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Thread: Questions for experienced food foragers!

  1. #1

    Default Questions for experienced food foragers!

    Hey all,

    I'm doing a research project on wild food foraging. I have a couple questions! Any input or responses would be much appreciated.

    1) Describe your life (day-to-day) routine as a wild food forager.

    2) What do you currently forage? And how long have you been foraging?

    3) What do you think the future of wild food foraging will look like?

    4) What are some small- and large-scale issues you find with food foraging?

    5) What are your thoughts on climate change and food foraging? How do you think and feel this would affect foraging?

    6) What are some interests or concerns you have about foraging? (e.g. could be relating to the government, climate change, economy, etc.)

    Any other thoughts you might have would be helpful.

    Thanks!

    Robbin


  2. #2
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Hunter63 saying Hey and Welcome.
    There is an intro section at:

    http://www.wilderness-survival.net/f...-Introductions

    Quote Originally Posted by ForagerNewb View Post
    Hey all,

    I'm doing a research project on wild food foraging. I have a couple questions! Any input or responses would be much appreciated.

    1) Describe your life (day-to-day) routine as a wild food forager.

    I gonna guess that forging is not a full time job for anyone.....
    So most folks will get up, go to work and do all the stuff anyone else would do.....but keep eye open for flora and fauna that presents it self in season.


    2) What do you currently forage? And how long have you been foraging?

    Being as how it is winter in Wisconsin cold snow and ice....not much, except maybe rose hips and rabbits.

    3) What do you think the future of wild food foraging will look like?

    I may need stronger glasses, and have to go farther afield to find place to forage.

    4) What are some small- and large-scale issues you find with food foraging?

    Finding places to forage that are not trespassing, and chemicals along roads from vehicles

    5) What are your thoughts on climate change and food foraging? How do you think and feel this would affect foraging?

    Not sure......possible different plants and animals?.......Foraging is knowing, finding and being able to use what is there ..."at the time"...What ever that may be....IMHO

    6) What are some interests or concerns you have about foraging? (e.g. could be relating to the government, climate change, economy, etc.)

    Not sure.....See Number #5

    Any other thoughts you might have would be helpful.

    Thanks!

    Robbin
    Last edited by hunter63; 02-10-2016 at 06:07 PM.
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
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  3. #3

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    1) Describe your life (day-to-day) routine as a wild food forager.
    Depending on the season, I check a number of local areas where I forage right near a trail
    2) What do you currently forage? And how long have you been foraging?
    Depending on season - whatever is in season - Since I was 6
    3) What do you think the future of wild food foraging will look like?
    Depends on where people live, the impact they have on the environment
    4) What are some small- and large-scale issues you find with food foraging?
    Issues???? Can you be more specific?
    5) What are your thoughts on climate change and food foraging? How do you think and feel this would affect foraging?
    While the earth goes through natural temperature fluctuations and now man made temperature changes, plant will follow the three rules of nature - ADAPT, MIGRATE or DIE - pants have been seen migrating (Sierra Nevada - plants found growing at higher elevations than previously recorded). People are highly adaptable which is why we live in almost every climate, I doubt things will change much
    6) What are some interests or concerns you have about foraging? (e.g. could be relating to the government, climate change, economy, etc.)
    I have no concerns other than pollutants

    Any other thoughts you might have would be helpful.

  4. #4

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    1) Describe your life (day-to-day) routine as a wild food forager.
    Baseline; foraging is a daily behavior that has become so ingrained we don't think about it. We just do what is needed. Winter foraging is mostly pruning the boughs of needle leaf trees for tea and roasting bark. We try to avoid lethal harvest and prune to increase the vitality of the trees as we use them for food, medicine, and utility. Rose hips and a few other late wild edibles are exceptions, but until the sap flows, we are eating meat and trees. Spring is about roots, tubers, and emergent greens. Anything that will be used that day can be harvested in the early morning with the dew. Anything we will store we wait until the dew evaporates. Summer is about gathering pollen and medicinals, Late summer into fall is gathering larders (sustainably harvested bulk wild foods) to get us through winter.


    2) What do you currently forage? And how long have you been foraging?
    Since I was four, and too many plants to list here. Fiddle Heads, Nettles, Pine Pollen, Cattail Pollen, mustards, ground nut, burdock, basswood leaves, Elderberry, Dandelion, Evening Primrose, Milkweed, Japanese Knotweed, Valarian, Skull Cap, Dogbane, Wild Rice, and Acorns are a few that move us through the seasons.

    3) What do you think the future of wild food foraging will look like?

    Folks will learn to leave bounty in their wake by casting seeds and sharing companion planting as well as best practices. The rest will fall away t greed and the old unsustainable paradigm as time goes on. (Hey, you asked)

    4) What are some small- and large-scale issues you find with food foraging?
    Contaminants and Sweeping regulations born of ignorance and control.

    5) What are your thoughts on climate change and food foraging? How do you think and feel this would affect foraging?
    Plants are resilient and our absence in working with them as caretakers has made a temporary imbalance over the last five hundred years. Easy to fix.

    6) What are some interests or concerns you have about foraging? (e.g. could be relating to the government, climate change, economy, etc.)

    Plant phobia is fear bred of ignorance. We should know the handful of plants that can do us harm by age five. That would open up the banquet of the thousands that are useful to all of us. Time to get this tuff in to the public domain. replace fast food logos with plant recognition skills.

    Any other thoughts you might have would be helpful. Can't do it with plants alone. Have to eat meat too.

