Flora and Fauna – Foraging

Nature can provide a wide variety of food and in the past people used to survive by foraging. You can survive by eating plants found in the wild…as long as you don’t eat the wrong plant. If foraging during a Forest School you need to ensure you have extensive knowledge about what you are picking and know you are picking the right thing. When foraging children sometimes it is best to stick to the basics, especially to begin with.

When foraging there are a few key rules when collecting food:

  • Near roadsides or homes, be careful as the may have been sprayed with pesitcides. Washing beforehand is very important.
  • Avoid plants that look like they are growing in or near contaminated water.
  • Modeling wild plants can develop dangerous toxins, don’t eat plants that have started to deteriorate.
  • Some plants contain toxins – it is important to keep your eyes open for warning signs e.g. an almond smell is characteristic of cyanide compounds.
  • Do not eat mushrooms unless you are sure of the identification. Symptoms of the most dangerous mushrooms affect the central nervous system can show up days after consumption, which is far to late to reverse the effects. With mushrooms if you don’t know then stay away. 

Below are a few simple ideas of plants you could try foraging to begin with(Keep an eye on this section and it will expand as a gather more expereince):

Chickweed – Picture Reference [1]

Clovers – Picture Reference [2]

Nettles – Picture Reference [3]

There are also a number of Excellent books you can get about foraging:

Collin Gem – Food For Free – Click Here

The Edible City: A Year of Edible Food – Click Here

How to Eat in the Woods – Bradford Angier – Click Here