There have always been groups of people that have been considered a little on the weird side. Homesteaders and preppers are on this list right along with goths and punks. It is strange to think about it, but to the society at large, preppers are as far out on the fringe as any group can be. There is a group however that even the majority of preppers and homesteaders consider to be "out there". What group could be so strange that the people who are considered strange avoid them? Foragers. I know this isn't true of all, but if you talk to 100 people about foraging, 75 to 80 will look at you like you have grown another head. The ones that do not automatically think you are nuts usually think some type of berries like blackberries, blueberries, and the like. Once you tell them there is a lot more to it a large portion of these folks get the look. Some even find the topic interesting, but say they could never do that. I have friends that say I am the only one they know that can graze like a cow. They are exaggerating but I love foraging.
Like so many things, my love of foraging started with my grandfather. We would be out hunting or fishing or whatever and he would see a plant and would pick it and say "Here boy eat this." I would and then he would tell me about the plant. I honestly thought everyone had this kind of childhood for a while, but then I realized that my grandfather had given me something very special. He had given me a thirst for knowledge and a love for nature and the outdoors.
What is Foraging?Forage is one of those words that can either be a noun or a verb. Foraging can be a noun or an adjective. When I looked for the dictionary definition I was surprised by something that was clearly stated on the first site I went to. It clearly said that some English speaking people would know this word.
According to Dictionary.com
There is a lot to be said for being a part of a learning group. Someone may think of a question that you didn't, but as soon as you hear it, you really want to know the answer. There is safety in groups and more eyes means more success.
Watch Videos on Wild Edible and Medicinal plantsNot to toot my own horn, but as of now I have 18 videos each of which cover an edible or medicinal plant and have several more in the works, and I am not the only one. You can check out and subscribe to my Youtube channel HERE. There are dozens of people out there that will help you learn. I personally like learning from videos, they give me a better understanding of the surrounding areas, what to look for, and even the textures of a plant than any book really can.
The Best Way is a Mixture
For anyone and everyone starting out I always suggest getting a book that is based on your area. When you take this in conjunction with videos, and either a foraging group or a mentor, it will make things so much easier.
One Word of WarningI have had people ask where they could take a couple day course to become proficient at foraging and the answer is nowhere. If you find an instructor that tells you, you can effectively learn to forage in just a couple of days they are just out for your money and if you take their advice and actively start foraging you will get very sick or worse.
So get a friend and buy a book, watch some videos, find a mentor, or a combination and get out there and learn about all of the wonderful things that God has provided for us in nature.
Bringing Rural Back
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You can like The Rural Economist on Facebook follow on The Rural Economist on Gplus. We now have a YouTube channel and we cover all sorts of things. Hop on over and check them out, oh and don't forget to subscribe. I have just joined Instagram if you would like you can follow us HERE. We will be sharing several things over the next year, I hope to see you there.
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