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foraging
instruction, regulation, insurance, safety, etc

This badge is about foraging, hunting, trapping, and fishing... with some forage gardening sprinkled in.  Must be wild foods - not gleaning or harvesting from an actively cultivated space.

Apples from a neighbor don’t count here.   Apples from a homestead that has been abandoned for at least five years do count.  Apples oddly growing in a place where there has never been any cultivation counts too (probably a discarded apple core led to the tree).   Apples that are the result of forage gardening count too.

sand badge

Fresh list - harvest one of:
   - long list including things like 1 lb of huckleberries, two pounds of elderberries or twenty pounds of plums
Dry list - harvest, dry, and store one of the following:
   - long list including things like 1 lb of nettle, five pounds of mushrooms or twenty pounds of apples
Tea list - make a cup of tea
Dish list - prepare a dish (soup, salad, entree, side, etc.) that uses at least a cup of a foraged ingredient
4 pounds of seed balls/bombs  
   -  at least an inch in diameter, 6 species and at least 4 have to be perennials

Complete two different items from the following list:
   - catch and prepare at least one pound of fish
   - catch and prepare one wild rabbit or squirrel
   - harvest maple sap and reduce it down to make 1 pint of syrup
   - do 2 more items from the dry list (duplicates from the dry list are okay)  
   - do 4 more items from the dish list (duplicates from the dish list are okay)  
   - do 4 more items from the fresh list (duplicates from the fresh list are okay)  

straw badge  

35 points required

New items from the sand fresh list - ½ point each
New items from the sand dry list - ½ point each
New items from the sand tea list - ½ point each
New items from the sand dish list - ½ point each

20 pounds of seed balls/bombs - 4 points
  - Unlimited duplication with different species each time
Save seeds from 6 species of wild plants - 2 points
  - Unlimited duplication with different species each time
Catch, butcher and preserve at least five pounds of fish(es) or ten pounds of shellfish - 4 points
Catch, butcher and preserve five wild rabbits/squirrels - 4 points
Catch, butcher and preserve one large mammal (deer, pig, elk, antelope, etc) - 8 points
Catch, butcher and preserve five wild game birds - 4 points
Harvest maple sap and reduce it down to make 1 gallon of syrup - 8 points
Collect 5 pounds of wild honey (without cutting down tree) - 4 points
Guerilla plant 500 woody perennial food seeds or cuttings (not seed bombs) - 8 points

wood badge

Forage 200,000 calories from at least 10 species
   - 6 species of at least 10,000 calories each
        - No more than 4 of the 6 can be animal species
   - at least half of the calories need to be dried for storage that could last more than a year at room temp - possible twofer with Food Prep and Preservation
10 days eating 90% foraged food
   - 90% by calories, a minimum of 1200 calories per day and at least 6 foraged food types per day
   - Can include preserved foraged foods and they don't need to be consecutive days
1 mile of trail side forage gardening
   - Grow more than 500 plants near a trail and harvest calories from at least 6 different species

iron badge

Forage 1,600,000 calories from at least 20 species
90 days eating 90% foraged food
   - Includes one 30 day stretch and four 7 day stretches
1 mile of extensive trail side forage gardening
   - Grow more than 5000 plants, at least 12 species and harvest 50,000 calories from the plantings

COMMENTS:
 
pollinator
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This looks awesome! At least some of the plants in each list are available where I live so I would be able to complete this badge. I'd probably lean pretty heavily on the dry/dish/fresh lists because I don't have access to enough maple trees to make syrup and I don't know how to fish/trap yet (and can't really trap at home right now, which is semirural). I feel like it's more difficult to trap and prepare a squirrel than to collect 4lb of berries but that might be a function of my location or my background.
 
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I live in Hawaii on the Big Island.  We don't have almost any of these things here.  What can we do for substitutes?
 
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Maybe it's just me, but I feel that hunting fishing and trapping are completely separate activities from foraging.  These are broad enough categories that they deserve their own badges.  
 
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Sorry I didn't see the comments on this thread earlier...

Meg, it should only take one maple tree to make a pint of syrup.  Other trees are also allowed that make syrup if you have them handy (box elder, walnut, birch, etc)

John, since it's the PEP program (Permaculture Experience according to Paul) it is oriented towards the flora, fauna, equipment, climate and style of Paul and his site in Montana.  Someday someone in Hawaii or the Caribbean will come up with a PEX for that sort of climate and you'll be all set.

