By definition, foraging is the act of searching for and obtaining food and provisions. I am not the type of girl who likes to be defined! LOL So when I headed to the forest to forage with my two young sons, I did not have a tight schedule or specific agenda. Yes, we were looking for morel mushroom, and found none, but we had the best time foraging! Why did we have such a wonderful time not finding what we were looking for? Because we were looking together, at everything!
We saw food sources, such as wild raspberries, we could come back for when they were in season. We also got the chance to explore the world around us and see amazing things, like Trumpeter Swans and basking turtles. We took the time and sniffed Skunk Cabbage. A real treat if you never have! Then we looked up and read about how we did NOT want to eat skunk cabbage. Yes the old country kid wondered if we could…. you would think that the smell should have put him off!! LOL But we did learn some amazing facts about skunk cabbage and how it actually produces heat as it grows and can melt snow in the early spring.
We enjoyed a little picnic in the wood next to a pond with the before mentioned swans cruising about. We had the chance to go over our outdoor skills (aka yes, a child does poo in the woods when there is no toilet for miles) and remembering to “pack it out” (aka the wrappers and waste from our lunch, NOT the waste from my child, though we did properly handle that too!) And while we did not come home with food, we did bring home happy hearts, lessons learned, and the desire to do it again.
So even if you don’t actually find food, attempting to forage, especially with children, can be a really magical outing! So what are you waiting for? Grab a plant field guide and get out there!