Wild Foraging

Foraging in Central Park, New York City
(Photo Courtesy of “Wildman” Steve Brill)

Wild Foraging is the act of harvesting edible, wild growing plants and fungi. For most of the history of our species, we were primarily foragers. We only started hunting more recently (even then obtaining the majority of our food by foraging) and farming even more recently.

In the industrialized world, most of us rarely consider the idea that food can be obtained from any source other than from commercial agriculture on store shelves. In a society where we have become accustomed to eating fruit out of season, getting food out of boxes, and where most of us can’t distinguish foods that grow locally from those that grow a hemisphere away, we have lost traditional wisdom about the food and medicinal value of plants and fungi growing all around us. We automatically close ourselves to an immediately available source of high quality food and medicines that are much more healthful and safer than over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.

Wild foragers are attempting to preserve and recapture traditional wisdom, demonstrating a way of survival based on respect, not domination, of our ecosystems. Harvested responsibly, the herbs, shoots, greens, fruits, berries, nuts, seeds, and roots foragers collect are renewable resources that protect themselves from herbivores by regeneration.

To learn more about wild foraging, visit these websites:

Foraging with Wildman Steve Brill – Wild Foraging Tours in NYC area and lots of info on wild edibles.
Wild Foraging Books by Wildman Steve Brill
Dining on the Wilds: Wild Edible Plants – includes info on events in California.
Traditional Herbal &Plant Knowledge, Identifications
Wild Foraging Events Everywhere
Wild Food Walks and Courses in Massachusetts
Edible Wild Plants – info on wild foraging books and wild food tours in Eastern Massacutsettes.
Books on Wild Foraging
Wild Food Foraging Tours in Virginia Beach Area
Wild Foods Forum Newsletter
Gloria Mundi Special Exhibit – Wild Foods
Laura Lacey’s Wild World of Plants
Oklahoma’s Forage Ahead
Ozark Herbal Expeditions
Wild Mountain Herbs in Tennessee and North Carolina