Vernon, I was thinking along the same lines as you at first.  But then I realized that the idea is to get food from from things that you don't cultivate.  IE there's a gardening badge and an animal care badge for things you tend.  This one covers plants and animals that you can collect in the wild.  Sure, they could be separated but I'm guessing for Paul's systems, it makes more sense to keep them together.  Another way of saying it is that for areas with lots of wild game (or PEX authors that put more weight on hunting), it could make sense to have a separate foraging and hunting badge.

I hope this sheds some more light on the subject...
 
Vernon Inverness
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Mike Jay wrote:
Vernon, I was thinking along the same lines as you at first.  But then I realized that the idea is to get food from from things that you don't cultivate.  IE there's a gardening badge and an animal care badge for things you tend.  This one covers plants and animals that you can collect in the wild.  Sure, they could be separated but I'm guessing for Paul's systems, it makes more sense to keep them together.  Another way of saying it is that for areas with lots of wild game (or PEX authors that put more weight on hunting), it could make sense to have a separate foraging and hunting badge.

I hope this sheds some more light on the subject...



It does, indeed.  Thanks for the perspective, Mike!
 
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if not already in the works...

I would like so see a badge for people who....

collect berries, fruit, and nuts
then save some the seeds
or thin out overgrown clumps
or take cuttings
and the plant them out
to increase the foraging opportunities for others

foraging shouldn't be a parasitic activity

I seem to recall
I think in one of the early permaculture books
that hunter/gatherers planted/cared for 80%+ of their foraging
 
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Mike Jay wrote:
John, since it's the PEP program (Permaculture Experience according to Paul) it is oriented towards the flora, fauna, equipment, climate and style of Paul and his site in Montana.  Someday someone in Hawaii or the Caribbean will come up with a PEX for that sort of climate and you'll be all set.



While I do understand this reasoning, I do wonder if PEX or PEA or whatever would get someone a spiffy badge in their profile? I really like having the badge, and I'm rather privileged to be in a place that grows many of the same foods as Montana, so I'm able to earn this badge. So, I really feel for those that are far away, and so can't easily get this badge, and I do wish it were more inclusive to other areas. Maybe, in the future, it will be. I think that would be lovely.
 
Mike Haasl
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I believe I've completed all the BBs to achieve the sand badge!
Fresh list
Dry list
Tea list
Dish list
Catch/prepare a fish
Make maple syrup
Do four more items from the fresh list (duplicates are ok)
 
Nicole Alderman
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Well earned and deserved, Mike! I hereby grant you the sand badge! You have bested me once again! Will I be able to catch up? I don't know!
 
Mike Haasl
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The Straw, Wood and Iron badges have been added in to the list at the top of the thread.  
 
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Love this idea. A couple species suggestions for midwest folks.


Plaintain, narrow or broad leaf (plantago spp)
Harvest 2lbs (very similar to dandelion)
Suitable for tea (very bitter, very good for you  like dandelion leaf)
Seed gathering, after grinding and drying narrow plantain is a suitable replacement for psyllium husk which is a common binder used in gluten free bread baking (psyllium is plantago ovata)

Jerusalem artichoke aka sunchoke (helianthus tuberosus)
Harvest 5lbs, be VERY VERY careful harvesting near a road as it is an efficient toxin and lead accumulator

White, red and crimson clover (trifolia spp)
While greens are suitable for salads we only do a little
Harvest flower 1lb (maybe less they don't have much weight) a very nice sweet addition to salads the fresher the sweeter, you will see why bees swarm these.
Tea flower, red is especially good for the micro nutrients and the flowers are often golf ball sized so you only need 4 to 5  for a cup of tea, suitable dried or fresh.
Dried flower not sure the appropriate number but this is an excellent method to preserve for tea.

Black walnut  juglans nigra
Harvest 10 lbs (shelled)
Chestnuts
Harvest 10lbs (shelled)
Hickory
Harvest 10 lbs (shelled)
I mainly suggest the walnut and chestnut because they are Very common in city parks around here because they were left as shade trees. I personally consider them forage because they are not cultured for production and public parks are about as wild as you get for apartment dwellers and metro city dwellers. Plus there is no small effort to shell 10 lbs of nuts, as a tip use a c clamp that screws down to crack the shell without obliterating the nut meat.


