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Foraging native plants: Avoiding Overharvesting

 
pioneer
Posts: 237
Location: Dayton, Ohio
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Yesterday, I went foraging for black raspberries and I ended up collecting a handful of ripe berries. I ate most of the berries and extracted the seeds from a few of the berries.
Because this species of black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis) is native to my region of Ohio, I am concerned about overharvesting fruit from this plant. A while ago I read a book on foraging by Steve Brill where he covers how to avoid overharvesting of native plants, but I forgot what guidelines he set out in his book.
One way I am trying to avoid exhausing a supply of wild plants is by replantikg seeds of the plant and cultivating them in my yard. (See my other post on germinating black raspberry seeds: https://permies.com/t/141355/Starting-Raspberries-Seed). Eventually, I should have enough black raspberry plants in my yard to not need to forage for them in the wild to enjoy them.
B0F0AC0A-D18B-4228-9F08-55CD59004B2B.jpeg
Ripe Black Raspberries
Ripe Black Raspberries
CB03D4BA-DE3A-4F80-8517-CFA0739E5626.jpeg
Bowl of Black Raspberries
Bowl of Black Raspberries
5EB69684-9D9A-4782-B814-06882EAADC8C.jpeg
Black Raspberry Seeds
Black Raspberry Seeds
 
Posts: 114
Location: USDA zone 6a/5b
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forest garden food preservation bee
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Nice berries. Those same looking Black Raspberries grow here too.

You can dig up some with roots and plant at your place. They spread real quick and re-grow rather quick. Unless the patch is really tiny you can do this and not 'harm' the wild plant, you'd actually be propagating it.
 
pollinator
Posts: 319
Location: Near Philadelphia, PA
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Great looking berries!

If you are foraging any native plant that could use some help, you can scatter seed/propagules around, both where it was naturally occurring as well as dispersing it to nearby locations where it may become established.  This way, you are not depleting the stock and helping it hang on in its natural habitat. :>)

Obviously, maybe not a great idea for non-native invasives; they are managing on their own and don't need any assistance.  :<o
 
Ryan M Miller
pioneer
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So far, I have already successfully germinated some black raspberry seeds over the winter that I stratified outdoors in pots. They are currently in a larger pot and are awaiting transplanting to a sheltered, south-facing wall of my house. If you haven't seen my post about starting black raspberries from seed, I recommend you read it. (https://permies.com/t/141355/Starting-Raspberries-Seed)
 
pollinator
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I've always practiced the rule of not harvesting more than 1/3rd of a given wild plant stand. That is for instances where you are taking the whole plant so I'd imagine you could take a bit more of a fruit like this without damaging the population. For something like berries I would look at how important they are as a food source for local critters
 
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