Foraging . . .

“True wisdom lies in gathering the precious things out of each day as it goes by.”
– E. S. Bouton

Mid-summer, time for the foraging to begin! Well, actually the foraging began a few weeks ago here in northern Minnesota. We were blessed with a very mild winter and an early spring so now all those wild berries and nuts are ready a bit early, too. The woods are dotted everywhere with red raspberries and various other berries.

The most secretive foraging in my area is for the precious blueberry. This time of year, those cars parked vicariously in ditches and off the beaten trail are not due to accidents or car problems, they are a sure sign that someone’s secret blueberry patch is near. One of those cars was mine yesterday … and after a few hours in the woods, I walked out with a gallon of precious blueberry gold (and a sore back and a few bug bites .. but, it was worth it).

Humans are not the only ones scrounging the woods looking for food right now. The bears are hungry, the squirrels and chipmunks are storing things away, Deer, raccoons, skunks, birds, wolves are eating like crazy … it is basically a thanksgiving feast out there for all the animals.

Foraging is a basic life skill for animals and humans, too. Foraging is the simple act of searching for food and provisions, so for humans in the modern world it translates into a shopping trip to the mall. In these financially hard times and the desire for healthy foods, more and more people are foraging at local farmer’s markets and their own backyard gardens. Getting back to local food, the freshest, healthiest food we can find is one of the best changes happening in our world in my opinion. Eating with the seasons, canning and preserving … are all coming back in style and some of us are finding out how much better it all tastes, especially when you can say “I did it myself”. It makes me wonder how we ever become so dependent on food grown on other continents or processed to an unrecognizable degree?

What do you forage for? What food gathering changes have you made in your life?
Well, I am off to forage for a few more berries … before the bears (and my neighbors) find them all first. ;0)

If you would like to know more about berry picking in Minnesota, check out two of my posts from last summer: The Story of Skunk Berries and Hidden food in the forest

♦ ♦ I have not mentioned my two favorite bears in a while … but, I can’t think of a more appropriate time to do that. If you want to see two hungry bears who know how to eat, check out a new video (July 16th) that has been posted at bear.org of Lily the Bear and Hope foraging for food. ♦ ♦

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~ by bearyweather on July 19, 2010.

3 Responses to “Foraging . . .”

  1. Awhile ago I was picking raspberries at the neighbour’s farm. There’s nothing like fresh, sweet, juicy berries!

  2. I have been picking wild raspberries, too … they have so much flavor and grow about 8 ft from my back door. Wild blueberries are more challenging around here, like going on a scavenger hunt.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. I love foraging, what an incredible way to experience the world around us. Thanks for this post.

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