Tips on foraging from Hank Shaw


Hank Shaw forages for edible ingredients in Sligo Creek Park, finding a young beechnut Sunday September 18, 2011. (Dayna Smith/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)
November 1, 2011

Want to go foraging? Here’s Hank Shaw’s checklist:

●Wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toe shoes and a hat (for tick prevention).

●Protect yourself with insect repellent (recommended: Ultrathon).

●Carry an empty backpack for bringing home your haul.

●Bring kitchen scissors or a pocketknife for mushroom and greens harvesting.

●Store your finds in small plastic or paper bags to keep foraged items apart from one another during transport. Mushrooms will be fine in a closed paper bag in your refrigerator for up to a week.

●Don’t forget a fully charged smartphone so you can do a Google image search on what you’ve found, or a GPS in case you go too far off-path.

●Always carry a bottle of water.

Shaw says a good first step is to go foraging in your own yard and learn what greens grow wild close to home. Unless, of course, you use chemical weed-abatement products; then, you shouldn’t eat anything that grows on your property. The same goes for parkland and other public places: If pesticides are sprayed regularly, it’s not wise to eat anything from that habitat.

Besides his own book, “Hunt, Gather, Cook,” he recommends two others, both by Samuel Thayer: “Nature’s Garden” and “The Forager’s Harvest.”

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