Winter Foraging

I have read this before. It is a good reminder that foraging can be done year round, and a good refresher to read over the list.

I want to do some plant foraging walks with our small homeschool group in different seasons. We are at the very beginning planning stages for activities right now, but this is certainly one that I would like to suggest. Considering the families in this group, and that my kids are getting more knowledgeable, it should go over very well.

Once we are done foraging, it would then be fun to make something to eat out of what we foraged and complete the process. All too often foraging is done, but then the plant material tends to sit. I've done that and ine mom complained that she has tried foraging a little and ended up having this problem. She also admitted that she has very little knowledge at this point.


  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,641 admin

    One way to use up your foraged materials right away. Make some conifer needle tea as soon as you come back in. A nice warming drink after being out in the cold.

    I posted this in another discussion.

    Another use for conifer needles. Bath salts.

    Evergreen Bath Salts

    1¾ cups Epsom salts

    2 Tbsp Sea Salt

    1 Tbsp juniper berries

    6 Tbsp spruce or fir needles

    Combine evergreen needles in a blender with the sea salt and ½ cup of the Epsom salts. Blend until the mixture is a bright green and the needles are about the size of the salt crystals. Lightly crush the juniper berries and stir into the salt mixture. Combine with the remainder of the Epsom salts and place in a jar or use a bag that can be added to the bath water. (keeps the needles and juniper berries from making a mess in the tub) Essential oils could be added to this, but should be blended with a bit of carrier oil.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    I would like to start everyone on ock seed something or other & tamarack or other evergreen pils. On one webinar, someone used the blemder-heat method and said that her oil smelled & behaved like she had put essential oils in the mix.

    Any tips for teaching would be great.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,641 admin

    @LaurieLovesLearning The dock seed crackers are really easy. Almost everyone likes the dock seed cake. I've made it a few times now.

    Have you had tamarack tea before? I haven't and was wondering how it compared to our pine or fir species.

    I think the blender heat method would work well for infusing conifer needles. Douglas fir makes a lovely infused oil. I haven't tried any of the other species. I made this body butter a couple of years ago.

    There is a link on the page for an evergreen lip balm recipe, too.

    While you are picking conifer needles, harvest some pitch as well and make pitch salve when you get home. So good for wounds, cuts, scrapes, rashes, burns, etc. Pitch from any species works for many skin conditions and types of damage but spruce is the most antimicrobial for the most amount of species of bacteria, virus' and fungi that cause infections.

    One of the things that I have found most beneficial when teaching classes to both young ones and adults is to make it participatory. Find something that everyone can be involved in making, even in a small way. Kids could strip needles from branches or measure ingredients, with older ones or adults running the blender or chopping or stirring things on the heat. Create your own labels.

    I'm sure you are a much more capable teacher than I am for the type of group you are doing. I don't often interact with young children. The Herbs for Kids class I will be doing is my first time where a group of young ones will be involved. I'm feeling out of my element.

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

    @LaurieLovesLearning and @torey I'm getting ready to harvest my rose hips this week, finally. It took them forever to get bright red.

    Now I just have to decide what to do with them. Seeing as they're super small I don't think I'll be able to get the hairs out of the inside. 🤔

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    @JennyT Upstate South Carolina To me, that sounds like tea! 👍

  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 754 ✭✭✭✭

    Wild rose hips are so tiny!! I dry them and use them to make hibiscus kool aid😍

    1 cup dried hibiscus flowers

    1/4 c dried stevia leaves

    1/4 c dried rose hips

    A few chunks of dried orange peels