Loc: Portland, OR
I only rarely forage and never as a real component of my "food supply". It is much too casual for that description.
When there are ripe berries (e.g. huckleberries, thimble berries, wild strawberries, salmon berries), then I will stop and eat some. I sometimes find patches of wild onion in meadowy areas. I will pick oxalis and chew on the stems.
That about covers it. I don't know enough about wild mushrooms to feel confident of eating them, but I am sure there are several edible varieties where I hike. They'd be a happy addition to most meals, if I only knew what to pick.
Morell mushrooms, (make sure you know what they are and how to spell it),. Nuts are sometimes plentiful in season. I have found muskidyme and will give em a taste. They taste like a concord grape but with a lot of seeds and thick skin. When I was a kid living in Idaho, there was a cherry tree.Yum Pine needle tea. Depending where you are at the time, fruit trees. Figs and crab apples. I think the main thing is to know what you are eating. It could be very tasty, very bitter or sour. Or at worst, sickness and death.
Loc: Central Texas
I stick with berries (blue, black, rasp), nuts and sassafras tea. Please keep in mind that over 7,000 cases of mushroom poisoning occur in the U.S. every year, though immediate fatalities are few (longterm liver damage is another issue). I read recently, but cannot find the report, that experienced mushroom hunters tend to have a slightly higher rate of poisoning than amateurs. Go figure.
Berries are a fav of mine. Occasionally a ramp or two. Pine needle tea really hits the spot when it's cold and damp. Late winter/early spring fiddleheads are yummy!
Two more favs are cattail shoots and Jerusalem artichoke tubers. mmmmmm! Either are really great sauteed in some butter. The 'chokes taste just as good raw though. They're like a cross between a carrot and a potato. Delicious!
I would never rely on foraging as part of my food source - too lazy and too ignorant of what is edible. Although that moose looked pretty tasty!
I love wild blueberries in the Shenandoah, especially when they are all warm from the sun. Heaven.
In case I haven't mentioned this before, all blueberries are mine. MINE, MINE, MINE! If I'm not around you may have some, but if I'm there - get outta my way!
Does that sound selfish? Hmmm . . .
Gee, I found my twin. I have issues over H-Berry time. MINE! Mine! Mine!
When the berries are ripe I go walking on the PCT. Get out a good 4 to 5 miles and no one is out there, berries overflowing. I pick, hike back and put them in a cooler for the drive home. Then I freeze them as soon as I walk in.
A couple years ago I took 2 trips worth and made a H-Berry pie for my friend Rainy's boyfriend (now husband) when he came home from Iraq. He had been gone for 13 months. So it was pretty cool to be able to give him something for Thanksgiving that he had missed
Usually though I make jam in the fall and blend berries together from many areas. It is jam I love more than anything.
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear and Beyond: www.trailcooking.com
Berries mostly. I have a very good eye, spot them from far away ! The occasional young dandelion leaves and ferns, some nuts, herbs, and the mushrooms I'm sure of go into the pot as well. Chesnuts can be plentyful in season too, great on the fire. I also happen to forage in fields and orchards after crops are made: got some nice cauliflower and young potatoes in early april, artichokes a bit later, cherries or grapes, the forgotten corn cob... Have to run fast, farmers got guns or pointed forks at the ready ! "Food on legs" is scarce 'round here, apart from wild boars and small mammals, and I nearly never went fishing in my whole life...
I grew up on an indian reservation, and a lot of people did quite a bit of foraging. It's sort of a fun tradition that never died out; it was an easy way of getting fresh fruit & veggies in a place where grocieries were (and still are) overpriced & past ripe.
BUT we didn't exactly do it to "supplement" our food supply, at least not in regards to hiking. If we were foraging, the part about walking around the woods was sort of beside the point. You're kind of on a mission, not really there to cover miles. My pack was full of tupperware and coffee cans, but there might have been a canteen and insect repellant in there too.
Let's see, I think I've foraged about 10 or 11 kinds of berries, fireweed, wild celery (found out I was allergic!), sea asparagus, goosetongue, seaweed, dandelion, Hudson Bay tea, pine branch spring tips, herring eggs on kelp leaves, cockles, chitons, china hats, dungeoness crab, rock crab... maybe a few other things too, but it's been years....
I'm planning to do just that! Check out my post on "how many days of food in a bear can". I talk about my diet, which is vegetarian, no added fat (oil). I'll be packing whole grain and legume staples, and will depend on foraging to add fresh vegetables and fruits. I'll be packing raisins as the only fruit, 'cause I love 'em in oatmeal, or as a snack with nuts. I'll be doing some sprouting as well, for the fresh enzyme/vitamin punch they give, as well as everything else they have. I'll have to find a good book to cover the area where I will be the first couple months, which is the northeast. New York, maybe Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and then I may go south and west. Maybe the AT! woohoo. I'm starting to have fun.
Loc: The Third Maine
Black flies are pretty much a May-early June thing. Then come mosquitoes, which we're in now big time, thanks to the wetter than normal June.
Blueberry time coincides with late mosquitoes, deer flies, moose flies. Or, if it's a dry summer, it begins the period of least insects, as we approach fall. Oh, and we have moose here, too, including a moose hunt, in fall.
folkalist I have 6 blueberry bushes with large green berries all over them, in my backyard where there are very few bugs and lots of birds. The Oregon Grape is very prolifick around here and it too has blueberries which are not so good, so I think the birds avoid my real blueberries thinking that they are Oregon grape.
You are invited to come Back Pack in the Three Sisters Wilderness (20 miles from here) and to pick blueberries in my yard. However up in the mountains there huge areas of pygmy alpine blueberries, but ya want to wear rubber boots to get to em. Hey I had one cranberry last year - kinda sour, but then thats the way cranberries are.
I think the only foragable plant in the Cascades, which is high dry volcanic ash desert, are sort of emaciated miners lettuce, not like the 3 inch diameter thick leaves of California miners lettuce. They say Sasquatch likes fish and hangs around lakes, otherwise I don't what he would eat except deer. Jim
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
Loc: Fredericksburg, VA
Oh, if only could make it out there right now, Jim! Wish I could make the PNW trip, too, but the federal government refuses to reschedule things that only took a few years to put in place to accommodate me. Drat!
Why am I online instead of hiking?