What foods can you forage for?

The real advantage to foraging is you find large amounts of foods you can't buy in the shop.

My favourite foods to forage for:

  • Bilberries or wild blueberries,
  • Sloe berries or blackthorn,
  • Hazel nuts,
  • Blackberries
  • Apples and crab apples,
  • Seaweed and shellfish,
  • Plums, damsons and Gage,
  • Wild garlic,
  • Some mushrooms.

I do need to confess that I inoculated a dead oak tree in the countryside with shiitake and oyster mushrooms so I can harvest on a regular basis.

Below: Washing my haul of red apples from some farmland near me last Fall. I made hard cider from them.

Here is a table of some of the most common foods people forage for, along with the best time of year to go foraging for them:

FoodBest time to forage
BerriesLate summer to early fall
NutsLate summer to early fall
Wild greensSpring to fall
Marsh SamphireJuly to August
Wild garlicSpring and early summer
WinklesAll year
Mussels and oystersAny month with an "r" in.
Wild onionsSpring and early summer
Wild asparagusSpring
Wild herbsSpring and summer
CocklesAll year
Wild fruitsLate summer to early fall
Edible flowersSpring and summer
SeaweedAny time of year, depending on variety

Please keep in mind that the best time to forage can vary depending on your location and the specific type of food you're looking for, so it's always a good idea to do some research before heading out.

Below: If, like me, you are partial to damson or sloe gin then you will need to forage as these fruits are not grown commercially.

Also, make sure to only pick plants and mushrooms that you can positively identify as safe to eat, and avoid foraging in areas that may be contaminated with pollutants or pesticides.