Picking Wild Fruits and Berries

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Identifying Edible Wild Fruits and Berries

Plant recognition: a key step

Recognition of plants is the essential prerequisite for any harvest. This is what will allow you to avoid unpleasant surprises and enjoy your harvest in complete peace of mind. To do this, it is important to equip yourself with a good field guide, and to familiarize yourself with some key characteristics of the plants: the shape of the leaves, the type of flowering, the appearance of the fruits and berries, their color, their size, etc. Do not hesitate to consult reference works in this area such as “The great guide to wild fruits” by Gérard Ducerf.

How to differentiate edible fruits and berries from poisonous

The resemblance between certain edible wild berries and other toxic ones can create dangerous confusion. This is why it is essential to learn to distinguish these fruits. For example :
– THE case of elderberry: the Black Elderberry offers clusters of edible black berries once cooked, while the Black Elderberry produces toxic and very bitter berries.
Holly versus mistletoe: The bright red berries of holly are toxic while the white berries of mistletoe, while remaining slightly toxic, were used for their medicinal properties.

Some edible wild fruits and berries

  • Wild blackcurrant: also called black currant, this small shrub produces very fragrant black berries.
  • Wild blackberry: It is the fruit of the common bramble. Tasty and juicy, blackberries reach maturity at the end of summer.
  • The rosehip: It produces rose hips, a type of berry rich in vitamin C, which was traditionally used to prepare jams and herbal teas.
  • The dogwood: This tree produces red berries in the fall, which have a taste similar to that of cherries.

And after picking?

Once your harvest is complete, it is important to store your fruits and berries properly to preserve their flavors and benefits. For this, you have several options: freezing, processing into jams, jellies, tarts… but also drying or maceration (for homemade liqueurs and wines).
Don’t forget: picking is an activity that is done with respect for nature. Remember to collect reasonably so as not to affect wild plant populations and their reproduction. So you can enjoy these natural delights year after year.

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Environmentally Friendly Harvesting Techniques

Take picking time into consideration

Choosing the right time for picking is essential for plant conservation and is considered the first step towards environmentally friendly picking.
Here are some basic principles to follow:

  • Pick when the plants are mature.
  • Avoid picking during the breeding or flowering period.
  • Do not pick if weather conditions are unfavorable (frost, heavy rain, drought, etc.).

Preserve plants when picking

Plant preservation is another environmentally friendly harvesting technique. This is to minimize the impact on plants and their habitat during picking.
Here are some techniques:

  • Never pull out the entire plant.
  • Pick selectively, always leaving a few fruits or flowers.
  • Use tools like Felco pruner to make a clean cut and avoid damaging the plant.

Respect for the environment and protected species

Harvesting practices must also take into account respect and protection of the environment as a whole, including protected species.
They include:

  • Avoid picking in protected areas.
  • Do not pick plants on the red list of threatened species.
  • Avoid disturbing the habitats of other animal and plant species while picking.

Conservation practices after harvest

Once the famous fruits have been picked, you can preserve them while respecting the environment with:

  • The use of reusable and recyclable containers, such as Mason Jar.
  • Conservation as is, without the use of chemicals.
  • The use of natural drying or freezing techniques for fruits and berries.

This guide has provided you with precise details on environmentally friendly picking techniques. By adopting these methods, you will not only be able to enjoy the gifts of nature but also contribute to its preservation. By assimilating these practices, this pleasant activity contributes to a more sustainable nature that respects biodiversity. A simple gesture, but so significant for our dear Earth. Be sure to always respect these rules during your next treasure-gathering outings.

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Safety Rules for Picking Wild Fruits and Berries

Indeed, who hasn’t dreamed of picking their own wild fruits and berries? It’s a great activity with multiple benefits: it allows a direct connection with nature, it can offer you new taste flavors and above all it can contribute to respecting the environment. However, if poorly practiced, wild harvesting can cause risks. Therefore, it is important to follow some safety rules to guarantee healthy and environmentally friendly picking.

First step towards wild picking

Before you happily begin your picking, it is essential to equip yourself correctly. Good tools can make the difference between a successful harvest and a disappointing or even dangerous harvest. Among the essentials:

  • A picking guide: for example, the guide Delachaux and Niestlé, very complete and illustrated to easily identify edible and toxic species.
  • A pair of gloves: opt for a well-known brand like Wolf Garden which offers durable and comfortable gloves.
  • A basket: the ideal is a woven basket, which allows the fruits to “breathe” and prevents them from being crushed. You can find good quality baskets at AlterEco.

