2. Only pick as much as you need and never take ALL the plants of any one kind in a given patch. A good rule is never more than ten percent. Five percent if the plants are sparse. For plants that are invasive you can forage up to fifty percent.
3. Know your local laws. Many wildlife management areas as well as city, state and federal parks prohibit foraging.
4. Respect landowners. If you do not ask permission, it is not uncommon to find yourself trespassing. In the rural areas of Oklahoma you could find yourself in someone’s gun sites.
5. An ethical forager may spot useful plants at construction sites etc. Be sure to ask permission before digging or harvesting plants in these areas. Often I will relocate these plants to a safer area. Be sure to avoid foraging in any areas with possible toxic by-products, such as oil well or fracking sites, agricultural fields, railroad tracks, under and along electrical lines. Be cautious around old housing where lead paint may have been used.
6. A wildcrafter never harvests for commercial reasons. This has proven to be disastrous for some plants and mushrooms in Oklahoma as well as in other states.
7. Take only what you need and nothing more.
Note from Jenny: Jackie Dill is my dear mentor and a woman who has taught so many so much about wildcrafting and respect for the earth. To learn more about her and to purchase her books, please visit: http://www.oklahomawildcrafting.com/