Fun Foraging for
food on the shore, not as a survivalist trying to live off the land/sea
but just as an enjoyable and educational thing to
Learn about nature in the wild and enjoy some of the freshest, tastiest, plastic free food, for free.
Freshly gathered or caught seafood is also very tasty, nutritious and
plastic free, food.
And gathering and catching is the natural way, for young and old, to
learn about the ebb and flow of the tide, the changing seasons and
weather patterns and
how they affect the natural environment.
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stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the
tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to
watch the flight of shore birds that
have swept up and down the surf lines of the
continents for untold thousands of years, to see the running of the old
eels and the young shad to the sea, is to
have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal
as any earthly life can be.
These things were
before ever man
stood on the shore of the ocean and looked out upon it with
wonder; they continue year in,
year out, through the centuries and the ages, while man's kingdoms rise
(Rachel Carson "Under
Hunter Gathering for Fun
I am constantly humbled by how little I know
about the natural world
Yet the kid in me still loves to poke about in rock pools,
perhaps it is
just curiosity or maybe there is some vestige of the hunter gathering
instinct still dormant in my psyche?
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it is virtually impossible to live the hunter gatherer
lifestyle in our modern overcrowded world.
And not many of us would be prepared to put up with the vicissitudes of
such a life.
However, for the forager, the seashore not only holds surprising
culinary potential but learning about these foods can be a fun way to
enrich your knowledge of the environment.
And perhaps also help us to learn to live more harmoniously with nature.
any seacoast has its share of wild food but to take
you will need to learn about the ebb and flow of the tide, the changing
rhythms of the seasons as well as the fascinating unpredictability of nature.
Treat it as fun and be flexible, learn to
adapt and adjust to what
comes your way by resurrecting your innate senses of the
However, to keep it fun you must always be aware that the coat is
potentially a wild and dangerous place.
are numerous traps for the unwary.
Every year rescue services around the world are called upon to retrieve
people trapped by the tide, yet tides are predictable, it only takes a
few moments to
check the tables
Always err on the side of
The same goes for weather forecasts, go prepared for the worst,
Get as much local knowledge as you can regarding the safety of the area.
Also check up on any local laws or regulations regarding foraging.
and more authorities are designation areas as protected, mostly
for environmental reasons, the claim that you only wanted a few shrimps
might not save you from a hefty fine.
The sensible advice is to never go off into the wild on your own,
however there are those, myself included, who prefer the solitude.
A Young Person's Guide to the
So, if you are going off on your own at least let someone know where
you are going and when you plan to return, and just as importantly, let
them know when you get back or if you change your plans.
Carry a good, dependable, field guide, this should, as well as helping
you to identify wild life, have information on the environmental and
legal aspects of catching or gathering whatever you have found.
A good regional guide might also contain other interesting information
such as folk lore, folk remedies etc.
And beware the unpredictable, such as a nip from a crab, it might not
be life threatening but it can hurt like hell.
though most of the plants and 'animals' found on the coast are
edible, never eat anything that you cannot positively identify as being
absolutely safe to eat.
In any type of foraging, consider the impact you have on the
If too much is gathered, not enough may be left to enable natural
Don't disturb surrounding plant or animal life, and take only what you
collecting shellfish only pick a few from each spot and don't
leave great piles of mud which will only smother other organisms
take anything if
algae or animal isn't abundant, and
try to pick leaves and fronds without killing the plant.
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And do look out for those tasty morsels which have not become
fashionable or have gone out of fashion, there are numerous examples of
tasty sea foods which are underutilised.
Most seafood is best eaten fresh, so for gastronomic as well as moral
reasons learn how to and be prepared to, kill anything you catch
quickly and efficiently.
Kill quickly and eat soon.
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confess that fishing is not my favourite occupation nor am I
that keen on killing those beautiful fish but I can think of nothing
better having a freshly caught fish for dinner.
For me the eating is more important than the fishing.
However to eat I need to catch.
order to catch you've got to know how the fish are likely to react
to the changing tides and currents.
Also important to have some idea of what you are fishing for and where
to find those fish.
You need to consider the weather and not just for your own safety and
Fish too are affected by the weather.
seem to be more inclined to 'bite' in wet weather and when the
barometer is low.
The more you know, the less time you will spend fishing and more time
Lastly, you need to know if there are any regulations or restriction in
place and any license requirements for the area you are fishing.