To Become A Forager...

Teaching wild edible and medicinal plant across three decades has taught me the path to becoming a learned forager always follows the same story:

1. Life is Good - You are comfortable. Food for your stomach and medicine for you ills are plentiful. Life is cruising down easy street!

2. Disruption - Easy street develops potholes. Maybe it's just food boredom. Maybe you start to question if food really needs to come plastic-wrapped in cardboard boxes...or what happens if those boxes of food stop coming altogether? You see the plants around, you know some of them were probably food, medicine...but which ones?

3. The Quest Begins - Realizing foraging worked for 180,000 years you buy a book or watch some YouTube videos...but every plant looks the same! Is the one on the right edible and the one on the left deadly or is it the other way around? Fear, uncertainty, doubt...

4. The Guide Appears - No hero starts the quest with the skills needed to finish the quest. All seems lost...but then the Sage shows up, willing to give you, the hero, the skills you need to succeed rather than fail. *YOU ARE NOW HERE*

5. Entering The Wild - With the Sage at your side, you renew your quest. What seemed complicated is now made easy as the Sage shows the subtle intricacies need to to tell friend-plant from foe-plant.

6. Godzilla vs. Mothra - At some point you find the Sage has been called away to assist others. You're back on your own but your confidence has grown...and then you see The Plant. It's not like any other plant you've ever seen. Is The Plant edible? Is The Plant medicinal? Will The Plant kill? The Sage not by your side. You must face The Plant alone. But you now have the skills. You look at the structure of The Plant...its leaves, flowers, seeds. You recognize the family The Plant must belong to. This narrows down the your search. Suddenly there on your screen is The Plant. You figured it out on your own. You've won!

7. The Hero Returns - What once seemed overwhelming has become an innate part of your life. Returning home, others hear of you amazing tranformation...and ask you to help them on their own journey. The eternal quest begins again...and this time you're the Sage.


How can I walk beside you? To the upper right of this page are upcoming live classes where we actually will walk side by side as I show you the useful plants around you. You'll be able to hold them in your hand as I describe the features you need to focus on for proper identification...before popping them into your mouth!

You should also follow the Foraging Texas Facebook page and/or Instagram account for daily introduction to the edible, medicinal, and poisonous plant of Texas (and lesser important places!)

Of course, buying my book Idiot's Guide Foraging which covers 70 edible, North American plants and mushrooms in great detail!
You can also find the books and gear to help you on your journey at the Foraging Texas Amazon Shop laid out in five steps from beginner to master.

There's an extensive library of YouTube videos from my live show and many plant-walks, great for bing-watching!

Ask me questions at merriwether@foragingtexas.com and I'll answer them in a day or so.

In the end, the secret is to identify the most common plants around you then look up if those plants are edible, medicinal, or toxic. The resources I'm sharing with you will break that process into one plant at a time rather than drowning you in a sea of green. Trust me, you can do this. Humans have been doing it for 200,000 years!


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