Back in the Great Depression and even before then, foraging for food was a necessary skill. Money was tight so being able to find food was a huge budget saver! You can still do this today you just need to know what to be on the lookout for!
The Lost Art of Foraging to Save Money
I have been out to some farms with wooded areas and found orange trees or apples trees hidden in the woods! Talk about a great score for produce!
A few things to remember:
Taking food from your property of course is okay, but if you are on someone else’s property you will need their permission. Some places of business have bushes that produce berries and they let the employees there gather berries when they ripen, others won’t let you touch them. So always know your limits. If in doubt, ask before you pick fruit! While it’s great to save money, it’s not worth the cost of fines or bail money for trespassing or stealing.
Do your research and learn what fruit and nuts look like. Some can be poisonous so know what those look like as well! Also try to find out if dangerous chemicals have been used on the plants. You should know if you have used chemicals on your property, but ask your neighbor if they have sprayed their tree, and if so with what, before you pick some apples.
Next, please only take what you need and try to leave some for someone else. If you get there and can tell someone else has been there and there is only a little left it’s ok to take what is left but if you are the first please don’t take it all. Be courteous and share!
Where can you find places to forage?
Of course your own back yard is a great place to start. Sometimes you can find bushes with berries, if you have violets you can use them for things like violet honey which can be used for Violet Honey Butter YUM!
Dandelions are abundant in spring and can be used for many things. In Ohio they have a Dandelion Festival with everything from wine to ice cream! They have dandelion pasta sauce, cookies, and they use it in the gravy for mash potatoes. It also makes a great spice in soup, baking fish, and more!
Here are more edible flowers.
More Recipes Using Flowers:
Use a site like Falling Fruit to find places where you can forage for free! They list everything from fruit, like cherries and peaches, to nuts and more!
What types of foods can you find foraging?
This depends on where you live. If you live up north you will most likely find blueberries and black berries. Places down south you are more likely to find citrus like oranges, grapefruit, and lemons. Mostly it’s easiest to find fruits and nuts. If you are an advanced forager and know what to look for, you can find some veggies too.
Have fun and make sure to do your research! What items have your been able to forage?
More Ways to Save Money on Produce
Danielle is a mom of 4, Former Navy Wife, Homeschooling mom, frugalista and blogger at The Frugal Navy Wife. She and her family of 6 are currently setting out on their lifelong dream to travel via RV around the United States. They are documenting their journey on Roadschooling with The Frugal Navy Wife.