused on a particular array of plentiful, generous, and nourishing plants—the wild weeds, the common flora, and the invasives. I strongly encourage you to do the same! These plants are some of our most superb medicinal allies and nutrient-dense wild foods. And these feral botanicals continue to be my main squeezes: non-native, “weedy” medicinals and wild foods are the most sustainable options out there.
And to sweeten the deal, they grow prolifically throughout the temperate world, so they are easy to find and befriend. Believe me, making connections with these plants is a bit like working a magic spell—one that reveals a generous landscape literally blooming with food and medicine.
But wait! Before you venture off into paradise, please ready yourself to partake of the cornucopia. You will need a proper set of resources to begin your foraging adventures safely and wisely. Tools, field guides, an ethical conscience, and some education on sustainable wildcrafting are all requisite (or at least very highly recommended). We’ve got you covered on each of these points; just pick and choose as needed from our list of articles below:
- Foraging for Wild Edibles and Herbs: Sustainable and Safe Gathering Practices
- The Ten Best Books on Foraging Wild Foods and Herbs
- The Top Herbal and Foraging Blogs, Podcasts, and YouTube Channels
- The Best Regional Books for Plant Identification and Foraging Wild Foods and Herbs
- Essential Foraging Tools and Supplies
Please note that this article is introductory in scope—we won’t be discussing plant identification, and we’re just scratching the surface on medicinal uses and safety information. Depending on where you live, there may be different look-alikes than those that are listed in the article. We’re hoping to whet your appetite with these botanical vignettes—you’ll need to learn more before you can safely harvest these wild foods and medicinals. Therefore, the bulk of the botanical and herbal detective work will be up to you!
Find a couple field guides relevant to your region by searching our book list. Find a local foraging and/or plant identification teacher, if possible. Remember, there are deadly poisonous plants and mushrooms out there: one wrong move could be your last.
Have fun and be safe—which means being 110% sure of any plant’s identification before you nibble or harvest.
Read original article at: Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine ~ The 10 Best Wild Foods and Medicinals for Beginning Foragers