How to Forage for Wild Edible Plants

Learn how to safely forage for wild edible plants with tips on plant identification and avoiding poisonous plants.

| October 2013

  • Foraging for wild edible plants can be fun and rewarding if you do it safely. Learn how to tell if a plant is safe to consume or if you should avoid it.
    Photo By Fotolia/Daisy Daisy
  • “Wild Edibles” by Sergei Boutenko combines a practical guide to safely forage for food and a recipe collection to put those finds to use.
    Cover Courtesy North Atlantic Books

In this field guide to foraging wild edible plants, explore the health benefits of wild-harvested food and how to safely identify plants. Wild Edibles (North Atlantic Books, 2013) outlines the basic rules for gathering etiquette, and author Sergei Boutenko offers more than 60 recipes to put your foraged food to use. This excerpt was taken from part 1, “The Basics of Wild Plant Foraging.”

You can purchase this book from the Capper’s Farmer store: Wild Edibles.

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The very first time you go out to forage it may seem awkward and intimidating. As a novice, you will see a wall of green vegetation and begin doubting your ability to discern what is edible and what is poisonous. This is natural; it happens to most of us when we branch out and try new things. Fear is a valuable emotion; it keeps us from doing things that could potentially harm us. If we give in to our fears completely, however, we may end up stuck in our limited comfort zone and never get to experience all that life has to offer. This chapter is aimed at easing your journey through the early stages of foraging. The following simple, commonsense guidelines are meant to keep you safe while at the same time nurturing your curiosity and challenging you to forage.








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