WHAT IS FORAGING?
Foraging means looking for food where it grows naturally! If you do decide to forage, it is important to do it with a grown up who knows which plant is which. If you can answer “yes” to all these questions, you are more likely to find something safe (and yummy) in your search.
WILD FOOD MAP
As you learn to identify different plants and mushrooms, make a wild food map! This map can be as small as your yard or as large as the county. Draw in (or add photos) of where you found items, like black raspberries, and make note of what time of year they grow. You can add to this map with your foraging grown-up every year.
Check out this online foraging map. Type in “Ypsilanti MI” and see what other people have found around your neighborhood!
FORAGING WITH LIZ
Join Liz G. on her hunt for Morel Mushrooms in the forest this year! She also talks about one of the tastiest forage items: Black Raspberries.
MAKING WILD BLACK RASPBERRY JAM
If you want to try making fresh berry jam without having to can it, here’s a recipe for a small batch.
- 4 cups wild red or black raspberries
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Wash and hull the berries. Add all ingredients to a saucepan large enough so the liquid won’t boil over the edges once it starts to cook.
Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until it boils. Once the berries release their juices, turn up the heat and boil rapidly for about 8-10 minutes. Keep stirring. The jam will thicken quickly.
If you have a candy thermometer, it’s finished when it reaches 220F or spoon a small amount onto a plate that’s been chilled in the freezer and see if it gels. If it does, it’s ready!
Pour into a jar and let it cool. It will stay fresh for two weeks in the refrigerator, if it lasts that long!
WHERE AND WHEN CAN YOU FORAGE?
Every season brings new plants that you can forage for. The season for leeks, morel mushrooms, fiddleheads, and dandelions has mostly passed. But in the summer you can go foraging for blueberries, red and black raspberries, black berries, mulberries and sumac berries. Other plants you can forage for are nettle leaves, lamb’s quarters, cattail roots, and sheep sorrel. Make sure you know what these plants look like before you go looking for them and double check that you have the right plant before you eat them!
You can’t just go foraging anywhere you want. Here are the places that you are allowed to forage: on your own property, property people give you permission to forage on, state lands, and/or city parks.
If you want to learn more about foraging in Ypsi check out this virtual foraging walk on July 25th. You will learn about 15 different plants you can forage for in Ypsilant!
MORE ABOUT FORAGING
READ A BOOK
Here are few to choose from!
The Mushroom Fanclub
Mushrooms by Peter Murray
Berries, Nuts, and Seeds by Diane Burns
More Fun with Nature: Take-Along Guide
All of these can be found at the Ypsi District Libraries!
Head outside and listen to the sounds of the plants, animals, and world around us. Capture the sounds you hear on paper and use them to create art and poetry.
Get details about how to write a sound scavenger story by clicking the button below. Share your writing by tagging us #ypsiwrites!