Have you ever considered urban foraging?
For years, I have seen notices in my city for wild foraging workshops lead by a local expert.
I was curious and intrigued by this, but I never made the decision to take the plunge.
Many city dwellers have no idea that foraging is a viable option for finding fresh, edible food.
Most of us are accustomed to making a list of foods we want, then heading to the grocery store
to buy them.
Others shop at farmer’s markets, sign up for shares in CSA, plant their own urban gardens or
participate in community gardens.
And then there are the daring folks among us who march out into urban environments to search
for their next meal.
“The basic concept behind urban foraging
search for and gather fresh food
in urban spaces.”
Urban foragers see foraging as a way to reconnect with the natural world, obtain free food,
reduce their eco-footprint, diversify their diets, and learn to look at urban spaces in new ways.
Not to be confused with dumpster diving, foraging focuses on obtaining fresh food straight from
the source–whether from trees, bushes, edible weeds, or other plants found in parks, abandoned
lots, and local neighborhoods.
Are you curious about seeking out your own food in your local environment but you don’t know
where to start?
Consider this handy infographic below your cheat sheet for safely exploring the wild wild world of
Before you start, it is important to keep a few key guidelines in mind:
Know What’s Safe to Eat
Not all plants are safe for human consumption, and eating the wrong plant (or the wrong part
of an otherwise-safe plant) can result in illness or even death.
Before picking anything, do some research to figure out where foraging is and is not allowed in
In particular, check with local government for any rules regarding foraging on public land.
If you have your eye on plants that reside on private property, always ask permission before
Make sure to use the Internet to identify prime foraging spots.
For example, check out fallingfruit.org, which allows foragers from across the globe to share the
locations of found fruits, vegetables, herbs, and nuts, to the tune of more than 800,000 entries
from 50 countries.
The searchable map is free to use online and the founders have also created an app.
Watch Out for Contaminated Plants
No matter how you identify possible foraging locations, it’s important to investigate whether the
area has been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides, or is located near an industrial area.
Avoid plants from these areas, because they’re likely to be contaminated with chemicals that aren’t
good for you.
In general, try to avoid plants growing near busy roads or train tracks, or in soil that is contaminated
with lead (such as at the site of a demolished house).
It’s also best to steer clear of auto shops, gas stations, and factories.
In contrast, empty lots or wooded areas can often be great sources for forage-friendly foods.
Wear sturdy shoes and bring along some gardening gloves, a spade, a field guide to local plants, and
a few reusable bags to transport your finds.
Make sure that you are aware of the best way to harvest plants so they’ll stay fresh until you get home.
Don’t Be Greedy
If you come across a small patch of a plant species, don’t pick all of the plants.
It’s important to leave some of the plants behind so the species can continue to grow in
Source: Fix.com Blog
Have you ever foraged for wild edibles in your community?
What types of wild plants have you found and eaten?
Are you ready to start foraging for food in your area?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.