GATHER | the do's and dont's
Before you go off hunting and gathering, you first have to know exactly what, where and when to pick. One of the best ways to learn about wild plants is by attending a course run by an experienced forager. Let Google help you find one! We highly recommend reading as many books on the subject as you possibly can (see sources & recommended reading at the bottom of the page). Like growing your own food, gathering demands knowledge and the more knowledge you have, the safer you will be and the more responsible you will become.
UNLESS YOU ARE 100% SURE OF WHAT IT IS
& 100% SURE THAT IT IS EDIBLE
DON’T EAT IT!
- Generally, if it’s within reach of a public right of way and wild, its fair game. If you have to trespass to get it, then it isn’t. However, always read the foraging rules in your local parks and green spaces, and if you’re foraging on farms or private properties, be sure to get permission from the landowner before you start picking.
- It is illegal to dig up any plants without permission, so leave the roots alone and just snip off the leaves and flowers just above the stem so you avoid damaging the populations.
- Never pick plants if they are scarce in the area.
- Never take too many plants from one particular patch.
- Be a sustainable forager and only take what you need, leave plenty for the wildlife. Harvest respectfully: seeds and flowers are the plant’s future.
- Be cautious with new wild foods. Just because something is generally edible, that doesn’t mean that you can eat it. If you are susceptible to food allergies or have a sensitive digestive system, you will probably have a reaction to wild food. Do a tolerance test to be safe.
- Take a good reference book with you.
- Know which stage of the plant you should eat.
- Understand there are some herbs and wild plants that are fine to eat except if you are a child, pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Take a good knife, secateurs, gloves, a basket or paper bags.
- Pick mushrooms extremely cautiously. If you get it wrong you can DIE! Here’s a guide.
- Consider pesticides, herbicides, pollutions and dog pee. Think about all that could, might and will have drifted onto your plants and pick wisely.
sturdy pair of boots
basket + containers
folding foraging knife