Foraging for wild edibles
Berries, plants, nuts, grasses and common “weeds” grow here in Northwest Ontario. Used as food and or medicines for common ailments, if you know what to look for and what to watch out for, there are treasures out there.
Medicinal plants by definition are edible, however as with anything, to much of some plants can cause adverse reactions. Please be aware of intake restrictions and potential adverse reactions.
Mushrooms offer unique opportunities and reservations amongst wild edibles. Check out our edible mushroom guide to help identify the edible mushrooms in NW Ontario.
Foraging Plant information list
This is not a complete list, this is a list of the species I have directly witnessed in my travels here in Northwest Ontario. If you find something before I do, email me and let me know.
Tips and Tricks
Never eat something without knowing what it is. Even if you have a good idea of what it is, check for reactions. First rub it on your skin, see if there is a reaction, rub it on your lips, see if there is a reaction. THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO MUSHROOMS!
Go on one of the many guided foraging walks, do your research, identify the plants/mushrooms/berries – ask the experts.
Even if a plant is edible, many have limitations on how much you should eat and/or special considerations regarding preparation.
Identification and resources
It is important to identify and be sure of edible plants, mushrooms and berries in the wild. There are numerous resources available however nothing is better than going with an expert and growing your knowledge over time.
Pictures and videos are very important and a simple google search (images) will return a wide range of a specific plant you are looking for. There are numerous Facebook groups as well, where the users are usually more than happy to help identify something. Simply upload a good quality picture (or 3 or 4 from different angles) and see what the collective consensus is.
Keep in mind that no one can identify by picture alone 100% of the time.