Foraging in the Pacific Northwest

Lately, there’s been a lot of talk around King household about gardening, sustainable living, alternative medicines, foraging and exploring our backyard. We recently received our copy of “Northwest Foraging:  The Classic Guide to Edible Plants of the Pacific Northwest” by Doug Benoliel. It was originally published in 1974 and became an instant classic to the Pacific NW’s native foods. The book was very recently updated and expanded and it now resides in our backpack {or on the dining room table during dinner – as most new books do}. The book has information on seasonal edibles, harvesting, drying and storing, nutrition and plant structure, but the brunt of the book covers edible plants and poisonous plants. For each plant in the book, illustrations have been provided by Mark Orsen while Doug Benoliel makes notes on form, leaves, flower, fruit, habitat and edibility as well as any personal notes about the plant. He has also shared over 40 recipes throughout the book. Northwest Foraging is a very well written, informative and relevant book for any northwest forager, plant enthusiast and lover of all things outdoors.

After thumbing my way through the book, I went online to see if there were any NW Foraging blogs, groups, etc. Not only did I find a few blogs, but I found some seriously passionate and talented people. I found another author and avid forager at Fat of the Land; a sustainable food enthusiast at Eat Local Northwest; a restaurant owner and author at Orangette; a father and Seattle food writer at Roots and Grubs {who’s book Hungry Monkey is awesome for any parent of a young child}; an independent publisher at Encyclopedia of Country Living; and a group of women with an interest in herbal medicine at Medicine Women Gather. All of these people are foragers of the Northwest. Some more seriously than others, but all with similar goals. We are so lucky to live in such a lush place. I hope some of their blogs help inspire the forager in you.

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2 responses to “Foraging in the Pacific Northwest

  1. Robin Stewart

    My grandfather has lived in Southwest Washington since the late 70’s and likes to forage when he hunts, which is very often. Since he retired he’s become more interested, and has often told me stories about the different things in the woods. Now he’s sort of trapped in the land of alcoholics, but that’s another story. I hope I get to hear more about the things you find!

  2. Pingback: Foraging with kids: Part I | We Four Kings