What Are Forage Foods?

Forage foods, are foods which grow wild, or have escaped into the wild and are readily found along roadsides, in the fields, forests, and Meadows. They are an excellent way to supplement the foods you put on the table and/or preserve for winter, or later consumption. Forage foods can also be used to supplement foods raised in your home garden and backyard fruit and nut trees.  These food include the food long use in subsistence living and others.  Forage may also include animals (e.g meat) and animal produced foods (e.g. Honey). 

I have many fond memories of my youth where we forged in the forests fields and roadsides where we lived. These could range from wild berries to apple trees found in an old homestead on our property or neighbor’s property with permission.

Here is a quick list of forage foods that I can think of off the top of my head. Some of these foods, especially mushrooms, will require some special handling and special knowledge to be safely eaten.

Quick List of Forage Foods

  • Acorns (Nut)
  • Alpine Strawberry
  • American Persimmon
  • Autumn Olive
  • Bamboo (Shoots)
  • Barberry
  • Beechnut
  • Black Walnuts
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberry
  • Butternut
  • Cattail (Typha latifolia)
  • Chamomile
  • Chickweed
  • Chicory
  • Chili Peppers
  • Curly Dock
  • Damsons
  • Dandelions
  • Dewberries
  • Duck-potato (Sagittaria latifolia)
  • Elderberry
  • Epasote (Spanish Bean Herb)
  • Ferns
  • Fox Grape
  • Garlic Mustard
  • Gooseberry
  • Hickory Nut
  • Juniper Shrub
  • Kelp / Seaweed
  • Kudzu
  • Lingonberry
  • Mesquite
  • Mulberry
  • Mullein
  • Muscadine Grape
  • Mushrooms
  • Nettles
  • Paw Paw
  • Pecan nut
  • Persimmon
  • Pine Nuts
  • Prickly Pear Cactus
  • Rose Hips
  • Salmonberry
  • Sassafras
  • Sheep sorrel
  • Sloes
  • Sumac
  • Tepary Beans (Phaseolus acutifolius)
  • Watercress
  • Wild Asparagus
  • Wild Cherries (Prunus species)
  • Wild Onion
  • Wild Rice (Zizania Aquatica)
  • Wood Sorrel

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