Keeping in mind a few simple guidelines on your foraging adventures will add joy to your finds. Feel secure in the knowledge you have foraged with safety and respect with these foraging guidelines.
► Before foraging, make sure to familiarise yourself with the foraging laws in your state. Keep in mind that foraging in national parks is prohibited, while a permit is required for foraging on crown land.
► Do not trespass. Ask for permission before entering private property.
► Acknowledge the traditional owners of the land upon which you forage.
► Avoid areas you know that have been sprayed with pesticides or exposed to other pollutants such as council verges or reclaimed industrial sites. Herbs are nutrient-rich as they can draw nutrients from the soil – the good and the bad.
► Be 100% sure you know what you are picking. Some plant are poisonous and potentially fatal. Cross-check with at least two authoritative sources (books, websites).
► Know which parts are non-toxic and how to use them. Self-education and education of others are at the core of respectful foraging.
► Forage only plants that grow in abundance.
► Never strip or denude a plant. Take a little, not a lot. Leave plenty for wildlife, other foragers and for the plant to reproduce and provide you with a bounty the following year.
► Do not harvest the roots of the plant.
► Only harvest cadmium and bark from felled trees.
► Only forage vibrant, healthy-looking plants.
► If a plant is endangered – leave it be.
► Do not damage the plant. Use a knife, scissors or secateurs to help minimise damage.
► Do not damage the environment surrounding foraged plants. Leave no trace.
► When tasting a new wild edible only chew on a very small amount, just in case you react to it.