Urban Foraging 101

Foraging in the city, especially with kids and/or your loyal dog, is fun and easy. I’ve summarized some safety tips to keep it healthy and safe, too.

  • Avoid areas where you know pesticides are used. Be careful of major roadsides, industrial areas or areas where heavy chemical use may occur.
  • If you are prone to allergies, be careful. Have appropriate medical supplies with you. You may want to test plants by rubbing on your skin before picking. If in doubt, don’t pick at all.
  • Learn to identify plants. Use field guides and make 100 percent sure you know what you are picking.
  • Respect endangered species in your area. It is illegal to pick them.
  • Pick only what you need, and protect the roots of plants.
  • If you are washing leaves, it’s nice to add a teaspoonful of white vinegar or lemon juice to a large bowl and let them soak a few minutes before rinsing. Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Some plant parts are edible, some are not. Sometimes the season affects what part of plant is edible.
  • Some plants are poisonous. There are also some ‘look alike’ plants. It is important to be aware of these. These are some helpful links about toxic plants: