Wild Foraging

miss_thenorth

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I put this in the hunting and fishing forum, b/c it is hunting--of sorts. Are there any wild foragers out there? I must admit that since I have lived in southern Ontario, I haven't wild foraged alot, but when I lived up north, my kids and I used to go out alot. Mind you, we owned 80 acres of forest, complete with beaver pond, and on a huge river between two lakes. It was IMO paradise. but my dh got a job he could not refuse and here we are.

We used to spend all our free time at the camp, and I taught my kids (and myself) alot about what was growing around us, and what was available for us to eat. (or use in other ways).

So who all has or is interested in foraging? I know there is an interest, with posts about dandelions and morels.

So how 'bout we get out there, enjoy the spring air, and forage, then come back here and share what all we have found and what we did with them.

I for one am very excited to go out and see what I can find. I am interested in what SW Ontario has out there for me. I will definitely make time to go out . (the painting can wait for a rainy day.)

So get your field guides and join me!
 

Blackbird

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:frow

Yup!
Love foraging, last year I found a new blackberry patch in the woods, besides the normal wild grapes, plantains, burdock, nettles and gooseberries that I frequent.. theres also a huge thicket of raspberries but they never produce.

This year I'm going to try mushrooms.. My mom bought me a mushroom indentification booklet :D.
 

me&thegals

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Oh yeah! Morels, blackberries, black raspberries, stinging nettle, asparagus, elderberries and an occasional abandoned old-time apple tree or orchard.

I'm still drooling over a simple supper last spring of stir fried green garlic with wild asparagus and morels, plus fresh-caught creek fish. :drool
 

freemotion

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I used to forage a lot in Maine when I also rode a lot of horses (it was my job, how great was that!) and knew every plant for miles. I miss fiddleheads! It was in the culture where I lived to go respectfully on other's land to forage, and gleaning after the harvesters was ok, too. You could walk right behind the harvester while the farmer was driving it, he would stop and chat sometimes or even fill your bucket from the truck.

Not the same in MA. I was picking wild grapes last fall where I have permission to forage....or so I thought. I'd strayed about three feet onto another property. The farmer hayed this other guy's field, so I thought it was all the same property.....well, I got kicked out, resoundingly! I even (slightly sarcastically, I admit!) offered to dump the grapes on the ground as I left. He didn't make me. He was not using those grapes, I was picking up recent drops after a storm. Yeesh. Typical here.

I can't seem to find enough of anything to do much with myself, never enough of anything for a batch of anything, but I forage for my critters when I walk the dog. I bring home grapes, elderberries, dandelions, and whatever else I spot, and plan on acorns this fall.

In my quest for tea, I will forage raspberry leaf, sumac flowers, multiflora flowers and later, the hips, clover, sassafras root. These plants are all located and I am checking the raspberries every few days.

Looking for new ideas! I am looking for ramps!
 

Blackbird

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I forgot about the asparagus!
In our ditches and other places along the road it often grows wild, we usually mow around it on purpose until its realy to pick.. people are crazy for the stuff, we've had people steal it at night right from our ditch! :somad
The other places we see, we don't own, but sometimes we'll drive by and someone else will be out there chopping it up; even though they don't have permission from the lands owner. And they don't just take a few sprouts, they take everything.
 

me&thegals

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freemotion said:
Not the same in MA. I was picking wild grapes last fall where I have permission to forage....or so I thought. I'd strayed about three feet onto another property. The farmer hayed this other guy's field, so I thought it was all the same property.....well, I got kicked out, resoundingly! I even (slightly sarcastically, I admit!) offered to dump the grapes on the ground as I left. He didn't make me. He was not using those grapes, I was picking up recent drops after a storm. Yeesh. Typical here.
That drives me nutty! I get in trouble ALL the time around here for picking asparagus in the ditches. It is completely legal, but some people go bananas if you're picking in ditches bordering their land. Literally had a neighbor chase me down the road in his truck (I was on my bike) to chew me out and threaten to call the cops! Turns out he didn't know who I was. My letter of apology had him stuttering and blushing to my husband he was so completely mortified at what he had done. :D OTOH, I once had a neighbor see me pick in the ditches and invite me into her yard to pick what she had growing. :)

Anyway, I digress.... Maybe I should start another thread on the dangers of foraging--poison ivy, nettle, neighbors...

ETA: Oops. I missed Amos' post :D. Uh, maybe MN is different than WI, but in WI ditches are completely "public" property. But, I have to admit I would be annoyed if people picked the stuff in "my" ditch. When I know people enjoy the stuff near their home, I leave it alone.
 

freemotion

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Yup, all the asparagus I've spotted in ditches here is growing in the middle of a lush poison ivy patch!
 

Blackbird

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Is it really legal?

The one patch is growing over our ancient sewer system and occasionally spots sink in, have to watch where you step.. If someone was messing around cutting asperagas and fell and got hurt I'm sure we'd hear about it. :rolleyes:

I admit I've accidently gone over the 'line' onto the nieghbors in the woods, our woods converges into theirs, but when people purposely go on someone elses land I guess it just gets me.

ETA: Hi Me&thegals, just saw your edit; no hard feelings, I'm not sure about laws.. but since the old sewer system is in the side of the ditch I'd assume it's our land.. unless the people that lived here before us were doing their own illegal things.. I might have to look that up.
 

me&thegals

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I have a sheriff uncle and policeman neighbor. After several run-ins with neighbors, I double checked just to be sure. It depends on whether the road is state or county, but each has a certain distance from the center line that is public land. I don't have a tape measure, but if it is not somebody's lawn and is clearly ditch, I pick it. Again, though, if I know somebody who lives nearby uses it, I leave it alone. Asparagus is not worth bad neighbor relations. Every year I plant more and more in my garden. But, I gotta tell you, it is absolutely irresistable growing wild everywhere!

ETA: BTW, Amos, I LOVE your signature line!
 

freemotion

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A neighbor tapped one of my maples this year. That is fine with me. It was obviously an error, I said nothing. It was right on the edge.

Someone cuts it down, though, and that will be another story!
 
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