The Art of Wildcrafting

Here at Misty Meadows we are all about being… WILD! Re-WILDing. WILDcrafting. Exploring the WILDs of our homestead!

Today we’re going to talk about “Wildcrafting”.

Wildcrafting is the act of gathering herbs, flowers, plants and fungi from… Yep, you guessed it – the wild!

Why buy a commercially made product, at a huge price markup, not knowing where it came from or how it was treated (ethically & chemically), when you can gather or make it for free…or almost free?!

A few things to consider while Wildcrafting:

  • Make sure you know your area and obtain permits or landowner permission if needed.
  • Carry a map & compass, and let someone know where you are going.
  • Watch out for wildlife.  Some can pose danger. Carry protection.
  • Dress appropriately. Carry food and water and a personal first aid kit.
  • Choose plants that are at least (if not more) 100 feet of the road.  Roadsides not only are contaminated by vehicle emotions, herbicides are often sprayed to keep down weeds.
  • Be able to identify what you are looking for …150%!! Two plants may look similar – one is safe to consume, the other is poisonous! Be careful!!  

My favorite on-the-go wild plant reference book is Peterson Field Guides – Western Plant’s and Herbs. I carry it with me all the time because you never know when you might have to opportunity to forage or wildcraft. Find a resource you’re comfortable with, study it, and bring it along on you adventures!

  • It takes time for any plant to regenerate, so be respectful and only take what you need. A good estimation is no more than 20% of a plant (buds, flowers, leaves, stems and roots). Also, remember some plants need their seeds to germinate next year’s crop, so be respectful and leave a generous amount behind.
  • And finally – If you pack it in, pack it out!

Be watching for an upcoming post on our newest wildcraft project – Infusions and Tinctures.

Do you wildcraft your medicinals?  Please share a tip in the comments. 

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Below are some of the books we use for research and reference.

Disclaimer: We are not Physicians nor are we Certified Herbalists. The information provided on this site has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat or prevent conditions, illnesses or diseases, it is purely anecdotal and stem from our own personal fascination with the natural world around us. 

Before trying any herbal remedy, consult a physician or certified medical professional to make sure it is safe for you to use.

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