If there’s anything the last year has taught us, it’s that resourcefulness, sustainability and thrift are areas we can all improve. Our kitchens and pantries are a good place to start. Food knowledge unlocks the untapped abundance of our province and is the key to growing our appreciation of the food we eat and further elevating the local milk, cheese, meats, fruits and vegetables, legumes and grains we recognize and celebrate.
Beyond the blueberries, strawberries and raspberries that grow wild on roadsides and in forest meadows, Ontario is rich with wild, edible plants that can elevate almost any meal, from salads to creamy soups and locally-inspired cheese and charcuterie boards. We walk by many of these species everyday, oblivious to their rich history of use as food and medicine.
Here are just a few of the forageable edibles that call Ontario home:
Thinking of hitting the forest trail?
Do your research and forage with confidence and respect.
Foraging is a fun and educational way to supplement your diet with natural ingredients. Before hitting the trails, get informed and make sure you forage with the ecosystem in mind and take only what you can use.
- Unless authorized, foraging is not permitted in provincial parks.
- When foraging for edible plants and fungi, always make sure you have permission if you are foraging in parks or on private property.
- Avoid foraging in areas where there may be pesticide use or a nearby waste area. Many plants have the ability to absorb nutrients and toxins from the soil, so make sure the environment is clean and natural.
- Depending on the plant species, be sure to leave root systems and bulbs in the ground to ensure they will grow back the following year and, if they have produced seeds, leave some behind.
- Forage with care and respect for the ecosystem and be sure the species you harvest are not protected or restricted from harvesting.