  5. #5

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    1) Describe your life (day-to-day) routine as a wild food forager.
    It isn't day to day. Seasonal only and only by chance. Spring = some fiddleheads and a lot of dandelions. Summer= beach plums, rose hips and striper and bluefish (surfcasting can lead you to a lot of interesting forage areas.) I consider fishing as foraging. I also do a lot of lake fishing. Occasionally there will be a highbush blueberry out there with enough berries for a lunch appetizer. Someday I hope to be able to hunt deer and turkey. I got a turkey stamp this year. Funny, when the lady at the fish & game office asked me if I wanted to buy one, two great big turkeys were walking through the field just outside the window. We'll see if it happens this year. Is hunting foraging? Yes, I believe so.

    2) What do you currently forage? And how long have you been foraging?
    Since about 5 years old. We used to glean apple orchards after harvest when I was a kid. Back then "drops" were edible (and I suspect they are edible now.) Later we did the PYO thing when that was cheaper than buying store bought. We also used to pick gallons of blackberries out on an old abandoned estate in the woods behind my house, there were staghorn sumac out there too that made a good tart "koolaid" and we picked gallons of blueberries along a trail that ran alongside an underground gas line (or maybe it was a high tension line, don't remember). That last one isn't probably such a good idea today as who knows what chemicals they might use to keep the vegetation down under those lines. Back then they just used these great big chain flails. When visiting friends in Vermont we would help them harvest beechnuts. There were also wild crabapples that we picked and turned in at the cider house for gallons of cider.

    3) What do you think the future of wild food foraging will look like?
    I sure as heck hope most people stay afraid of foraging. If everyone did it, there'd be nothing left out there.

    4) What are some small- and large-scale issues you find with food foraging?
    Most casual "foragers" don't know enough to scatter the seeds. They don't know they shouldn't take the whole stand of plants. Always leave some behind and hope the next person doesn't decimate the site just to make a salad. When you rip up cattails for their starchy roots, make sure you leave some to grow more cattails.

    5) What are your thoughts on climate change and food foraging? How do you think and feel this would affect foraging?
    I'm actually sort of a somewhat denier. I don't buy a lot of the arguments to climate change. Is the world warming, maybe. Why it is? That is still open to debate. I'm of the opinion that there are just too many people. Period. How do we fix it? Ah, that is the question (and no, cap and trade is not the answer.) Anyway, what we have more of a problem with is globalization of pests (insects and microbial.) There are far more things around eating what we eat before we can eat it. It's only going to get worse.

    6) What are some interests or concerns you have about foraging? (e.g. could be relating to the government, climate change, economy, etc.)
    Again, the wild plants cannot sustain any real large population of foragers. All those folks thinking they are going to run off to the woods if the SHTF and live off the land are going to starve. I have nearly an acre of land with naturalized plantings around my house of woodland plants that are a forager's dream. Elderberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries (both alpine and domesticated), mayapples, partridgeberry and cranberries (you can grow them without a bog.) I'm trying to grow pawpaws, a hardy American persimmon and there are a couple of very young butternut and stone pines out there. All of these plants are very fragile parts of very specific ecosystems, which if not maintained, will get wiped out. That 6' x 6' bed of cranberries will yield you about 6 to 8 lbs of berries if it is happy. A 10x10 bed of strawberries might yield a couple gallons. The 10 x 20 beds of blackberries and raspberries, again only a couple gallons each. With any sort of nut tree, if you don't eat a lot of squirrel stew, you won't be seeing a lot of finished product. Unless you have large stands, you aren't going to be able to put food by to live off of. People severely underestimate what nature can provide these days in the habitat that is left to it. People should be more into edible landscaping, growing clover and planting perennial wildflowers to feed the pollinators instead of their grass lawns and hedges (butterflies and bees are in serious decline.)
    Last edited by LowKey; 03-02-2016 at 10:53 PM.
    If we are to have another contest in…our national existence I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon's, but between patriotism & intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition & ignorance on the other…
    ~ President Ulysses S. Grant

  6. #6

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    Not by chance, but defiantly seasonal. I like LowKey's caooments because they are mostly valid. He has the right approach to cultivating bounty on the landscape as our collective ancestors did. That is a huge part of the foraging puzzle. Yes, most folks would perish without the years of investment in learning your annual wild food larders. There is bounty out there. We can increase that bounty as we grow in our skills. We have been incorporating sustainable wild harvest here for over twenty years and that's in Maine. The further south you go the more diversity there tends to be, at least least of the Appalachians. I made a video about wild food harvests about five years ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gejXiDmgNp0

  7. #7

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    Read Euel Gibbon's books on wild edible plants, wild condiments, and seacoast scavenging. He was a real pro at this stuff. He was smarter than others. He'd study what sort of soil and conditions a useful plant liked, find or create those conditions MUCH nearer to his home. and transplant (or plant seeds) the "wild" plants there. :-) This "wild" stuff means lots and lots of time and effort wasted on seeking out the stuff and getting to and from it, from your "camp" or wherever.

    Some fish weirs, made from netting, are far, far more efficient ways of getting flesh food than anything else you can name. They make hunting, especially small game hunting, look really stupid by comparison. Keep "chumming" (ie, baiting) the weirs with the guts and heads of previous catches and you'll always have fish in your weir. Rig a "door" to close of the "neck" of your weir, and learn to sneak up and close that door/gate. Gators and big turtles can tear up your weir, but you can catch THEM, too.

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