Stalking the Wild Fruit: Foraging Local Fruit by State


| 3/9/2016 10:00:00 AM


Tags: wild foods, food foraging, berries, blackberries, plums, blueberries, grapes, strawberries, pecans, Texas, Maryland, Rhode Island, New York, Georgia, Wendy Akin,

 

Look for plum blossoms like these to find wild plums.

I was 13 years old when I found my first field of wild strawberries, no bigger than the tip of my little finger and packed with flavor. I made jam that won me my first state fair blue ribbon. Later that summer, following that trail another quarter mile, I found a clearing where blueberries and huckleberries grew wild and sweet among huge boulders. Since then, I have searched for wild fruit everywhere I have lived.

There is wild fruit nearly everywhere, free for the picking. This spring, as soon as leaf buds swell in your area, go looking for blooms. Take a ride, get somebody to drive for you, so you can search roadsides and fields, along railroad tracks, in power line right of ways, and maybe even an abandoned homesite, looking for brushy shrubs, brambles, vines and trees with white flowers.

Go by car, tractor or ATV, on foot or, best of all, horseback. Make good notes of the location and go back later to check progress and again, armed with a bucket, to harvest the wild fruit. Be sure you’re not trespassing in somebody’s orchard! If there’s a house nearby or any signs of maintenance, ask before you pick.

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