Let's Talk Food Foraging | A Smorgasbord for Boondockers
By Frank and Cherri ‘We Two Gypsies’ | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.
Spring Has Sprung
I don't know about you, but something amazing happens to me at the onset of spring. I am bursting with energy, my creativity blossoms, and ideas of every sort surface out of nowhere. All things are fresh and new.
When I awakened this morning I did as I always do; Poured myself a nice cup of creamy hot cacao and proceeded to check my email accounts for things needing attention.
Upon opening my laptop the first thing I saw was a Google doodle for Leap Year. Oh yea, it's that time again. Solstice has not yet arrived, but that doesn't matter. My internal time clock is hardwired to kick into gear on March 1st.
“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!’”
— Robin Williams
Frank and I have lived in places where winter seems to drag on into June, but that's just not for me. Early spring, no matter where I am always makes me a little home sick for California.
We're in Moab now, and while it is one of the most amazing places I've ever seen it's just not the Pacific Northwest in the Spring. Many of my favorite spring wild harvested foods are nowhere to be found around here, but a girl can dream. Or she can just fire up the rig and head out to the places which bring her comfort.
A setting like this can sustain a boondocker literally for days
I love the outdoors, and hiking is at the top of my list of favorite past times. Early in the spring I enjoy everything about being on a long hike deep in the forest, The air is crisp, the critters are all around, and there is an immense sense of calm.
As I recall some of the beautiful places I have explored over the years I get this somewhat melancholy and primal urge to be in the place I love most. I see myself hiking in a picturesque forest and gathering some of my favorite nutrient dense foraged foods.
As I began jotting down my notes for this post I quickly realized that my list of favorite forages is much longer than I realized. So with that said, I think I may need to break this up into several posts, and talk a little more in depth about each.
First and foremost I am no expert, however I did take a great food forage course several years back which taught me one very important thing, "When in doubt, no touchy."
Since that time I have made it my own personal policy to stick with foods that do not have look-alike's. Yes many wild harvested foods, especially mushrooms have deadly counterparts. For this reason educating yourself before foraging can be a sensible practice.
Here is a list of some of my favorites:
- Lamb's Quarters
- Miners Lettuce
- Nopal (cactus pads)
Fruits, Nuts, and Berries
- Thimble Berries
- Salal Berries
- Wild Strawberries
- Black Walnuts
- Prickely Pear
- Chicken of the Woods
- Pineapple Weed
- Red Clover
In closing I would like to leave you with a few important tidbits.
- Take a food forage workshop if you can. These can be a lot of fun and can be easily found in most areas by checking Facebook events, Eventbrite, or Google.
- Get yourself a good food forage field guide. It will prove to be money well spent.
- Stay away from areas where motor vehicles frequent. The exhaust can be poison to nutritious wild harvested foods.
- Stay away from trails that dogs frequent. This is a valid concern; While I love my fur-babies truth be told, they urinate on everything, and this too can be toxic for humans.
- Watch for discoloration of foliage within the colony or the surrounding plantlife in general. This can be an indicator of diseased plants.
- Finally keep in mind that we are sharing the bounty with many other creatures. We certainly do not want to eradicate to the point in which the plants cannot continue to thrive. A good rule of thumb is to take no more than 1/3 of the individual plant and no more than 1/3 of the colony as a whole.
What is you favorite foraged food? Use the comments section below to share your tips and tricks for foraging great foods.
Would you like to see more articles like this with in-depth information about food foraging for boondockers? Please let us know in the comments below.
Follow Frank and Cherri as we pursue the simple life with our two fur-babies Molly & Casey Jones. We are pleased you are here, and invite you to join the conversation.
We Two Gypsies is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, and affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com