If you've arrived here, you're obviously intruiged by the idea of foraging. But why is that? Well, the simple answer is: Because foraging is awesome! Whether what interests you is the free food, the family fun and adventure, or the many opportunities for learning and development that it brings, foraging with your kids is one of the most amazing things you can do. It promotes good health and wellbeing, produces dedicated family time, and creates a natural and stimulating learning environment for kids that is sustainable, informative and most of all, fun! When you forage with your kids you actually do far more than just collect free food, you stimulate their enjoyment of nature and the outdoors and create happy memories of a wonderful childhood. This section looks at why foraging is simply brilliant, and how it can have a positive impact on you and your children's wellbeing.
Delicious, Free Wild Food!
The thing that probably tickles the most people's pickle about foraging is the diverse range of wild edible foods that are available to those that know when and where to look. Although some wild plants may be considered inferior to supermaket varieties, the fact that you had a hand in finding them on your own often makes them taste better! There are some wildfoods, however, that simply blow the socks off anything you can find in a supermarket. These are called "choice" wild edibles and are the kinds of items that command very high prices at continental food markets, and are often found on the menus of exclusive restaurants, such as Ceps, Chanterelles, Samphire and Wild Garlic. Once you start finding these, you'll really start to appreciate how special, unique, and utterley delicious wildfood can be.
What could be more fun for the whole family than going on a wild adventure to an untamed forest, or a stunning autumnal woodland by a lake? If you like stunning scenery or the great outdoors, then you'll absolutely love foraging. Kids especially, will love taking a break from foraging to experience the thrill of climbing trees, splashing in lakes and rivers, finding wildlife, or just generally running wild through the grass, moss or sand. Time in Nature is always time well spent, and when your kids think back to the foraging adventures they had with you, they will cherish those memories forever.
“... Your kids will remember the adventures you went on, not the stuff you bought them. Kids outgrow stuff. They never outgrow adventures ...”
It's So Good for Your Mind ...
You may not think it, but foraging is an amazing wellbeing activity that combines a multitude of psychological and mental wellness principles that can really help you find head space, inner-peace, self-assurance, tranquility, comfort and true, genuine happiness. From spending quality time with those you love and connecting with nature, to being mindful in the present moment and growing your confidence by increasing your knowledge and skills; foraging is an activity that just keeps on giving, expanding and growing with you the more you learn. If you have an interest in how foraging can improve your mental wellbeing, then I'd really recommend clicking the link below to learn more.
“... I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright ...”
... and Good for Your Body, too!
Obviously, getting out and about is also good for your physical health, but a forage can also supply a young child with all of their recommended daily exercise. When foraging with children under five, it's recommended to alternate short-duration foraging activities with play to make sure they don't become bored due to their relatively short attention spans. All that intermittent running, jumping, splashing and climbing that they do is ample exercise for them to remain healthy and happy. Children over five will also benefit from the physical activity provided by a forage, but will also have to supplement this with other, higher intensity activities as part of a healthy lifestyle. For more information about foraging and exercise, click the link below.
It's Educational for Kids
The natural world is the most amazing classroom, allowing kids to learn in unique ways at their own pace, in-line with their own interests. Foraging in this environment also allows them to explore hazards and understand risk, which aids their self-confidence and decision-making processes. It also fosters learning in a number of key developmental stages and improves their language, social interactions, and personal development skills. Due to there being no defined syllabus, they are free to explore any learning experience they wish, from botany, mycology and ecology, to life and death cycles, weather systems, art and creativity, and even spritualism. The opportunities for learning are quite literally, endless! For more information about how foraging can be used as a valuable medium for learning, click on the link below.
“...It thus emerges that, for young people and adults alike, outdoor adventure is perceived as a vehicle for building values and ideals, for developing creativity and enterprise, for enhancing a sense of citizenship, and for widening physical and spiritual horizons...”
It Opens-up Possibilities
Foraging draws upon a huge array of hobbies, interests, skills and abilities from a wide variety of different disciplines. Due to this diversity, it is often very easy to find related fields of study and enquiry that can really engage individual family members, or the family as a whole. These can include using foraging to develop an understanding of natural and alternative medicine; life sciences, such as botany and mycology; creativity, poetry and art; anthropology, folklore and storytelling; or developing culinary abilities or bushcraft and survival skills. This creates an ever-expanding set of skills that can stay with, and enrich a forager for their whole life.