When we moved to Canada’s subarctic boreal forest, I knew very little about foraging for medicinal plants and food. First of all, I didn’t know anything about harvesting, preserving, or preparing northern plants and berries. Instead, I was overwhelmed by learning about regular gardening in a harsh environment. As a result, I overlooked the great opportunity right on our doorstep.
While I was busy trying to grow squash in six weeks of 24-hour sunlight, I overlooked the wild herbs and medicinal plants around us. And then I started researching permaculture design principles. Once I opened my eyes, I found an abundance of shoots, herbs, leaves, berries, and flowers — free for the taking.
Since I homeschool our two youngest children, I realized I could use foraging as a teaching tool. And it was also a great learning opportunity for me.
Here are just some of the wild greenery we’ve started collecting while foraging for medicinal plants and food on the land around our home.