What is foraging?
Since the caveman began to hunt and gather, nature has served as the local woodland grocery for both food and medicine. They undoubtedly went through a lot of trial and error to determine what was beneficial and what was toxic.
Have you ever looked at a leaf, berry or mushroom and wondered if it was edible or if it might possess any healing properties? Well, now’s your chance to learn how to identify plants and fungi that can be eaten or used in other ways without the potentially dangerous trial and error process.
Why is foraging for food something you should consider?
Well, at the very least, you can gather some free, fresh, and organic food while getting some exercise.
Learn from an expert
An Edible Plants Foraging Walk, sponsored by the Waterloo Natural History Association and led by Rachel Misfud, founder of Will Forage for Food is coming up on June 4. With a BS in Environmental Biology, an MS in Ecology, and decades of biology and ecology experiences under her belt,Misfud knows her plants.
Her knowledge is particularly important while foraging, because otherwise it could be quite risky.
“There are many ‘look-similars,'” Misfud said. “When you learn each edible plant you have to learn how to distinguish that plant from similar, not edible, plants. A good example is wild carrot and wild hemlock.”
She further clarifies, “None of [the] wives tales about edibility are ever true. There is no always or never in nature. There are no general rules to follow. You have to learn each plant individually.”
The Edible Plants Foraging Walk is for educational purposes and there will be no harvesting.
“There is a good diversity of habitats, so we will find lawn weeds, woodland plants, and meadow plants,” Misfud said.
The leisurely walk starts at 2 p.m. on June 6 at the Eddy Discovery Center and costs $2 per person or $5/ per family.
It is recommended to register in advance by calling 734-475-3170. Children are welcome, but the program is more suited to adults and teens.
More foraging info
Will Forage for Food is a community of people who are interested in living from the land and passing on traditional knowledge.
They will even assess your private property to identify forageable plants and teach you how to manage your land to cultivate more wild edibles.