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Urban Foraging

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by B Griffin, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Some of you may still remember some of the discussions I have started here on urban survival methods and techniques over the last dozen or so years. The recent discussion on wild foraging, and some questions sent by private message by people who do remember those posts, inspired me to put together a series of articles on foraging and hunter-gathering in urbanized terrain. This recent piece I did was an intro for that in one of the places where some of my articles are published.


    I love munching on wild snacks while wandering the local parks and even some of the back alleys in the city where old home places have deteriorated and fruit trees and wild brambles still grow there in the city, during the summer and autumn months. We have a lot of blackberries, mulberries, wine raspberries, passion fruit, and nut trees that grow in this region, even in the inner cities. And sometimes I find oyster mushrooms and hen of the woods in local urban woods. Are any of you guys into urban foraging?

    Blackberries in a local park

    Mulberries in another park

    Rose hips at an a old abandoned business

    Ground cherries in another area

    And there are different kinds of competition to deal with. Because cities have just as many, if not more, insects to contend with

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  2. allenC


    Jun 18, 2000
    If it were true survival , sure, why not?
    But where I live there's not much public land to forage upon.
    And taking fruit or nuts or berries from private property is very much frowned upon.
    Some folks would even set their dogs loose on you.
    B Griffin likes this.
  3. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    With some of the stupidity of the government entities and the local politics here, I sometimes forget just how lucky I am to be here on some levels, and posts like this one remind me. Between part of the Cumberland Trail, various pocket wildernesses, and the river walk with all its branches and individual parks along it, we have thousands of acres of public use land and a huge variety of feral berries fruits and nuts. I snacked on mulberries in three public parks during the end of spring and beginning of summer, raid blackberries all over the place, and picked some passion fruit, which is our state wild flower, from a tree line on the edge of a parking lot a few days ago. Most of the city population here just walks by it, oblivious to what is edible around them and what isn't. I keep up with what grows where as a matter of information to have just in case, but I snack on it while checking on it because I've grown up eating the wild fruits and berries.
  4. Currawong

    Currawong Gold Member Gold Member

    May 19, 2012
    This kind of thing is a bit harder to do in Australia as there's less you can eat, but my Aunt has been doing an 'edible weeds' course in Sydney and apparently there's enough around at least for a snack.
  5. Mikel_24


    Sep 19, 2007
    By far, the most abundant berry arround here are blackberries. They are basically a plage. You can find them literally everywhere there is a green patch. Unless you specifically remove them, they are stubborn and will keep on growing. No need to go to the mountains to get them.
    B Griffin likes this.
  6. fishiker


    Nov 5, 2006
    My 5 year old son has taken a great interest in foraging wherever we go. Over the past month we've picked apples from several trees, pears, sassafras, and one of the biggest chicken of the woods mushrooms I've ever found. Best part is that all were within 20 feet of a paved road or parking area. We've got our eyes set on a stand of pawpaw trees and a few wild grapes that should be ripe soon.
    B Griffin likes this.
  7. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    This is awesome, I love posts like this!
    fishiker likes this.
  8. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I think if you have any interest at all in the outdoors, it is important that you develop a library of sorts (in your head perhaps) of things that are edible whether it be in the woods or an urban park. Most of us don't get out in the outdoors outside our urban routine often, but having the knowledge adds to the outdoor experience. The same applies to being able to identify trees, shrubs, wild flowers, and plants in general in the outdoors.
    B Griffin likes this.
  9. B Griffin

    B Griffin Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Yes, I agree. Mine started out in my head and remained there for the first 20 years, then as I grew older it grew larger than I could keep up with and digital imaging came along. So now it is roughly 5K images in 90 folders in a file backed up on multiple hard drives. Which makes it much easier to use as stock images for the articles I write that touch on the subjects, and in my slide shows for my plants and animal ID lectures in workshops :)
  10. j_d


    Jan 14, 2006
    I have ran into some guys in the spring crusing allies for poke greens.

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