Foraging with Kids in the Summer
Foraging with kids is such a fun summer activity. It provides our family with nutritious food, wonderful memories, and a great learning experience.
Quick footsteps dart and dodge from plant to plant. “I’ve got some over here!” “ I found three!” “Mom, this is going to be the most delicious one I have ever eaten!” Asparagus is the first big harvest of the year. It grows wild on the ditch banks here in southeastern Idaho and foraging as a family is one of our favorite summer activities.
Foraging with kids is a playful, family-friendly learning activity
I look forward to asparagus hunting all winter long. We don’t buy a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables out of season, so these crisp, sweet, juicy asparagus spears bring much happiness in the spring. We also forage for lambsquarters, dandelions, huckleberries and some herbs too.
Foraging is more whimsical than harvesting from the garden. There are no rows, and sometimes you walk hundreds of feet between harvesting locations. It may take longer to harvest, but we did not invest any time in planting or tending the foods that we are gathering.
Learning through conversation
While we are out collecting nature’s bounty we have lots of time to talk about our responsibility to respect and care for the eco-systems that nurture and grow the foods we gather. Things like staying on the trails, being careful to preserve the plants we pick from and leaving anything that is going to seed to ensure there is more to harvest next year.
It also gives us time to talk about a myriad of other topics while we pick and gather. We talk about the nutritive qualities of whatever we are harvesting and how we look forward to preparing it. Asparagus tends to bring up the funny topic of why urine smells after eating only a few spears. In a family with four boys, you can imagine the rabbit trails that leads to.
For the rest of this post, join me over at Minnesota Country Girl where I have the privilege of guest posting for Summer in the Outdoors: A Series of Gardening, Foraging & Nature Studies