Forget Farm To Fork – Urban Foraging: The Ultimate in Local Eating

Many of us have grown accustomed to making a list of foods we want, then heading to the grocery store to buy them. Others have embraced the trend of community-supported agriculture by signing up for shares or participating in community gardens. And then there are the daring folks who march out into urban environments to scope out their next meal.

People who are unfamiliar with the practice of urban foraging may view it as the work of a few unconventional individuals, but in reality, people have been foraging since the beginning of civilization. Today, the practice is enjoying a worldwide resurgence. Even the restaurant scene has gotten in on the action, as more and more chefs incorporate foraged foods into their menus to produce unique and sustainable fare.1

Foraging may also aid national efforts to reduce hunger. University of California, Berkeley, researchers are experimenting with a program that maps edible plants in low-income neighborhoods to empower local residents to find food near their homes.2 Many foragers also donate some or all of their finds to local food pantries.

If you want to know more kitchen tips, you better visit this site.

The basic concept behind urban foraging is simple: search for and gather fresh food in urban spaces.3 Practitioners embrace foraging as a way to reconnect with the natural world, obtain free food, reduce their eco-footprint, diversify their diets, and learn to look at urban spaces in new ways. Not to be confused with dumpster diving, foraging focuses on obtaining fresh food straight from the source – whether from trees, bushes, edible weeds, or other plants found in parks, abandoned lots, and local neighborhoods.4

Ever felt curious about seeking out your own food in your local environment but held back because you didn’t know where to start? Consider this your cheat sheet for entering the wild world of urban foraging.

Know What’s Safe to Eat

This point really can’t be stressed enough. Not all plants are safe for human consumption, and eating the wrong plant (or the wrong part of an otherwise-safe plant) can result in illness or even death.5That’s why it’s critical to research safe plants in your area and learn how to effectively identify them and their parts. It’s particularly helpful to shadow an experienced forager the first several times you head out so you can learn from their know-how. Regardless of whether you forage solo or with a friend, never eat a plant unless you can identify it with absolute certainty.

A Guide to Urban Foraging: Plants to Look For

While you research the plants native to your area, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with their Latin names. Common names aren’t consistent across the board, and there are even instances where a plant shares a common name with a poisonous plant. Write down the Latin names of the plants you’re searching for on a particular day, and then bring along a field guide for proper identification.6

Scout Different Locations

A Guide to Urban Foraging: Where to Look

Before picking anything, do some research to figure out where foraging is and is not allowed in your area. In particular, check with local government for any rules regarding foraging on public land.7 If you have your eye on plants that reside on private property, always ask permission before foraging. (If nobody’s home, consider leaving a note with your contact information.8 ) Take note of what grows where and when; foraging is a seasonal enterprise.9 If you encounter a plant that’s past its prime, make a note to return to that same spot earlier next year.

Modern foragers can also use the Internet to identify prime foraging spots. Head to fallingfruit.org, which allows foragers from across the globe to share the locations of found fruits, vegetables, herbs, and nuts, to the tune of more than 800,000 entries from 50 countries.10 The searchable map is free to use online and the founders have also created an app for both Android and Apple.

Check out more fitness stuff here

No matter how you identify possible foraging locations, it’s important to investigate whether the area has been sprayed with herbicides or pesticides, or is located near an industrial area. Avoid plants from these areas, because they’re likely to be contaminated with chemicals that aren’t good for you. In general, try to avoid plants growing near busy roads or train tracks, or in soil that is contaminated with lead (such as at the site of a demolished house). It’s also best to steer clear of auto shops, gas stations, and factories.11 In contrast, empty lots or wooded areas can often be great sources for forage-friendly foods.12

Be Prepared

If you’re setting out to forage, it’s helpful to wear sturdy shoes and bring along some gardening gloves, a spade, a field guide to local plants, and a couple of reusable bags to transport your loot.13 Come prepared with knowledge about the best way to harvest plants so they’ll stay fresh until you get home.14

Respect Some Basic Rules

Part of reconnecting with the land includes developing an appreciation for all the ways nature sustains us – and it’s important to demonstrate that appreciation by treating the earth with respect. Keep the following rules in mind wherever and whenever you forage.

