Foraging show

 I just found a new foraging show on PBS, "Les Stroud's Wild Harvest". It is pretty good, and you may want to check it out. It is funny to me though, because they make a big deal out of what I just do every time I walk in the woods! They act like it is so meaningful and such deep wisdom.... to me, it is just picking berries, gathering nuts and greens and mushrooms. I have a hard time understanding why it is forgotten knowledge to most folks. I mean, it is cool that it is... more for me! And yeah, I actually get paid to write about this stuff. But, it is really odd that it has become so. I wonder if 100 years from now, people will have forgotten how to shop for groceries in a store due to home delivery? Grocery shopping isn't much different. really.

«1

Comments

  • Jack_Went_Splat
    Jack_Went_Splat Posts: 59 ✭✭✭

    Count me in the group of deciding to not let foraging become a lost art. Just now starting to learn about it but, hoping to pass this knowledge on to children and grands, too. We found a good source of Horehound locally and plan to grow many local forms of medicinal plants that thrive in the high mountain desert. Much to learn. Thank you for posting this @judsoncarroll4

    Blessings and Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,407 admin

    I will look for this show. I know Les Stroud through the program Survivorman. He does know what he is doing, however I can't imagine eating some of the items he has while filming.

    It really is amazing that we have gone so far, in such a relatively short time period, from everyone knowing what to eat from the wild to hardly anyone recognizing edible wild plants.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am so fascinated by this. I've been learning more about this specific topic in the last few years. I wish I knew more about what is around me while I'm out hiking or just walking in my back yard. There is so much to learn.

    @judsoncarroll4 You make an interesting argument, about 100 years from now with grocery shopping and whether or not it will be a "forgotten pastime" as well.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,285 admin

    Imagine.... "Here, our ancestors would have found bread on aisle 5... before then, it may have come from a bakery. What other wonders might we find? These peas and sardines came in a packaging known as 'tin cans'..."

  • Melissa Burford
    Melissa Burford Posts: 69 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for the heads-up about this. I'll be on the look out for it. One thing that I'm always amazed at is how many cashiers have no idea what most of my produce is when I go through the check out line. Some may know Brussels sprouts, but when I get them still on a stalk, I get puzzled looks and then asked what in the world is it.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭

    Yeah it's sad how little is known about even a handful of edible weeds by most people. What's even sadder to me is that most people have no interest in even learning. It's enjoyable, nutritious and it's never a bad idea to know where to get food if grocery stores are no longer a viable option.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭

    Oh I know. It's amazing that so many adults don't recognize even common vegetables :(.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 947 ✭✭✭✭

    It is remarkable. During ww2 most families had victory gardens and now most people don't have a clue about how to grow anything. As a society we have become far too reliant on the system and that's dangerous.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,285 admin

    Speaking of which... get ready for tomorrow's podcast! I go a bit long at 42 minutes, but... be ready to take notes... it is packed!

  • Brueck.iris
    Brueck.iris Posts: 142 ✭✭✭

    Is it possible to watch the show online?

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,285 admin

    That is tricky... Generally American Public Broadcasting will submit its content to some international services. Separately, the show usually will post episodes on its website independently. Beyond that, "bootlegs" may show up on youtube or daily motion, etc

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin

    I'll admit to being one of those people who grew up in the city and really didn't get introduced to the idea of foraging until I moved to a rural area 4+ years ago. I have gardened since I was a teenager, but "wild food" was something I never heard people talk about. (We did collect pecans from wild trees, but we never really ate food from wild plants other than that.) So I do fully understand the idea of wildcrafting not being part of people's mental processes. It's still something I'm learning new things about every year, and I imagine that will continue for quite a while. :)

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Merin Porter I completely agree with you, about it not being much thought about by the average person. I had only heard about it in the last several years and instantly became intrigued by the idea that some of the "weeds" in my yard were something you could eat. And more importantly they were extremely good for you. Who would have thought, I know I sure didn't and I worked for a few years in FL doing landscaping design, maintenance etc. trying to get rid of these so called weeds.

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin


    Yes, I hear you -- lots and lots of people know them only as "weeds." But that's honestly to be expected when you grow up in a neighborhood where people pride themselves on winning "Yard of the Month." :)

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,285 admin

    I get into all that on the podcast... what is a weed... the transition from garden to lawn... etc

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020

    I have heard of city people that don't even know the basics on how plants grow (which is terrifying). I think the pandemic has brought back Victory gardens based on the seed companies selling out all summer (constantly).

  • Nancy Carter
    Nancy Carter Posts: 202 ✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 podcast? Tell me more please! Where, when and how often? I'm out of the loop here.

