Committing to Sustainability: Wildcrafting and Foraging
Mild weather and plenty of rain means we’re in that precious window of spring where young sprouts pop up, and the wet ground is a happy habitat for wild edible like fiddleheads, ramps, and wild mushrooms. Known for their tasty flavors packed into tiny bites, these wild edibles are only available for a few fleeting weeks, but they are definitely worth seeking out.
Foraging is a tricky practice, with over-harvesting and careless practices threatening the ecology of the plants and land. But when done intentionally, foraging provides the gatherer with plants full of nutrients and medicinal qualities, and one can take steps to make sure the environment and protected and nurtured.
Here at City Market, we purchase these items from wildcrafters and foragers that we have long-standing relationships with and who are committed to our values surrounding sustainability. Our partners sign a Wildcrafter’s Sustainability Pledge where they commit to:
- Weigh the impact they have on the land before harvesting.
- Harvest only healthy plants and fungi that are not contaminated by roadways, railroad tracks, industrial and agricultural runoff, urban areas, sewage zones, oil spills, and places heavily sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, etc.
- Process the harvest as soon as possible after it has been picked.
- Never harvest more than I can process.
- Use mesh bags when harvesting mushrooms to ensure spore distribution and encourage mycelium growth.
- Know how to make accurate plant identification to ensure the safety, health, and wellness of the general public.
- Never harvest rare or endangered species (for example: American Ginseng and Wild Echinacea).
- Leave more than I take.
- Respect the environment that provides us with these gifts.
We hope you enjoy the offerings this season and maybe try something new! Here are a few recipes you can try while enjoying some spring edibles.
If you have any questions about the values at City Market, you can read about our Global Ends and our Green Initiatives on our website. To learn more about wild edibles, check out our online information guide.