 
Mike Haasl
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Thanks David, great list!  I'll check with Paul on them.  Generally he's trying to stay with things that can be foraged in Montana, since it's Permaculture Experience according to Paul.  But we've let some widely/commonly distributed plants in the list.  I can't believe we missed sunchokes, they're one of Paul's favorite plants.

I'm also not sure about the park.  I think that might count as a cultivated space per the second paragraph of the post:

Apples from a neighbor don’t count here.   Apples from a homestead that has been abandoned for at least five years does count.  Apples oddly growing in a place where there has never been any cultivation counts too (probably a discarded apple core led to the tree).   Apples that are the result of guerilla gardening count too.  



So if someone guerilla planted the nut trees in a wooded part of the park, it would be fine.  If the city planted them and they're surrounded by questionably maintained turf grass, I'm thinking they don't count (for this badge).

Hope that makes sense?
 
David Pritchett
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Mike Haasl wrote:

So if someone guerilla planted the nut trees in a wooded part of the park, it would be fine.  If the city planted them and they're surrounded by questionably maintained turf grass, I'm thinking they don't count (for this badge).

Hope that makes sense?



Seems reasonable to me. The areas I'm think of are generally more of areas where the forest has been cut away from trees, but there are often some areas where there are strips of forest with paved areas run through them. I'm local to st louis and I'm personally thinking of laumeier sculpture park and queeny park for any curious. Loving this and when the mushrooms start to fruit around here I'll begin putting in my submissions!
 
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Hey Mike, I see where points have been added to the Sand level BB's but I'm not seeing the required number of points to get the Sand Badge.

Is it a 5 point badge like other Sand badges that have points?
 
Mike Haasl
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Good question!  We put the points in there so that people could repeat them for Straw (and their complexity varied so we needed to list out the points).  But no, we don't need to say Sand = 5 points for that one since the Required and Elective things clearly say how much to do of each.
 
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duane hennon wrote:
.....
foraging shouldn't be a parasitic activity ....




I'm so with you on this one, Duane. Indeed, foraging shouldn't be a parasitic activity ....
I feel that there is a rather blurred line between things we plant and harvest and things we allow to thrive only to harvest some of them later. I tended to some wild mulberry seeds that I found. Now, I have 26 mulberry bushes and trees. Is that planting or wild foraging? I also have a couple of pear grown from pips and I managed to transplant some wild asparagus in my hubby's shooting berm. Because they have access to a lot of pretty good dirt, the spears are enormous!, bigger than my regular asparagus, which I planted and tended to. We should not *just* take from Mother Nature. Sometimes, we should replenish to make up for what we take. Similarly, I have some stinging nettles that were a chance happening, but I try to make sure they keep coming year after year, even though they are annoying in the bed of flowers I planted.
Idem the juneberries that grow wild: I remove the brambles that try to smother them and even give them a little comfrey juice. I do not mow the sweet fern: The dried ferns give me a spice similar to sage for free.
We arrange our space with a mix of plants, some we buy and tend to, some we 'discover' and tend to. But to keep enjoying them, we must "tend to" what we value.
 
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Is Elaeagnus multiflora, the cherry elaeagnus, cherry silverberry, goumi, gumi, or natsugumi, native to Montana? 8 years ago I first read about this wonderful shrub. Now I see it next to parking lots and next to most contry roads and hiking trails. They seem  to be cold tolerant enough for Montana, and also spreads quickly via bird dropping.
 
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Acorns don't seem to be in either of the harvest lists? They're in a few other BBs, and they grow everywhere. I probably wouldn't have noticed this if I didn't go out intending to collect apples, pears, and grapes from a century old homestead and get distracted by the abundance of acorns yesterday :P
 
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I've completed all the BBs and am ready to apply for my Foraging Sand Badge!

Fresh List
Dry List
Tea List
Dish List
Seed Balls
1st Elective  - 4 items from fresh list
2nd Elective - 4 items from dish list
Staff note (Mike Haasl) :

Congratulations on your second Sand badge!

 
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Here is my submission for the Foraging Sand Badge.

You can check out my profile page here.

