Newcomers to Forager Project have asked what is in the name Forager, and why Project? The simple answer is that our founder Stephen Williamson is a very curious man. Curious about all things food and dabbles in art here or there.
Stephen will delight in telling you that he loves to wander and seek, exploring new ideas and how they become of everyday life. Just like good yogurt that is made with plants, or how the best way to experience an art exhibit is not by reading about it on your phone, but actually seeing it in real life.
So Forager is the essence of that. Wandering and seeking out exceptional organic food, made with plants, that are delicious.
Project is more simple. Because life and business are a project. They take time, planning, learning from your mistakes and ultimately, following a path to doing something good for people and the planet.
Forager Project then, is just that. However, not everyone (including me) really knows what Foraging is by definition.
Foraging, at its most basic level, is the act of finding and harvesting wild foods. Some people may simple call it “gathering.”
Foraging can involve hiking in the mountains to search for elusive morels, heading out to the local (pesticide-free!) park to pick dandelion greens, or even picking apples from the branches of your neighbor’s tree that hang over into your yard.
Foraging most commonly refers to going mushroom hunting, something only people practiced in the fine and delicate art of mushroom identification should engage in.
Yet there are many edible plants that grow “wild” all around us—the trick, as with mushrooms, is knowing when and where to look:
Of course, foraging all depends on location. In Minnesota, one can forage for wild rice. In Florida, mangoes are forageable. In New Mexico, pine nuts grow wild. Different nuts, in fact, grow wild in different places.
Foraging has also come to mean the gathering of free, but not wild, food from less traditional spots. Parks, abundant fruit trees (with the owners’ permission, of course), and public land may not be as picturesque as the forests and meadows we may imagine with the foods above, but they can be just as abundant with fresh foods.
BY MOLLY WATSON
Michele L. Seattle, WA
Judy H. Marblehead, MA