  • If you come across a small patch of a plant species, don’t pick all of the plants. Instead, leave several behind so the species can continue to grow in that location.15
  • Do not to take more than you can use: One of the goals of foraging is to eliminate, not contribute to, food waste.16 On a similar note, don’t harvest the whole plant if you’re only going to use a specific part, such as the leaves.
  • No matter what, don’t harvest or dig up the roots of a threatened species.17 Feel free to remove invasive species from an area, as they’re not doing the local ecosystem any good.

Use Common Sense When it Comes to Food Safety

A Guide to Urban Foraging: How to Forage for Food

If you’re wondering about the safety of foraged foods from urban areas, take solace in this: One study conducted in Boston found that foraged foods were no more dangerous to eat than conventional produce. And in some cases, they actually contained more micronutrients.18

Of course, this is just one study from one city. But common sense can help protect you from major food safety hazards. Know how to identify safe plants, scout locations according to the guidelines above, avoid plants that appear to be unhealthy, and thoroughly rinse your harvest before consuming. By practicing these basic tenets and trusting your gut, you’ll maximize your chances of foraging in a healthy way.19

Even as you digest all the serious pointers outlined above, keep in mind that foraging is ultimately meant to be exciting and fun. (Consider it the adult version of a scavenger hunt.) So get out there with your field guide and marvel at all the food nature provides – even in the concrete jungle.


Source: Fix.com Blog

Sources:

  1. http://experience.usatoday.com/food-and-wine/story/news-festivals-events/food/2014/01/27/foraging-chefs-dishes-trend/4817825/
  2. http://grist.org/food/can-urban-foraging-actually-feed-poor-people/
  3. https://canberraurbanforaging.wordpress.com/about/
  4. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/5-rules-for-urban-food-foraging.aspx
  5. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/5-rules-for-urban-food-foraging.aspx
  6. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/02/foraging-tips-dos-and-donts_n_3367633.html
  7. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/foraging-tips.aspx
  8. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/5-rules-for-urban-food-foraging.aspx
  9. http://kwgn.com/2015/09/17/foraging-app-created-by-boulder-men-helps-you-find-all-the-free-food-around-you-2/
  10. http://www.shareable.net/blog/how-to-be-an-urban-fruit-forager
  11. http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/August-2011/Urban-Foraging-Tips-How-to-Find-Your-Dinner-in-Chicagos-Wild/
  12. http://www.npr.org/2011/04/18/135412640/foraging-the-weeds-for-wild-healthy-greens
  13. http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/August-2011/Urban-Foraging-Tips-How-to-Find-Your-Dinner-in-Chicagos-Wild/
  14. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/foraging-tips.aspx
  15. http://netnebraska.org/article/news/nettles-milkweed-and-dandelion-its-whats-dinner-some-urban-nebraskans
  16. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/02/foraging-tips-dos-and-donts_n_3367633.html
  17. http://www.urbanfarmonline.com/sustainable-living/eat-local/5-rules-for-urban-food-foraging.aspx
  18. http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/urban-foraged-food-found-safe-eat-boston
  19. http://www.npr.org/2011/04/18/135412640/foraging-the-weeds-for-wild-healthy-greens


6 Life Saving Things You Need When Lost In The Forest While Hunting Deer

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

It is often said that hunting is man’s most exhilarating sport and that statement is pretty much on the money. The adrenaline pumping through the veins mixed with the intensity of focusing on a live animal is heart stopping. Deer is one of the most hunted animals and also one of the most difficult to shoot. The slightest of movements or the faintest of sounds could be the difference between a clean shot and fruitless hunt.

But ever too often, unprepared hunters are caught unawares of their surroundings and find themselves lost in the forest or woods. Although their instincts play a vital role in getting out safely, there are some other tools that could make the great escape a lot easier. Let’s take a look at what to use when you are lost in the forest while hunting deer.

Water Filtration Device

Humans can live without food for a couple of weeks, but without water, their chances of survival begin to dwindle down rapidly. While there are plenty of water sources in the forest, it is important to filter it before drinking as it could contain dirt, dead insects, animal dropping, and other impurities.

