Tips for Mindful Foraging
Foraging is one of our favourite ways to boost well-being and connect with nature. For many of us, a foraging hobby is born out of a desire to search for wild food or medicine. As we grow deeper in this practice, we are nourished by the earth in many ways.
Foraging, at its core, is an act of mindfulness. It can be as easy as exploring your backyard or wandering off the beaten path of your local trail. For budding foragers, it’s easy to get caught up in gathering and learning. However, it's important to be respectful of the environment around you.
Let’s dive into our top 5 tips for mindful foraging. We hope these tips inspire you to further develop your own foraging code of ethics.
Our Top 5 Tips
Tip #1: Take Time to Learn
Learning about your local environment takes time. We recommend identifying 2-3 medicinal plants that are common to your local area to start. Once you’ve chosen your herbal allies, give yourself time to read, seek out, taste, engage, feel, and utilize these plants. Not only does this round out your knowledge, but it creates a lasting connection.
Tip #2: Identify Carefully and Correctly
If foraging is a new mindful practice for you, try joining a plant walk with your local herbal community. It’s important for your own safety, and it will help you identify threatened, protected, or invasive plant species. United Plant Savers is an excellent resource for learning about endangered plant species online.
Tip #3: Take Only What You Need
Remember that you are in the presence of an active ecosystem. A great rule of thumb for gathering is to only take one-third of a given plant or single grouping of plants. This ensures that it will be able to grow back and nourish the earth, as well as provide food and medicine for animals.
Tip #4: Express Gratitude
Foraging reminds us that nature gives freely and abundantly. Before harvesting, take a moment to show appreciation for the plant. Set an intention and thank it for the medicine it shares. Little by little, the connection between the forager and the plant grows stronger.
Tip #5: Leave No Trace
Harvest with tenderness and leave the natural ecosystem as you found it. Tread lightly and try not to disrupt surrounding plants. When harvesting, it’s best to collect your produce in reusable cloth bags, baskets, or tea towels rather than plastic bags. Before you leave the area, be sure to remove all human traces, garbage, and discarded plant material with you.
What to Forage
Need some inspiration for your next foraging adventure? We recommend starting with familiar herbs that you can use in multiple ways. For example, Lavender can be steeped into tea for sipping or infused into oil to use on your body. Dandelion flowers can be infused in vinegar while the leaves can be blended into smoothies. You get the gist!
Check out these blog posts to learn more about our favourite herbs to forage in the spring and summer months.
Have questions? Contact us HERE