Foraging for Herbs

Gathering herbs from the wild is an ancient craft carried out across the world s – since time began. It brings people into contact with some of the astonishing plants that are used for food, health and general well being. However, there are some essentials before you start:

Where to Forage

  • In many countries it is illegal to pick certain rare plants or uproot those plants
  • Always get the landowners permission before you pick any wild herbs
  • Never harvest herbs from alongside roads, as the plants are likely to be polluted
  • Alongside country tracks and hedgerows are some of the best places to forage for herbs

What to Forage

  • Correct Identification is an absolute must when foraging herbs in the wild
  • Only pick healthy plants, never damaged or diseased
  • Always use a Field Guide when picking herbs, but only pick if you are sure as many poisonous plants – particularly the Apiaceae or Parsley Family, which includes toxic plants such as Hemlock
  • Join a local group or take a course on Foraging in your area to ensure the correct identification

When to Forage

  • The best time to pick wild herbs is early in the morning on a dry day after the dew has evaporated
  • Peak only plants in peak condition , usually spring and summer are the best times
  • Harvesting seeds from Fennel, and Lovage is done in the autumn

What Equipment

  • A small pair of scissors and some paper bags to store the herbs in
  • Labels to identify your finds
  • A good Field Guide

NOTE: Only ever pick small amounts of any herb to avoid over harvesting

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