Anyone Foraging for Food?

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Gilberto de Piento
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Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:25 am

I've been doing a little foraging lately using https://fallingfruit.org/ just for fun. It's been a good experience but probably not useful for ERE unless you have lots of time, little money, and no way to garden for yourself. We've found bushels of (low quality) apples, some pears, some peaches, and some nuts.

Anyone foraging? What do you think?

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GandK
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by GandK » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:03 am

That site is awesome!

I've never foraged deliberately, but I grew up in the country and walked a lot, and was usually on the lookout for wild seasonal fruit during my excursions. Shocked that there's a couple near me... one by a hiking trail. Woohoo!

I will definitely consult this the next time we go camping.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:25 am

I was surprised how much is listed there too. Most of what I have found has been in yards for apartment buildings. People have been friendly while we take the fruit too.

I'm using an extendable painters pole I already had and a fruit picking basket ($10) for the end of the pole. It works great.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 9:38 am

I was actually just making plans this week to make use of this site to get some free cuttings to propagate for my garden. I consider foraging to be a sub-set of the activity of scavenging which I do all the time. After I fix my garden cart this morning, I am going to go out and scavenge some tires, cardboard and a large mirror I saw in the alley, and then I am going to plant some very nice perennials that a friend scavenged for me (had been end-of-season dumped by commercial nursery vendor) and transplant some mint from an abandoned lot into some concrete blocks that were also scavenged. Of course, employment in the conventional economy is a better $/hour way to spend your time, but scavenging is much more fun, and I think it wakes up some important parts of your brain.

bottlerocks
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by bottlerocks » Mon Oct 12, 2015 12:25 pm

Thanks for the site GdP...wish more people were using it in my locale.

There are lots of figs, dates, nuts, and mushrooms that I can identify and snack on around here. If I'm out in the woods it's great as a supplement otherwise I have to spend a lot of time/energy gathering any substantial quantity. One day I'd like my diet to be composed 75%+ of foraged and garden foods combined with wild meat/fish.

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chenda
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by chenda » Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:54 pm

I like going blackberrying in the Autumn.

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vexed87
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by vexed87 » Mon Oct 12, 2015 5:11 pm

Picking plenty of blackberries and raspberries at the moment while out walking the dog, just because I'm usually starving after work and it's easier than raiding the fridge and making a sandwich ;)

pukingRainbows
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by pukingRainbows » Mon Oct 12, 2015 8:25 pm

Great site!
Walks around the neighbourhood are going to get much more interesting now.
I ate a bunch of dandelions from my backyard this spring which I plan to do every year. They were good!

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Chris
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by Chris » Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:29 pm

Great site... it would be nice to see more contributions from organizations like Yale (check out what they did in New Haven)

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:17 am

I noticed the tree inventory data in some cities and I think it just obscures the locations of the foods that I think most users are looking for, like apples and pears. I doubt many people are interested in eating part of a river birch or locust.

With so much data the site needs a better way to filter. Turning on the labels helps but it's still overwhelming.

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cmonkey
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by cmonkey » Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:47 am

We used that site to find wild pecans, butternuts and hazelnuts. The butternuts were all eaten by the time we got there. We planted a bunch of pecans but the squirrels dug them out of the pots. :cry: They are quite clever little animals.

enigmaT120
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by enigmaT120 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:26 pm

That's an interesting site. I don't notice any little tags showing where the chanterelles are in my area, nor do I intend to add any. I saw several that said "blackberries" but that's misleading, as there are blackberries almost all over western Oregon. I spent several hours Monday spraying to keep a bunch from taking back over my skid road and to keep an area open where I want to plant a bunch of western red cedar seedlings.

heyhey
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by heyhey » Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:50 pm

Thanks for the link! I picked up a couple of chestnuts today, but the squirrels had eaten most of the good ones. I cannot begrudge them, though ;)

brookline
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by brookline » Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:57 pm

Hi everybody,
I am a novice forager. I got into it for a few reasons: my kids like the you pick experience, are positively rapacious when they pick, and I need to cut costs; I have had terrible luck with prescription drugs, have been experimenting with herbal remedies, and was appalled at the prices from vendors for marsh mallow root, burdock root, and dandelion, which are all weeds that most gardeners wish to eradicate; I can't get any help from family members with gardening (they are only into eating); and as someone else observed, this activity turns on a part of the brain that is dormant in my cubicle life. I wish to recommend some books that may be helpful:
A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and central North America (Peterson Field Guides)
Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide
Foraging New England: Edible Wild Food And Medicinal Plants From Maine To The Adirondacks To Long Island Sound (Foraging Series)
A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs: Of Eastern and Central North America (Peterson Field Guides)
Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to 550 Key Herbs with all their Uses as Remedies for Common Ailments.
The field guides are important for safety. E.g., I picked up a bag of what I thought were chestnuts that turned out to be toxic horse chestnuts. Properly prepared however, they have medicinal value so I will hang onto them in case I can figure out how to use them.

Does anyone want to share any foraging tricks they use? Any good stories?

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Thu Oct 22, 2015 11:28 am

Having a "harvest party" where only foraged foods are allowed (make exceptions depending on how strict you want to be) can be fun and/or a good lesson on how hard it would be to live by foraging.

