When you head out on a foraging walk, be sure to take a wild edible plant guidebook so you can properly identify plants in the field. A good one for Texas is Delena Tull’s Edible and Useful Plants of Texas and the Southwest. If you are not sure you have the right plant, don’t eat it. Here are a few more foraging tips:
- Be sure it’s legal and/or you have permission to harvest from the site.
- Harvest responsibly; take only what you need.
- When gathering flowers and fruit, leave enough for reproduction the following year.
- If collecting perennials, cut the top and leave the roots.
- When harvesting roots or tubers, you do kill the plant so harvest sparingly.
- Wear long pants, carry harvesting bags or baskets, and bring along all the tools you’ll need (edible wild plant guide, pruners, scissors, gloves, shovel/trowel, etc.)
- Be sure you know what you are harvesting and what parts of the plant are edible!