Completed 5 required BBs and two items from the Electives List to Earn this Badge
  Harvest, Dry, and Store 1- # Mint
  Harvest Fresh Food - Serviceberries
  Forage Strawberry Leaf and Make a Cup of Tea
  Prepare a Dish using Foraged Food - Sheep Sorrel
  Make 4 Pounds of Seed Balls/Bombs
  Electives List:
  - 2 more items from the dry list (duplicates are okay)  
        Harvest, Dry, and Store - 1# Pineapple Weed
        Harvest, Dry, and Store - 1# Pineapple Weed
  - 4 more items from the dish list (duplicates are okay)  
        Prepare a Dish using Foraged Food - Lambs Quarters
        Prepare a Dish using Foraged Food - Lambs Quarters
        Prepare a Dish using Foraged Food - Lambs Quarters
        Prepare a Dish using Foraged Food - Lambs Quarters

Staff note (Nicole Alderman) :

I hereby certify that you are the proud owner of a Foraging Sand Badge. Congratulations!

 
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I think that I've earned my Sand Badge!

Fresh list - 2lbs of blackberries
Dry list - 1lb of nettles
Tea list - nettle tea
Dish list - nettle quiche
4 pounds of seed balls/bombs

Complete two different items from the following list:
  - do 4 more items from the dish list (duplicates from the dish list are okay)
     o stuffed nettle pasta
     o nettle "saag" chana masala (nettle and chickpea curry)
     o dandelion salad
     o dandelion salad #2
  - do 4 more items from the fresh list (duplicates from the fresh list are okay)
     o 2lbs of blackberries #2
     o 2lbs of blackberries #3
     o 2lbs of blackberries #4
     o 2lbs of blackberries #5
Staff note :

Congratulations on your first Sand Badge!

 
Mike Haasl
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Please note the Straw badge requirements have been changed a bit.
 
Luke Mitchell
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This message is regarding the recent changes to the Straw badge - which I think have made it much clearer by the way, thanks for taking the time to do so.

I feel quite strongly that making a cup of tea or a dish, both requiring a very small quantity of foraged foods, should be worth less than the fresh or dry contributions. Currently they are each 0.5 points, which I think is appropriate for tea/dish but inadequate for the fresh or dry lists which typically take much longer to complete.

Gathering 2lbs of blackberries (which are the easiest thing for me to forage at the moment) takes around an hour whereas I can nip outside, pick a handful of clover and make a cup of tea with it in 5 minutes. Obviously the time varies for some ingredients - if I have to hunt for them it takes much longer - but I still feel the weighting is unfair. A dish is more complicated as there is often a lot of time involved in making the meal; I tend to use foraged ingredients to make an actual meal, a lunch or dinner, so once I've gathered the ingredients the rest of the time is essentially free for me.

In terms of ease, I would suggest this order is appropriate for me at this time of the year:

1) Tea (5 - 30 minutes)
2) Dish (20 - 90 minutes)
3) Fresh (60 - 150 minutes)
4) Dry (80 - 360 minutes)

Is this topic open for discussion? Have I tried to discuss it in the wrong place? I would be interested to hear others' views on the matter.
 
Mike Haasl
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Hi Luke, I'm glad you like the changes!  

There's lot of reasons (and some made up ones) behind how the points add up.  It's not just time spent but also experience gained.  Identifying the right berry or the right tea plant is half the battle sometimes.  Picking them just becomes a "lather, rinse, repeat" effort.  Also, the minimum increment we can do is 1/2 point.  So it's not perfect but it's not likely to change for a while since we're just polishing up the book.

A place to post suggestions for future changes (like this) is the PEP Refinement Ideas thread
 
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I'm a little bummed there doesn't seem to be a way to get to Straw for us plant-based folks.  Not that I'm anywhere near there, but can Wood tasks stand in for some Straw points?  Realizing as I type this that it's probably a more general PEX question.  Anyhow, thanks!
 
Opalyn Rose
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Brian Guetzlaff wrote:…there doesn't seem to be a way to get to Straw for us plant-based folks.  
…can Wood tasks stand in for some Straw points?



The straw badge is points based with a list of options so there is definitely a plant-based option for the straw badge with unlimited repeats of seed bombs and seed saving. It is “easier” for hunters to gather points but there is definitely a plant-based option as I read through the straw badge.

I too wish that some of the wood options - for me it is in animal care - could be applied to straw but unfortunately, no.

 
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