The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Foraging is the next, and perhaps most natural, food frontier

Foraging is the next, and perhaps most natural, food frontier

David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 168
Great article - Foraging is the next, and perhaps most natural, food frontier

http://www.plentymag....­
A former member
Post #: 123
The problem I have with foraging is that it may not be done responsibly. The Damariscotta mushroom company gathers mushrooms on state owned lands and then sells them. I have argued with them about this, and they don't like me very much...
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 169
It should be noted that a mushroom is a fruit body and the actual organism is underground. Other than the fact that some spores may not be spread, it is no more impactful than picking an apple from a tree.

Most of the time a mushroom will have passed millions or billions of spores before you have picked it. Picking on many state owned lands is certainly allowed.
Lisa F.
lisa.f.organizer
Group Organizer
Portland, ME
Post #: 395
Harvesting anything on public lands - esp for profit - is a big discussion. Don't get me started on the Forest Service, for example.

But anyway, if you're going to harvest medicinals in the wild, make sure to do so very responsibly and check the at-risk list http://www.unitedplan...­ before you head out. There's other very helpful stuff on that site.
Merry & Burl H.
BeMerry
Portland, ME
Post #: 49
I think foraging is a topic we should have a meetup presentation about...maybe with two speakers, a forager and someone concerned about the impact on our shrinking remaining (or reclaimed) wilderness.

Burl is especially interested in guidance to become a proficient, responsible local forager.

I appreciate the article, David, and put it in my file of articles to quote, along with quotations from the ways mushrooms can save the world. You are very helpful.

Merry
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 170
The battle should not be about foraging if it is done responsibly. Millions of pounds of free food goes by the wayside every year that could feed people for free in a world where we really need all the help with food supplies that we can get.

The real problem we face is habitat loss. The impact is thousands of times worse than any foraging could possibly be. I return to the same places to get mushrooms every year. I so doing, I dicover that I lose two or three places a year to habitat loss. Houses, development, clear cutting, etc. One of my very best chanterelle, king bolete places is now a sidewalk. etc. etc.

One place I went on a foray last summer I learned that a man had just gotten a grant from the state for viburnum removal. Thousands of pounds of wild raisins every year to be eradicated! Arghgh! Constantly unharvested Arghgh! This is good food!

Then there are the invasive plants and cultivars that gardeners plant that escape. The reason we have heirlloom seed projects is because we all think cultivars are so cool. Maybe not. People constantly move to the new sub species and forget the older ones. They genetically alter the wild species in many cases. It's a pretty muddy area. People should pay more attention to heirlooms and growing native species as "cultivars". Native raspberries are better in many ways. Taste, disease resistance, etc.
A former member
Post #: 3
The battle should not be about foraging if it is done responsibly. Millions of pounds of free food goes by the wayside every year that could feed people for free in a world where we really need all the help with food supplies that we can get.


The amount of wild food available in my area is astonishing, more so because very little of it is gathered. In the fall walnuts and hickory nuts rain from the trees to be crushed in the streets and paths, apples rot on the ground, etc. There's a lot of good, organically growing food out there for the picking.


"Then there are the invasive plants and cultivars that gardeners plant that escape."

I have a book by a fellow who leads foraging tours down here in MA. He rates the different plants for rarity and potential impact to the populations by foraging. There are many plants that you can pick with abandon because they are so aggresive and/or "invasive" that you will make nary a dent in the population. A few examples from the list: Garlic Mustard, Dandelion, Japanese Knotweed, Chickory, Chickweed, Autumn Olive, Burdock, Cat Briar,Bull Thistle, Wild Mustard, Wild Onion, Wild Carrot, Wild Garlic, etc.

Garlic Mustard is allelopathic and is replacing native plants in forest areas. Japanese Knotweed creates huge monoculture stands that displace natives. Autumn Olive is another that is very successful at spreading and displacing natives. You would do the ecosystem a favor by partaking of the bounty. These plants are all tasty and nutritious too.

I think we'll be dining on the bull thistles from the back garden area tonight. Ouch!
Sue M.
user 3284483
South Portland, ME
Post #: 27
I would love it if we had a foraging tour. The biggest thing that I forage are apples. I got enough apples from just two trees to last me through the winter into the end of February. That was fresh apples. I also gave away a lot of them and am still eating applesauce. There are enough local unpicked apples to provide apples for a lot of people.
zengeos
zengeos
Gorham, ME
Post #: 187
Sue...a little off topic...but...do you can your applesauce or do you make it fresh as needed? If you can it, how well does it retain a nice color?

Mark-
Ted M.
TedMarkow
Brunswick, ME
Post #: 53
I think foraging should be in any permaculturist's toolkit. It's as old as humans (older, actually) and it beats letting so much good food go to waste.

I'd love to attend a foraging meetup/presentation. (hint, hint)
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