My favorite thing about foraging? Actually, it’s just talking to people. Sure, I love the berries and herbs, too, but I’ve had so many lovely conversations with strangers while foraging that I’ve never had any other way.
I think it’s a city thing. I’ve met chefs, public works employees, shuttle drivers, yogis, dishwashers, engineers, grandmothers, and so many more people of all ages, genders, professions, races—this food is something so deeply rooted for so many people.
But their questions and curiosity are the same, and the same as mine. Many ate berries when they were young, in a greener place, long ago. They remember that childhood sweetness on a late June afternoon: a secret, curious, stolen pleasure. Because doesn’t it just feel right to eat fruit fresh from the earth?
And there’s something so powerful about that memory that people just come up and talk to me. They ask if the berries are edible, delicious—is the memory true? And while I’m no keeper of the truth, there is something so beautiful and so human about sharing nature’s gifts with a stranger. We make eye contact and eat that sweet memory in quiet understanding—that’s my favorite thing about foraging.
Over the past few days, I’ve been foraging mulberries and serviceberries; both ripen in early June. After that, I’m looking forward to harvesting wineberries, black raspberries, and blackberries in July and apples, plums, and wild grapes in September. I can’t wait to get these fruits into some fermenting beverage products, and share their next stage of life with more curious folks from there!