  • Melissa Swartz
    Melissa Swartz Posts: 270 ✭✭✭

    We have a place in a relatively remote rural area and I have been amazed at how few gardens I see around us. Maybe 10% of people have gardens. The kids across the road were amazed to learn that you could grow peppermint and actually use it for something. I showed one of them how to make a spit poultice out of plantain for bug bites, and a couple of months later she was telling me that she had used one for a sting. And was astonished that it actually worked. This kid grew up in the country and had no idea. We have truly lost of lot of knowledge.

  • Melissa Burford
    Melissa Burford Posts: 69 ✭✭✭

    I have several episodes saved on my DVR to binge watch this week. Very excited.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,407 admin

    I finally found this show this morning. I checked out the website http://wildharvestfilms.com/ and it has the recipes all listed. Just click on recipes in the main tab bar. Its really great that he is working with a professional chef. Really showcases what can be done with wild foods.

    @vickeym There is a recipe for a watermelon berry sauce! Episode 12.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I love foraging. I find its a relaxing way to spend a day and I always see something new and come home and do research.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    Thinking about how much knowledge has been lost, how little most people today know about raising their own food, much less using wild plants.....Anybody here old enough to remember the 1960's/early '70's, when Euell Gibbons and "Stalking the Wild Asparagus" was part of the national culture, a byword sort of--even to national TV talk shows, other TV shows, ads, pop songs, etc.?

    What happened? Was his movement just written off and forgotten as part of "hippie culture?" I hadn't thought about him for years myself, but for some reason this thread reminded me of him. He was so much a part of mainstream culture for a while, that I wonder why and how his message was so completely forgotten by it.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,285 admin
    edited January 2021

    Well, I was born in 77, so I just barely remember his Grapenuts commercials... but I did grow up on Grizzly Adams and the Foxfire books. I didn't use his books until I was 15 or so, which would have been the 90s. By then, foraging was very much out of the mainstream culture. I think it was the whole hippie to yuppie phenomenon.... the granola and VW crowd of the 70s became the French Laundry clientelle and Lexus drivers of 90s. Everyone grows up, but I don't understand not teaching their kids.... of course, the Me Generation wasn't really big on raising and teaching their own kids... my generation kind of went from Sesame Street to "latch key kids" pretty quickly... I think my dad is on his 5th wife now.... By high school, I don't think I knew 10 kids whose parents hadn't divorced.... and over half the kids in NC graduate functionally illiterate, so it wasn't like most would find Stalking the Wild Asparagus on their own. We never even went camping in boy scouts - just picked up trash and played basketball... so that didn't hold my interest! But, the other phenomenon I witnessed was the transition of outdoor activities to "boutique" marketing. Take fly fishing, especially... but also camping and hunting, even hiking. In the 80s, you could buy a full, good quality fishing outfit for less than $50.... by the mid 90s, the same stuff cost more like $500 - 1,000!!!! Hiking boots, tents, etc etc went through the roof, and became the realm monied Sierra Club members. So the kid from a single parent family has no entry point and the regular country guy began to focus more on just deer hunting because it didn't require fancy clothes or expensive guns, deer all over public land and farms and his old truck wouldn't be an embarrassment. Meanwhile, disconnect from grandparents meant wilderness knowledge, traditions and hunting skills not being passed on... compounded by phones, computer games and a disconnect from nature. For me, foraging, wildcrafting, hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, cooking and herbs are all part of my life style and culture. But, for most modern folks, that is not true. Then, there are political type ideologies. A hard core animal rights/vegan type might have an interest in foraging, but would never be able to get beyond the rest of what I do in the woods long enough to learn. A real radical environmentalist/conservationist with the view that people are a blight on the environment, doesn't even want people in the woods! It is a mess. At least thanks to shows like this, TGN, etc, some people are beginning to come around. If people only knew that the best meals cannot be bought... you have to harvest and cook it yourself, maybe that would help. But, most folks would still just go to McDonalds.

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    @Merin Porter My experience was exactly the opposite. I live in the country, but my first foraging experience was in downtown Philadelphia with Wild Foodies of Philly. Consider visiting their website www.wildfoodies.org for information or to take a tour if you are in the area.

  • Megan Venturella
    Megan Venturella Posts: 678 ✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 A friend told me about the Foxfire books and I was considering investing in the whole series. Would you recommend it?

    And I’ll be listening to your podcast tonight. 😊

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,285 admin
    edited January 2021

    Certainly! But.... most of the info is historical in nature and not applicable to a modern homestead. There is great info about foraging for wild plants for food and using herbs for medicine. There is also building cabins and wagons with just an axe. The books are full of wisdom, colorful stories and lore... real stories from old folks, and I absolutely love them! You can learn pottery, basket making, weaving, banjo building and faith healing. But, I wouldn't say a person could just take these and live that way, now. Only if you were really, really fortunate enough to live in a community of like minded folks. I'm gradually re-building my collection after storm damage... mostly used copies.

  • JennyT Upstate South Carolina
    JennyT Upstate South Carolina Posts: 1,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 Do you know how many books are in the Foxfire series?