Today we’re going to talk about “Wildcrafting”.
Wildcrafting is the act of gathering herbs, flowers, plants and fungi from… Yep, you guessed it – the wild!
Why buy product, at a huge price markup, not knowing where it came from or how it was treated (ethically & chemically), when you can gather it for free?!
A few things to consider when wildcrafting:
- Make sure you know your area and obtain permits or landowner permission if needed.
- Carry a map & compass, and let someone know where you are going.
- Watch out for wildlife. Some can pose danger. Carry protection.
- Dress appropriately. Carry food and water and a personal first aid kit.
- Choose plants that are at least (if not more) 100 feet of the road. Roadsides not only are contaminated by vehicle emotions, herbicides are often sprayed to keep down weeds.
- Be able to identify what you are looking for …150%!! Two plants may look similar – one is safe to consume, the other is poisonous! Be careful!! My favorite go-to book is Peterson Field Guides – Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs. I carry it with me all the time because you never know when you might have the opportunity to forage or wildcraft. Find a resource you’re comfortable with, study it and bring it along on your adventures.
- It takes time for a plant to regenerate, so be respectful and only take what you need. A good estimation is no more than 20% of a plant (buds, flowers, leaves, stems…). Also, remember some plants need their seeds to generate next year’s crop, so be respectful and leave some behind.
- And finally – If you pack it in, pack it out!
Next week we’ll share our newest wildcraft project – Infusions and Tinctures.
Do you wildcraft your medicinals? Please share a tip in the comments.
Content and Photos by Misty Meadows Homestead and S.Lago © All Rights Reserved