The Self-Sustaining Act of Foraging – Beginner’s Guide On How You Can Forage Safely

foraging mushrooms

Like the sound of being self-sustainable and not having to rely on the system to survive? 

Then foraging and growing your own is something worth looking into! 

By being able to grown your own food, your reliance on shops, supermarkets and paying for food becomes less and less crucial to your survival. We need food to survive, just as much as we need oxygen and water. 

With oxygen being free and for most of us, water also being free, why not go one step further and grow your own food as well? Save some money and not have to worry about the empty shelves in shops due to the next lockdown or panic-buying? 

Ever since Ben and I got our garden, we keep getting excited at the thought of growing our own veg, fruit, herbs and going our foraging for mushrooms in our local fields! 

The government doesn’t like self sustained people. They’d either want you to be a farmer to take a portion of your earnings, or work a 9-5 job while you pay for all your food while taxing you for everything. 

If you’re on the path of wanting to become independent, return to ancestral roots and the simpler time when we didn’t need so many food aisles as we have now, I’m going to tell you how you can have more food by foraging.

It might also be useful if we ever experience a pandemic or an apocalypse…

How Does Foraging Work

Foraging is a self-sustainable activity of going out into nature and picking foods such as berries, plants, herbs, mushrooms and anything that grows and is edible. The earth provides us with so much food that we hardly even know what we’re stepping on – it could be our dinner or a nutritious salad! 

Foraging also means scavenging animals killed by other predators, insects and hunting, but we’re going to focus on purely plant-based foraging here. 

Nature provides us with so much goodness, and we can benefit from its gifts and treasures, but we must remain respectful and mindful of how we do it. We don’t want our foraging actions to cause issues or pluck everything from the ground leaving an empty field with nothing left to grow. 

When foraging, it’s important that you don’t take/pick every single leaf, berry or plant that you’re picking. You must leave a few, primarily for other people to forage, but also to help them grow and spread naturally. 

foraging mushrooms

When forging, you must remain careful – you don’t want to pick a poisonous berry or a herb that’s going to make you sick. Before you go out foraging, it’s recommended that you study what you can and can’t forage. 

Buy a guide with images to see what you can pick and eat, and what’s a no-go zone. Some plants can look similar so it’s important to learn how to spot the differences in appearance before you pick. 

See if there is a local foraging group near you. Sometimes you have to pay where the teacher goes along and shows you how to forage and where, other groups might be just local and free for you to tag along on one of their trips. 

Foraging Guide 

If you’re a newbie to foraging, here’s a few things you need to know and think about before foraging:


It’s highly recommended that you do your research on foraging in your local area – every climate and environment is different. 

Therefore different plants grow in different parts of the world or even area. We live in Wales but if we wanted to forage in England, we’d find different species of plants to forage. 

Depending on where you are in the world, edible wild plants will be different, so if you’re going yo do research, make sure it’s in the relevant area of where you’re planning on foraging or where you live. 

At Risk Species

If there are species which are at risk of extinction, try not to pick those. It’s dangerous and puts the natural habitat/environment at risk. 

If we all started plucking plants close to extinction, we would very soon run out of needed plants. 

Plants at risk of extinction are also very easily grown in your own garden, so if you can, try and grow them in your garden rather than foraging them. 

foraging mushrooms


Before you go out foraging, make sure you’ve picked a good spot. You don’t want to forage plants and berries that are on the side of the road as they’ll be dirty, covered in oil spills and all sorts of fumes from cars. 

Same goes for foraging in the city. If you happen to have a field next to you but you live in the city, the pollution mixed with pesticides sprayed across the city to kill tree diseases for example can sit on the plants so they’re not going to be very healthy or clean. 

The best foraging locations are out of the city, in the middle of nowhere or near a coast where the air and ground is fresh and full of iodine. 

What You’ll Need

Before you go venturing out and foraging, you’ll need a couple of things. 

A basket is a must – there are plenty to choose from online, handmade, crafted by talented souls. You can also try your local market there might be some locally made you can purchase. 

If you can, try and get one with 2 compartments – that way you can put your berries and plants in one section, and mushrooms in the other. Or you can always have 2 baskets! 

Here’s a selection of lovely handmade (handpicked by me) to start your foraging journey. 

Take a guide with you – a book with images and recognisable features of each plant, berry and mushroom will save you from food poisoning. This one is important. 

Foraging Mushrooms

Ever since I was little, my grandad used to take me and my brother mushroom picking in the forests. The air was dark and moist there, especially after a bit of rain so mushrooms would very often make an appearance. 

You had to find a good spot though and it would take quite some time to find even one mushroom, as they’re scattered all over the forest. 

Foraging mushrooms can be a lot of fun, and the food you can produce is even more yum. 

You can marinate the mushrooms, make sauce out of them, dry them and store for future use, make a soup, etc etc…

However, there are some poisonous mushrooms that can seriously poison the body and in some cases even kill. 

I’m not talking about the “magic” mushrooms here. If you ever saw a white and red mushroom with white spots on it, those are the kind of mushrooms you want to avoid. They even look dangerous with their red hats…

As lovely as foraging mushrooms can be, have a guide with images ready before you go mushroom picking. Some mushrooms can look very similar and it’s important to spot the difference between the ones you can eat and those that could poison you. 

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