Northwest Nature Shop – Family Foraging Adventures

Family Foraging Adventures

Given the opportunity, kids love to be out in the woods or in a field, searching for insects, sticks, flowers, and rocks. Showing kids that you can eat some of the plants they find is exciting and gives kids a purpose for their wild adventures.  Kids take to foraging naturally. Give simple explanations and frequent repetition, and kids can identify many common and safe wild edibles.  “Once you get them outside, kids are not distracted by cell phones or work issues like adults are. It’s amazing to see the transformation. They are just open to everything around them: the sights, the sounds, the smells,” says Langdon Cook, Seattle-based foraging expert and author of The Mushroom Hunters and Fat of the Land.

Many of the plants growing around you were used by our ancestors on a daily basis. In the Pacific Northwest wild plants sustained Native American communities supplementing a diet rich in salmon and other animal foods.   When the settlers first arrived, many of these native plants provided relief during food scarcity.  In modern times, we have turned away from wild plants and we look for food simply on grocery shelves.  We are forgetting the knowledge of how to identify and harvest wild plants.  Recently, in Southern Oregon, wild food harvesting has gained in popularity with backpackers, foodies, locavores, and families looking to engage their children in our natural surroundings.

Foraging is a means of reconnecting with nature. It gets kids and adults outdoors and gives them a new perspective on looking at plants. You can learn on your own but remember it is fun and can be easier to identify plants and mushrooms with a class or with an expert showing you the way. Remember the Golden Rule of foraging: never eat anything you cannot identify with 100% certainty.

Upcoming Events:

Rabbits are Coming! Saturday April 4th 11-3 pm

The Jackson County 4-H Club Rogue Rabbit Raisers, will exhibit a variety of rabbits and guinea pigs and share their knowledge of raising and caring for rabbits.  Come, bring the kids, learn about rabbits and hold a bunny.

Grow Mushrooms at Home: Hands-on Mushroom Cultivation Workshop Saturday April 4th

Taught by Jeanine Moy, and Mitra Sticklen. All participants will inoculate and take home two mushroom logs, which typically produce crops of mushrooms for 3-4 years. All necessary materials provided. Class size is limited. Materials and instructor fee $40

Ashland Pond FREE Bird Walk Sunday, April 19th at 9 am

Join expert birder Terence Philippe as we visit Ashland Pond. Expect about 2 miles of walking on gentle paths.   

Table Rocks Botanical Area Walk April 25th, carpool from Nature Shop at 8:30am

Table Rocks is a unique geologic formation and is one of the best places to seek early spring wildflowers. Walk is led by Jeanine Moy of KS Wild.

Space is limited for most events (except the bunnies) so please sign up by visiting or calling the Northwest nature Shop at 541-482-3241.