Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Safety and Foraging

I recently heard about a young boy who went into the woods with friends.
It was a beautiful weekend...
He ran around, digging up boys do...
As boys SHOULD!
But the lesson he learned that day he will not soon forget.
Wild parsnip can and will burn and blister your flesh...
and they won't wait until they are in bloom to do so.
(it's when the plant's juices come into contact with sunlight and your skin)

Sure there is a veritable grocery store waiting to be discovered in the woods.
But there are just as many plants in the woods that will harm you if provoked.

So it prompted me to write this post about foraging safety.


First thing I always tell folks is DRESS PROPERLY.
I'm not talking about the latest in Mossy Oak camouflaged gear.

-long sleeved shirt (protects the arms)
-long pants (protects the legs)
-sturdy shoes/boots (protects the ankles and feet)
-gloves (for safe handling of all plants)
-bug hat/jacket (for your sanity, not coolness)

VERY IMPORTANT:  If you are going to be in an area known for ticks...
tuck your pants into your socks.

And a walking stick...very important...


Some handy items to bring along.
They aren't all necessary...but certainly handy!
You'll probably want to bring a backpack or a jacket with big pockets,
just in case...

-camera (for identifying without destroying)
-baggies (for safe transport of goodies, without cross contamination)
-cell phone (with GPS and compass for your safety)
 (in our area there is loads of bush fencing leftover from previous settlers...
we've snagged our pants more than once)
-wild plants identifying book (not required but handy)
-a friend or two (because foraging is better with friends! also safety in numbers)
-map of the area (if possible...mark landmarks on the map)

If you are still a little nervous about foraging on your own....bring along an experienced forager.

(Did I mention my services are available for just such an occasion?)

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