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Want to Enhance a Happy Nature Walk?

Identify Herbs and Forage!

In nature, it isn’t hard to be happy. Maybe that’s why I’ve always been drawn to it. There is a tranquil beauty to the slow place of nature. The inevitable changing of the seasons, reminding us that there is a cycle to everything, and the fragrant blooms of spring only happen after the quiet sleep of winter.

As we come into spring, it’s once again time to bloom! Getting outside and moving our bodies. If you enjoy walking your local nature trails and want a little new perspective this spring, try herb identification and foraging!

Herbal medicine is all around us when you know where and what to look for. Here are some things to keep in mind when you start your foraging journey:

1. Start with a field guide or journal and only take note of the medicinal herbs you may have identified while out walking. Do not harvest yet! In order to forage safely and sustainably, you need a bit more information. So log the place, time of year, type of plant and any notes you may want. Maybe snap a photo. I tell newcomers to use the “PictureThis” plant ID app first, which will log the time and place for you, then do some more research to ensure this is a medicinal plant and not a lookalike.

2. Once you know that the herbs you have found on your walks are indeed the real thing, make sure there aren’t laws against foraging in that area. Ask permission, and look for signs.

3. Never overharvest. Taking 1015 percent of the entire plant is enough. This is wild, potent medicine, and you will be surprised how little you need to help improve your health!

If you’d like to learn more about foraging in the field, book a foraging walk with Botanically Curious at Gather with a group of friends, or book a private walk!

Paula Kersch, owner and head herbalist at Botanically Curious is dedicated to connecting with the local community through collaboration and community service.

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