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Foraging in Aotearoa

Foraging is a fantastic way to connect with nature, learn about the medicinal properties of plants, and supplement your diet with nutrient-rich foods. However, it's important to follow best practices to ensure you're foraging sustainably and safely.

One of the most important aspects of foraging is proper identification. Always use a reputable guidebook or consult with an expert to ensure that you're correctly identifying the plants you find. Some plants can be poisonous, and even edible plants can be harmful if not identified and prepared properly.

In New Zealand, there are certain areas where foraging is prohibited or restricted to protect the environment and ensure sustainability. These include protected areas like conservation parks, and wildlife reserves, private property where permission should be obtained before foraging, urban areas with risks of pollution and contamination, and sites of cultural or historical significance.

When foraging, it's best to do so in the spring and early summer when the plants are young and tender. Avoid foraging during dry or hot weather, as the plants may become tough and bitter (depending on what you're foraging). Look for wild plants in areas that are away from roads, buildings, and other sources of pollution. Fields, meadows, and out in the bush are good places to start.

It's also important to bring the right tools with you. Bring a guidebook, a basket or bag for collecting plants, gloves to protect your hands, and a knife or scissors for harvesting. Additionally, always ensure that you're properly identifying the plants you find before harvesting them. Don’t pick something if you aren’t 100% sure what it is and how you will use it. Be mindful of the environment by only taking what you need and leaving the rest for wildlife and other foragers and to drop seeds for continued growth.

Foraging be a great way to supplement your diet with nutrient-rich foods and experiment with new recipes and flavors. Foraging can also provide you access to medicinal plants you may not be able to grow at home. We encourage you to try foraging but remember to do so responsibly and sustainably.

If you're interested in learning more about foraging, you can purchase our herb guides here! There are also many resources available, including guidebooks, online forums, and local foraging groups.

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