Wildcrafting is becoming more and more popular nowadays. This is both good and bad – good because I love for people to get to know their local plants. Bad because people are just going out and ripping up plants with little to no ecological considerations. If you are not a practitioner, do you really need to harvest large amounts of medicinal herbs from your local forest? Do you need to take any at all? Do you know enough about your local area to be able to tell if the plants are in a healthy enough state to be harvested? Bookmark this post to keep up with this ever-growing list of wildcrafting tips and resources.
Tips for Wildcrafting and Foraging
- Never take anything that is endangered or at risk. Stay up to date on which plant species are becoming less abundant in the wild.
- Try not to take more than 10-20 percent of one plant per area unless it is something extremely weedy and abundant like dandelion.
- Know what grows in abundance in your area and what doesn’t.
- Pay attention to your surroundings- which plants look like they could use help propagating? How can you help increase the number of plants in your area?
- Remember that if you properly wildcraft, the ecosystem will be in a better condition than you found it in.
- Know which plants are considered weeds in your area. Sometimes it is illegal to propagate a plant that is considered a weed (like blackberries in some areas).
- Know what you are going to do with the plants before you go get them so you do not take more than you need.
- Never touch a plant if you do not know what it is.
- Get to know the common toxic plants in your area.
- Make sure you have a reliable way to identify plants, whether it is using a field guide or looking at videos of plants.
- Wildcrafting is basically gardening away from home. Do not leave trash in your garden.
- If you are a beginner at wildcrafting it is better to take just a few plants at a time. If you go out and gather 20 different plants you could easily become overwhelmed and possibly mix some things up.
- Wear appropriate clothing- try not to wear shoes that are too heavy so that you do not crush your plant friends!
- Bring rain gear, big bags or baskets for carrying herbs, water, bug spray(yarrow spray is great), sunscreen, and something for cuts and scrapes.
- Make sure you let someone know where you are going and what time you plan to be back.
- The best place to start gathering wild herbs is in your yard.
- Always show gratitude towards the plants.
Resources for foraging and wildcrafting – supplies and info
None of these statements or products have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This products and/or statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This is for educational purposes only and it is not meant to replace the care or advice of a medical professional in any way.