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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Foraging 101; My Foraging Bag

When you go foraging, especially if you're on a bike, it's helpful to bring certain things along. Pictured, from left:

1. My bag. A leather purse/handbag that I picked out of a garage sale free box.

2. Books- the Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants. I don't actually take this one with me because it's too big and bulky, but it's an excellent resource for cooking instructions. You could get a newer version if you want- mine was 10 cents at a library sale.

Also the little book on trees- this is part of a series that my dad has been using for a long time. Again, any basic field guide will work.

And the two books I got with my hunter safety class- a tiny "wilderness survival" guide (with first aid!) and a wildlife booklet. I'm not that into wildlife yet, but maybe someday.

3. Gloves. Rubber-tipped for dealing with thorns and stinging nettle.

FOUR. Plastic bags. I usually take two or three- one for the "good" finds (like berries) and another for the common finds, like herbs, and another for beer cans. That's right, beer cans! If you play your cards right, one beer can will pay for a book on wild edibles. A few more will hack off some of you're grocery budget- maybe buy you a sweet potato or something. Glass bottles are great too (without cracks or nasty stuff inside)- use for bottling kombucha. Or if they are cracked... shooting targets!

5. Heavy duty scissors. Mine were meant for floral design, but work great for foraging. You'll want something sturdy enough to cut woody branches and stuff that doesn't just snap off.

6. Cell phone (optional). I just take mine just in case of emergency. With a smartphone one could identify wild edibles on the fly... even better!

And that's all folks! Everything you need to get started finding free food.

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