There are so many reasons to forage; experiencing new flavors, adding nutrient dense foods to your diet, saving money on produce, connecting with nature, limiting grocery trips, having more control over what you eat, and learning more about your environment are all reasons to get started.
At Forage Culture we encourage people to be more curious about food and connect more to what they eat, whether it be for health, hobby, environmental, or community reasons!
Will I really use this?
Absolutely! And the proof is in our foragers responses. After taking even one class, we’ve had customers reach out to us and share what they foraged, whether it led them out on more adventures or just to their own backyard. And even if you don’t feel comfortable foraging alone, we want to teach you about how you can connect and question things in your own grocery store. Once you’re part of the foraging culture, you’re more likely to make the right decisions for you when buying produce from a grocery store, farmer’s market, or farm stand.
What are the health benefits?
The first health benefit is adding more veggies to your diet. Half of the food we consume should be fruits or veggies and yet if you’re bored with the same vegetables over and over, how can you be expected to eat that much? Diversity in food is good! Every plant has a different mix of micronutrients and wild foods that have to fight the elements tend to have even more micronutrients and flavonoids that are good for us.
What are the environmental benefits?
Learning to forage can increase your environmental awareness by helping you overcome plant blindness. That knowledge encourages stewardship. The more you know about your environment, the better you will be able to care for it. Most of the plants we teach about are non-native invasive plants that damage and interrupt natural systems. Removing these invaders through foraging helps restore balance to the local ecosystem. We do teach about a few native foraging superstars. For these plants, we recommend taking only 20% of the available material leaving plenty behind for the plant to replenish itself.
Why should I forage invasive plants?
Monocultures in the plant world aren’t good for balanced ecosystems, and you can find invasives in abundance to eat! In addition, it’s a great way to either start rebuilding your land or it can help to create a good relationship with a landowner when you know what doesn’t belong there.
How do I start integrating foraged foods?
Start a little at a time! The easiest way to integrate foraged foods into your diet is to replace a store bought ingredient in a dish you know you already love. Some foraged foods are so easy to eat and can simply be snacked on as you forage! There are also dozens of recipes out there that really highlight a specific foraged food.
I'm not a chef, are you sure I should learn this?
Yes! So many foraged foods require almost no preparation, and many more are so easy to learn how to cook. The only skills you really need to start cooking foraged food is the ability to rinse and chop something into a salad.
I don’t know anything about plants.
Are you sure I should learn how to forage?
Yes! We specialize in beginners, and we can give you the confidence you need to start your own journey.
Anyone can forage. You don’t have to be a plant expert. All you need to learn is the plant you’re looking for. Reading a plant identification guide can be intimidating, but beginner classes use words you’re used to instead of technical terms and build from there. Even children can learn how to forage safely.