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Author Topic: Wild Harvesting.  (Read 1215 times)

SatSekhem

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Wild Harvesting.
« on: December 05, 2011, 04:00:20 pm »
I'm looking for books and/or websites to help me get into harvesting out in the wild. It doesn't matter if it's specific to region (although if there are books like that, I'm northeastern US). I just want to get jump in and get started (next spring)!
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Morag

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Re: Wild Harvesting.
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2011, 02:17:11 am »
Quote from: SatSekhem;33206
I'm looking for books and/or websites to help me get into harvesting out in the wild. It doesn't matter if it's specific to region (although if there are books like that, I'm northeastern US). I just want to get jump in and get started (next spring)!

 
Sarah Lawless is fantastic. I linked directly to her category on wildcrafting, so hopefully a post there will be of use to you. I took a class from her at the Gathering on making your own salves, etc, and it was really good. The big thing she says is to only take about a tenth of a plant's crop and to always ask permission.

The Coast Salish Elders in my university program said the same thing, and added that you should leave a gift for the plant -- either a part of the plant you've harvested, or some water. They also say to thank Creator three times out loud with a Hych'qa, though that part is fairly modifiable -- so long as thanks is being given.

Another really good starting place is to get a book like Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast, by Pojar and Mackinnon, but for your area of course.  Unfortunately I don't know offhand who the leading author would be for the NE US, and my Google-fu is failing me. Hopefully someone else will be better able to provide that info.

Those types of books are really good for identifying plants in the wild, which, of course, is the best starting point. Take one of those on your nature walk and start trying to identify all the plants you come across. Soon you'll know all the plants of your regional backyard like the back of your hand.

Meanwhile I'll see if I can find back my notes from Sarah's class and type them up for you.
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yewberry

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Re: Wild Harvesting.
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2011, 12:07:54 pm »
Quote from: Morag;33290
Another really good starting place is to get a book like Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast, by Pojar and Mackinnon, but for your area of course.  Unfortunately I don't know offhand who the leading author would be for the NE US, and my Google-fu is failing me. Hopefully someone else will be better able to provide that info.

I've never seen anything comparable to the guide you mention for any other region of the United States (the maritime Pacific Northwest is pretty unique from the rest of the country--there's lots here that grows nowhere else in the Continental US).  The regional Audubon guides are excellent, but she'll want to get one for flowers, trees, and fungi.

I recommend starting with a good field guide with color photos over a foraging or herbal medicine book.  Really learn to ID plants before you start collecting them.  Fungi are especially problematic (so many look-alikes, some of them toxic).  For fungi especially, it's worth taking a class from a professional.

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« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 12:09:39 pm by yewberry »

Owl

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Re: Wild Harvesting.
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2011, 01:34:46 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;33206
I'm looking for books and/or websites to help me get into harvesting out in the wild. It doesn't matter if it's specific to region (although if there are books like that, I'm northeastern US). I just want to get jump in and get started (next spring)!

 
I'm in the NW too, and I found out about the Pojar book while taking a field botany class.  I would suggest looking at the sites for the local community colleges for such a class (usually done either 2nd semester or 3rd quarter depending on which they follow) and then look for their required books.  They should have a good field guide.  And many of them walk you through they 'keying' process, which is how you identify plants.  Our local college bookstore lets you look up required books by class, which would make it very easy.  You might also find such a field guide in the gardening section of larger bookstores - that's where I've seen Pojar.
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SatSekhem

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Re: Wild Harvesting.
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2011, 04:15:53 pm »
Quote from: Owl;33338
I'm in the NW too, and I found out about the Pojar book while taking a field botany class.  I would suggest looking at the sites for the local community colleges for such a class (usually done either 2nd semester or 3rd quarter depending on which they follow) and then look for their required books.  They should have a good field guide.  And many of them walk you through they 'keying' process, which is how you identify plants.  Our local college bookstore lets you look up required books by class, which would make it very easy.  You might also find such a field guide in the gardening section of larger bookstores - that's where I've seen Pojar.

 
OH MY GODS. I can't believe I am such a tool.

So, TH's mom teaches at one of our local community colleges. And her major? Horticulture. I can't believe I didn't even think about asking her.

Thanks, Owl, for saying something about local colleges, otherwise I would have been a bumbling fool for the rest of my life. :o
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veggiewolf

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Wild Harvesting.
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2011, 06:51:01 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;33206
I'm looking for books and/or websites to help me get into harvesting out in the wild. It doesn't matter if it's specific to region (although if there are books like that, I'm northeastern US). I just want to get jump in and get started (next spring)!

I'll add that Euell Gibbons' book is great if you're looking for wild edibles.  I used to teach a class based on it.

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