Rules are for the obedience of fools & the guidance of wise men*
I like to think that my readers are wise people, so I thought I’d write some ‘Guidance’ on foraging sustainably instead of making ‘Rules’. I’m not a rules sort of person. I’ve also phrased them positively as Dos rather than as Don’ts because I am that sort of person.
I welcome my readers’ comments or views on these guidelines. I’m happy to improve them if we can, as long they stay as positively phrased guidelines.
Sustainable Foraging Guidelines
- Your environment
- Your community
Guidelines for your Environment
- Leave produce for animals to feed on, for the plant to propagate itself and for it to nourish its patch. Leave some produce on each plant you pick from.
- Only take what you’ll be able to use.
- If you can, sow seeds or scatter the fruit pips that you have left over from processing so that you help plants propagate.
- Only take plants that are not on protected or endangered lists.
- Learn how to harvest plants without damaging them.
Guidelines for your Community
- Leave some produce for others to enjoy, to look at and to collect.
- Be generous with your advice & assistance to others so you encourage them to look after your shared environment.
Guidelines for Yourself
- Only take what you can comfortably process or store for later processing.
- Use appropriate precautions when collecting. Gloves can be useful for protecting against stings and thorns. A brimmed hat can help you avoid poking yourself in the eyes with branches.
- Positively identify that what you are picking is safe: if in doubt, leave it out.
- Stay within the law: have permission or a legal right for where you are and what you want to pick.
- Be aware of pollution issues as they might affect the things you want to pick.