Do you forage?

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    Paul Wagner
    BPL Member


    Locale: Wine Country

    The New York Times ran an interesting article about the impact of foraging hikers on our national lands. We took a hike a few years ago in a fire-affected part of the Eldorade NF and were amazed by the number of foragers–some carrying a shopping bag full of morels. We managed to hike past them a few miles and camp in solitude.

    It would be interesting to have someone study and/or compare the effects of this kind of activity in the national forests, compared to the oraging done by Native Americans before Europeans arrived.

    David Thomas
    BPL Member


    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    The area within 50 yards of a trail is minuscule compared to all the area of (at least western) national parks, monuments and forests so I suspect the effects of foraging is mostly on the success rate of other foragers, not on the larger ecosystem.

    We’ll take day hikes on which we plan to pick crow-, blue- and low-bush cranberries, bring containers and sometimes berry pickers along.  Likewise with morels – it’s more about the gathering than the hiking.

    While backpacking or kayak camping, I’ll nibble on rose hips and other edibles as I hike, but any substantial gathering is semi-planned.  Butter and garlic make most wild foods tastier, and we’ll use them on mussels if we’re camped on a beach at low tide or make fern fiddlehead pesto for use on pasta.

    On Adak next week, I hope the meals later in the week contain caribou meat harvested earlier in the week.  Black bears we’ve encountered on mainland Alaska ended up as beer stew and hash the next day and I bring potatoes, onions and other vegetables in the hopes of supplementing with game on the trip.

    BPL Member


    Locale: The West is (still) the Best

    Miners lettuce out west a bit away from any trail, or late June mesquite pods become sweet in the southwest (they may have some red inside .. if too hard spit them out like watermelon seeds).

    Helpful to have a local botanist point these out in person.  As always be very careful with mushrooms.

    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member


    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    Blueberries are good

    Strawberries, salmonberries, thimbleberries are okay.

    Blackberries are good near human habitation.

    AK Granola
    BPL Member


    Berries are life here in Alaska. I’m always suspicious of people who live here who don’t forage for berries. Or people that prefer store bought blueberries, over Alaskan ones.

    I don’t forage a lot while backpacking because there are miles to walk. But last year in Montana the huckleberries definitely slowed us down quite a bit.

    David D
    BPL Member


    Raspberries in these parts, lots and lots of raspberries.

    I’m hiking La Cloche Silhouette again in early August so hoping for blueberries.

    Morel foragers are causing conflict in the BC burn lands:

    BC mushroom picking used to mean something else entirely!

    Sarah Kirkconnell
    BPL Member


    Locale: Homesteading On An Island In The PNW

    The Eastern Europeans in Wa state are territorial with “their” fungi-picking areas in the Cascade Mountains.

    I am a dedicated forager. The land we bought in 2018 provides enough I rarely forage anywhere else now, unless I am hiking.

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