Apr 13

It’s Time to Start Foraging

The wild things are just starting to come out in Central Minnesota and it is time to start looking for them. It is the start of foraging time!!!

If you have never eaten weeds and wild things growing around you, now is the time to start. What better way to be prepared for any disaster than to know how to gather your own food.
There is another great thing about wild food than just feeding yourself. The plants growing around you, that most of us pull out or spray or just pass by everyday, are loaded with vitamins and minerals, so they are perfect for a survival situation. They will keep your body going strong.

For instance, dandelions are a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. The leaves, blossoms, and roots can be used. The roots, when roasted, make a great coffee substitute. The leaves can be added into salads, teas, or sandwiches. The blossoms can make wine, blossom fritters, or jelly. There are also many herbal benefits of the lowly dandelion, too. I will be writing in a future blog about herbals.

There are many other wild edibles, such as, stinging nettle, purslane, chicory, wild onions and garlic, wild ginger, wild parsnip, chickweed, lamb’s-quarters, cattails, and I could go on and on. Oh, and don’t forget the mushrooms.
I will go into detail about different plants in the future but here are some simple rules of foraging.

1. Know what you are picking. Get a couple of good field guides and a knowledgable person to show you what’s what. You don’t want to forage something poisonous.
2. Do not forage along road sides where toxins will be built up on the plants or lawns, gardens, parks that have been sprayed with chemicals.
3. Wear appropriate clothing and watch out for wood ticks. Wear gloves when handling stinging nettle.
4. Have permission to be where you are at if it is not your property. ( This, of course, depends on whether you are really in a survival situation).


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  1. Shawnne

    Hi Cindy!

    Love your post. I live near woods here in Central MN and we also have wild raspberries and blueberries.
    I feel this is a great tool to have; this knowledge of foraging for wild plants. The dandelions grow right in the yard!
    In case of a real emergency, this is an excellent skill to have.
    somewhere near Long Prairie

  2. Angie

    I am new to foraging and am interested in finding out about MN statutes regarding foraging. Your advice is perfectly common sense, but we all know that lawmakers don’t make laws according to common sense! I have been google searching, and it seems like I just can’t seem to string the correct words together to get the results I am looking for which is the actual laws that say you can pick this, you can’t pick that. TIA for any advice!

  3. Cindy Green

    Sorry, I do not know what the laws are. I forage on my own land. I think besides tressepessing laws there is something about ginseng. Maybe if you googled Ginseng laws in MN something would come up. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Cindy

    1. Angie

      Lucky you to have land to forage on! Thanks for the response. I’ll see what comes up when I google ginseng. You never know what will lead you to what you are looking for! Thanks again!

      1. IsiOwatta

        There are also restrictions on wild rice harvesting. Check for that in the fishing regs book. The ” Showy Lady slipper is the state flower and protected. There is also a small day lily that is actually listed as endangered that grows along the Cannon river. Other than those I think as long as your not trespassing I’m pretty sure your good to go.

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