Know your terrain

Each fruit and berry has its own preferences for habitat and growing conditions. Some like sunny meadows, while others hide in the shade of forests. It is crucial to identify the terrain before you begin your quest.

Food Safety

Although most wild fruits and berries are edible, some can be toxic or even deadly. It is essential to correctly identify the fruit or berry before consuming it. Don’t rely on color or shape alone: ​​some poisonous fruits have a very attractive appearance! Additionally, even if you have correctly identified a fruit or berry as edible, be sure to wash it thoroughly before consuming it. This will help remove any pesticides, debris, and insects.

Respect the environment

Wild foraging isn’t just about finding delicious fruits and berries, it’s also a way to respect and preserve our precious environment. Make sure you never pick more than you need, and above all, never pick a whole plant. Always leave enough fruits and berries so the species can continue to thrive.

Medical check up

It is important to have basic first aid knowledge in case of poisoning from wild fruits or berries. Learn to recognize the symptoms of food poisoning (vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, etc.) and know where the nearest poison control center is.

By respecting these rules and using common sense, you can fully enjoy the beauty and generosity of nature when picking wild fruits and berries. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to embark on your adventure!

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Conservation and Use of Picked Wild Fruits and Berries

@lanatureetsessecrets

La merise, un fruit possédant de nombreuses vertus thérapeutiques   La merise a également sa place dans la médecine traditionnelle du fait de ses nombreuses vertus thérapeutiques. En effet, les baies et les feuilles du merisier sont souvent préparées en infusion pour revitaliser le corps et combattre le stress. La merise peut soulager des nausées, des diarrhées, de la fatigue et des maux de dents. Ainsi, souvenez-vous qu’un infusion de thé à la merise peut vous être utile pour ses propriétés anti-diarrhéique, calmante, sédative et antioxydante. Alors, pour préparer un dessert original ou une boisson désaltérante, la merise serait la meilleure suggestion d’ingrédient qui ferait toute la différence. Goût, nutriments, vitamines, exotisme, tout y est pour séduire vos palais #pourtoi #fruit #cerise #merise #merisier #arbre #cueillette #sauvage #nature #sante

♬ Natural Emotions – Muspace Lofi

Responsible Harvesting: Prelude to Good Conservation

Choose the Right Time

It all starts with picking. It is recommended to pick fruits and berries at the right time of maturity, generally when they are well colored and come off easily. Otherwise, their conservation potential will be limited.

Store them promptly

After picking, wild fruits and berries should be quickly sorted, cleaned of unwanted plant matter and placed in a ventilated container. It is best not to wash them immediately, as moisture encourages decomposition.

Wild Fruit and Berries Preservation Techniques

Fresh Conservation

If you plan to eat your wild fruits and berries quickly, storing them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator is a good option. To maximize their conservation, you can arrange them in a single layer, without them touching each other.

Storage in the Freezer

For longer storage, nothing better than freezing. Clean wild fruits and berries can be placed on a baking sheet in a single layer and frozen for a few hours before packing into freezer bags. This method allows you to store fruits and berries separately, making them easier to use later.

Preservation by Drying

Drying your wild fruits and berries is another method of long-term preservation. They can be dried naturally in the sun, in a low temperature oven, or in a dehydrator like the brand Excalibur known for its effectiveness.

Preservation in Jam, Jelly or Syrup

Wild berries and fruits can also be made into jams, jellies or syrups with sugar and sometimes lemon juice. These preparations can be stored for several years.

Make the best use of your Wild Fruits and Berries

Use them fresh

Eaten fresh, wild fruits and berries are delicious in fruit salads, yogurts, cereals or just for snacking.

Use them cooked

Wild fruits and berries are wonderful for cooking. You can use them to make pies, muffins, compotes, or even incorporate them into savory dishes.
From a health point of view, it is interesting to note that many of these wild fruits and berries, such as blackberries, raspberries and cranberries, are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They are therefore valuable in our diet.
So, whether for the pleasure of picking, for the delight of the palate or for the well-being of the body, wild fruits and berries deserve a special place in our lives. So, grab your baskets!

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