If you do this make sure that everyone involved knows how to identify and prepare foraged foods safely.

DSKla
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by DSKla » Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:58 pm

I forage windfall lemons from the tree in my complex. I feel bad picking them because I don't know if the person who planted and maintains it expects to have most of it. People in the neighborhood basically steal each others' fruit, though. Again, I feel bad picking even from branches that overhang the sidewalk, but I would potentially pick up a windfall piece from public ground.

What I'm very interested in is creating more forage opportunities through guerilla gardening. I want to find vacant land or unused public property and toss some weedy salad greens like dandelion or arugula, then come back to see if anything grew. Sowing edible weeds and hardier greens would be an inexpensive way to get use out of ground that is serving no purpose. The only issue is that in a city you would have to be concerned about contamination from car exhaust, and toxins and heavy metals in the soil. So a neglected corner of a park would be a lot better than the weed patches by the freeway onramp.

I've been doing lots of research on mushrooms lately, and I see tons of permanently shady areas in the city where you could covertly innoculate either the dirt or a bit of substrate and come back to find oysters or shaggy manes. Again, this helps the soil, but if heavy metals are present, the mushrooms should NOT be eaten since they actively pull them from the soil into the fruiting body. King stropharia would also be a good choice to dump in under shrubs and trees planted by the city in public spaces.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by EdithKeeler » Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:49 pm

I want to find vacant land or unused public property and toss some weedy salad greens like dandelion or arugula, then come back to see if anything grew. Sowing edible weeds and hardier greens would be an inexpensive way to get use out of ground that is serving no purpose.
I take my dogs to a large park in my city every weekend, and it's clear we have at least 1 guerrilla gardener around here! The first year, I spotted a zucchini plant on a walk, with quite a few baby zucs on it. I left it alone, but I thought at the time a bird must have just "dropped" a seed there fortuitiously. However, a week or so later, I was walking in another part of the park and found another vine...and another. I left them alone, and I hoped that whoever planted them got the use of the fruits, because every time I walked by, I saw they were picked clean.

The second year I found more zucchini plants, and 2 canteloupe vines, and this year it was watermelon. It's actually fun to walk buy and see them growing; they are somewhat off the beaten path, but once I started to be on the lookout, I found more and more. I kept thinking that they were all plants that need a lot of room to grow, and that maybe someone bought seeds and then realized their little garden didn't have the space, so planted them out there.

enigmaT120
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by enigmaT120 » Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:58 pm

Chanterelles last weekend and a few today, these from my own property.

black_son_of_gray
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by black_son_of_gray » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:10 pm

Serviceberries in my area are in full bloom... something to look out for in the coming weeks, as they are widespread geographically- last year I snagged a couple of pints. Tasty!
See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amelanchier

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C40
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by C40 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:30 pm

huh... the city of Phoenix has updated the site with thousands of trees in public areas.

I've been walking/riding around town often wondering if it's reasonable to just take some of the fruit off trees from people's yards or from ~landscaping trees on commercial property. I could at least try these out.

I've also been wanting to get into foraging native wild plants, but haven't gotten started yet... some day....

7Wannabe5
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:54 am

@C40: Just get an semi-official looking vest with reflective tape and pretend you are part of fruit-litter prevention corps. Of course, might not be worth the trouble since you can't really preserve/keep much fruit in your van.

Snow mixed with rain here yesterday, and my right eye is temporarily paralyzed, so no foraging (or gardening) for me. Unless you count freegan mooching access to contents of my BF's kitchen. Not much available yet anyways except dandelion greens. However, I am, hopefully, thanks to scavenging efforts of my permaculture partner, having 2 large truckloads of free wood chips dumped on my lot this afternoon.

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Hégé
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by Hégé » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:26 pm

I try to incorporate more food from wild plants in my diet. I find that the hardest part is learning to cook them so that you actually want to eat them.
It's really easy when the plant is delicious without a lot of preparation. I can't get enough of Allium ursinum for the moment (it makes a wonderful pesto if you haven't tried it, try it!), stinging nettle soup is also delicious.
Also, in the early spring, you can eat a lot of young leaves from trees. In my region, beech, lime, hornbeam trees are the best ones. Served with a vinaigrette and a poached egg, it's very nice :)

7Wannabe5
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:43 am

@Hege: Ramps! Will add to list of under-story bulbs for my mini-orchard. The daffodils are pretty, but not very tasty ;) (WARNING: Understatement. Do not eat daffodils. Poison! Poison! Poison!)

Myakka
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by Myakka » Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:30 pm

www.eattheweeds.com

I know and use many of the wild plants that I find in my yard. (My bunny eats many more of them than I do.) The above link has information about wild plants with a focus on Florida, USA but not exclusively that.

Ken
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Re: Anyone Foraging for Food?

Post by Ken » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:18 pm

Check out Sam Thayer's two books: "The Forager's Harvest", and "Nature's Garden". IMO, the best guides in print, if you have to learn from a book. If you can, spend time time foraging with a good Ethnobotanist. I've done a lot of foraging, and feel it fits right in the the ERE philosophy. I have my favorite spots that I go to depending on the time of year. The wild leeks (ramps) and just now coming up in my yard now!

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