One of the easiest filtration systems you could use is a piece of cloth. Just wrap the cloth around the mouth of a container and slowly fill it. The tiny fibers in the cloth will keep out most impurities and leave you with water suitable for drinking.

If you can’t use cloth, find a piece of bamboo or a hollow log and let the water sit for a couple of hours till all the dirt settles at the bottom. To get fresh water, you could even soak up the morning dew on plants and grass using a cloth and drink that directly.

Food Source

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

One might think that with so much greenery around, finding food would be as easy as pluck and eat, but that could lead to some serious problems. Mother nature has a way of hiding our weaknesses in the most inconspicuous of places. Like the Oleander plant and its beautiful flowers.

One bite of this deadly flower and you could end up in a coma. It’s always best to trust the trees and plants you know like fruits and vegetables. Many berry plants are poisonous, but if you find one that you are certain is safe to eat, store as much as you can. It is the same with flowers and fruits. If the forest you are hunting in has a stream running through it, set a trap for fish and other aquatic animals.

Fire Making Skills And Tools

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Ever since the Neanderthals mastered fire making, it has been an integral part of any survival routine. Not only does it provide heat, light, and protection from wildlife, it is used for cooking meats, fish, and vegetables. It is also a great way to get rid of any harmful impurities in the collected water by boiling it.

If you find yourself stranded in a forest, the art of preparing a fire could give you that hope to make it through the night and look for civilization in the morning. Collect as much wood as you can to ensure the fire lasts through the night.

Look for dry stones and will help you create a spark needed to start the fire. Or if you have perfected the twig-on-twig method, keep a lot of dry grass or hay to hold the ember and light the fire.

Warm Dry Clothes

The importance of having proper protection in the form of warm clothing out in the wilderness could not be stressed more. Insulated clothing ensure that even when a fire is not available, your body temperature remains at a normal level.

A heavy, waterproof jacket is a must, along with other clothing beneath it. If there is a situation that requires you swimming through cold water, remove and store all your inner wear in a water resistant backpack and immediately put them back on once on the other side.

Useable Tools

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

It is important to carry a number of different tools that could help get you out of a sticky situation in the forest.

A Swiss Army Knife and its plethora of attachments is a classic tool that can be used for things like cutting, clipping, digging, and even picking out last lunch from your teeth.

For bigger situations, a hunting knife or dagger work wonders. Whether it’s to cut away vines and branches or to prepare your freshly caught dinner, a knife goes a long way in helping you survive the wild.
Out in the wild, insects are in abundance and they can be extremely harmful is not prepared. Carrying repellent is vital, but if forgotten, there are plenty of plants that can be used. Crushing leaves of certain plants and smothering yourself with it could keep away ants, mosquitoes, ticks, and other harmful bugs.

A rangefinder for hunting purposes is useful for determining the distance between you and the animal you’re after and getting a good shot off. But it can also come in handy when checking the distance to a nearby mountain or a cabin in the distance.

Going hand in hand with a rangefinder is a compass. Not only do you need to know the distance of an object, but also its direction.

 

Shelter Materials

The forest is a dangerous place to be, especially at night. Insects are the least of your worries with bears, mountain lions, wild boars, snakes, and more calling it their home. Having a place to safely stay out of the way of these creatures ensures that you don’t become somebody’s dinner.

If you know you’re in a place that doesn’t have animals like bears around, you’re safe to build a shelter on the forest floor. Gather as many branches, twigs, and dry leaves as you can and make a tent-like shelter a few feet away from the fire.

If you can find trees with large horizontal branches, you could protect yourself from bears and mountain lions by securing yourself to the trunk and branch high above the ground. Sitting up and sleeping doesn’t sound too comfortable, but it is safe.

About the Author: Alex Ramsey

Work hard & live to hunt! Countryman Hunter , Archery, shooter, Freelance outdoor writer and Love USA. founder of Thebigdeer.co where I share my hunt experiences with all, about guns, showcase real gear & real reviews to help you become more prepared. Knowledge will save you, but great gear will help! Let Get Out & Go Hunting

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...