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roadside foraging?  RSS feed

 
Gerald Henderson
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
books forest garden hugelkultur
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Hi there! I'm curious if you would recommend foraging from the roadside. I'm in an area where a lot of salt and dirt are put on the roads in the winter to mitigate snow and ice. Then there's also whatever chemicals may be dripping from cars passing by. I see miles of wild chicory and amaranth, but they are all right off the roadside so I've been hesitant to collect any. Thanks for your offer here and any help you may provide!
 
Sergei Boutenko
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Gerald Henderson wrote:Hi there! I'm curious if you would recommend foraging from the roadside. I'm in an area where a lot of salt and dirt are put on the roads in the winter to mitigate snow and ice. Then there's also whatever chemicals may be dripping from cars passing by. I see miles of wild chicory and amaranth, but they are all right off the roadside so I've been hesitant to collect any. Thanks for your offer here and any help you may provide!
Foraging directly near a road is not a good idea unless you think your body is in need of heavy metals (that's a joke). My personal rule for roads is to make some distance between you and the road. For example, if I see chicory and amaranth growing near a road, that tells me that those plants can be found in the area... I park my car, walk 50-100' from the road (thereby creating a safety barrier) and look for chicory and amaranth there. It's also a good idea to go uphill from a road. That way you will ensure that there's less run off. I think it's always good to be cautious and take steps to keep yourself safe. That said, we live in a world that's full of roads and pollutants and it's impossible to get away from them altogether. It's up to the individual to assess how harmless or toxic a road is and whether harvesting plants near it is a good idea. I never harvest plant near freeways, but will eat food that I find off of remote country roads. Makes sense? Lastly, greens (especially wild green) draw toxic matter out of the body, so if you do happen to eat something that's been contaminated, it's nice to know that they are on your side.
 
allen lumley
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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- Ah Yes ! Heavy Metals ! Buried within the description of a specific plants characteristics You will sometimes run across the Term

Accumulator This means that it is very good at absorbing and using/storing certain specific minerals directly

or in directly from the soil ! Depending on the plant this can often be Heavy Metals.

Example Fiddlehead Ferns are a Delicious Early spring green That is a heavy metal collector, sometimes these Accumulator plants

(also the earthworms living in that soil)are used to collect up these materials for removal to a different location (WTF) as a type of

" Bio-Remediation " !

It is important to KNOW the History of the specific area that you are harvesting in - And the area up stream from there !

Do you know if there was a pig iron foundry there in the 17 and or 18 hundreds, A blacksmiths shop or a tannery, perhaps coal

clinkers and ash were dumped just upstream from your location as a type of land fill for decades but not for the last 50 years,

In most regions of the U.S. Local industry IS History ! Making friends with your local town historian will certainly fill you in on what

happen'd in your area- even back to pre-industrial development !

This is not to scare you ! Just inform your searches a little ! For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL
 
Gerald Henderson
Posts: 14
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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Thank you both, that is very helpful. It's sad that we need to take such precaution... why do we poison ourselves?
So if you're going 50-100 feet off the road, do you check if it's private property and if so who owns it? Most of the land here (midwest US) that isn't roadside is farmland with GMO, herbicide laden corn and soy. The roadsides are one of the few remaining wild places it seems.
Also, I've been watching your videos on youtube now and they are very helpful! Thanks again!
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
58
books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
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Gerald H. : please excuse me for not helping Make your Visits and Questions easier and of better quality for you ! (a little paperwork )

Location, Location, Location ! See Links below :

http://www.permies.com/t/34193/tnk/permies-works-links-threads
http://www.permies.com/t/43625/introductions/Universal

Look at the space next to your name, and L@@K at mine - Location gives you better answers and helps find Your fellow Members who are
near neighbors and post to the Wild Harvesting Forum

In the north east the hard times of the 1930s created a LOT of failed farms, a lot of these ended up as County, State and Federal Reforestation
lands -often that just mean that nothing was done ! Look for recreation lands in your County, you almost certainly will be amazed how much
this is ! And how close.

It will also pay you to find out where there Local '' Brown fields " are located !

One more ; Check for foraging groups by goggling Meetups there are groups for everything !

Hope this helps. For the crafts ! Big AL
 
Sergei Boutenko
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Gerald Henderson wrote:Thank you both, that is very helpful. It's sad that we need to take such precaution... why do we poison ourselves?
So if you're going 50-100 feet off the road, do you check if it's private property and if so who owns it? Most of the land here (midwest US) that isn't roadside is farmland with GMO, herbicide laden corn and soy. The roadsides are one of the few remaining wild places it seems.
Also, I've been watching your videos on youtube now and they are very helpful! Thanks again!


If it's clearly marked as private property, I make it a point to ask for permission.
9 times out of 10 this leads to new friendships. On the other hand, if there are no posted private property signs I feel fine about picking a few plants.
I never harvest copious amounts of wild-growing plants and so even if I'm caught red handed it doesn't look like I'm destroying too much plant life.
 
Gerald Henderson
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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Nice... thanks for your replies. Sorry I've been out for a while, we actually just moved from the midwest to Oregon. We are in Klamath Falls, so not too far from Ashland! It is a very distinct difference in the amount of public or wild land here. In the midwest it's much harder to come by vacant fields - it's pretty much all corn and soy. If it is woods, it's usually marked private for hunting. That, and people there don't treat foraging as a worthwhile activity. I think I will have much better luck here.
 
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