There has been a huge movement of reskilling and rediscovering old skills. Foraging has been a skill that is as old as the human race. Being ancestors of hunters and gathers it’s somewhat natural for our species to forage. It has become one of the most popular “reskilling” tools for people to relearn.
When I first started learning to forage I studied the plants and whether they were edible or not. After I learned how to identify the edible food I would then learn how to cook it. Many times it came down to recipes people shared on blogs or discussion boards.
Recently I’ve been learning about native plants and how Indigenous people used them. Unfortunately that heritage has been difficult for them to maintain. Colonialism has forced Indigenous people to live in areas that are barren, or the tribes are restricted from hunting outside of tribal land. Fortunately with the revival of foraging Indigenous Tribes are being consulted on many techniques of preparing foraged items.
Chefs all around the world are rediscovering the beauty of foraging and the flavors our ancestors knew. I find it amazing what grows in my backyard and what native items I can seed to forage at a later date.
Foraging is a very spiritual practice for me. When I started I didn’t listen to the land, the plant or the area. Now I sit with the area I’m foraging and listen to it. I respect the spirits and ask for permission to collect what I need. When I forage a plant I learn about the plant and what it does for my body, I let it speak to me and tell me what it wants me to know. I connect with my heritage and I rediscover traditions lost to all humans through foraging.
~Candice Currier Carver