This summer I've been trying to get more into foraging for wild foods; this has allowed me to both take advantage of nature's bounty and enjoy the summer season. It's been a fun and 'fruitful' adventure so far and I'm excited to keep learning more as the months pass and fruits ripen while other new plants appear.

A few words of advice before foraging, when in doubt: don't eat it. There are a lot of edible things out there, but there are also a lot of poisonous (or just plain nasty) things that you really shouldn't eat. For some help figuring out what plant you have, try local wildflower or plant guides like this online version called GoBotany  (Northeast); the app that allows you to select characteristics of the plant that you notice and narrows down what possibilities it could be for you. I also love the app iNaturalist, where you can take a photo of a plant and it can come up with suggestions for you! 

Another important but less-touched-upon ideal of foraging is sustainability. It's important to make sure when you're harvesting wild foods that you leave enough for the plants to replenish for the next year and for the animals in the area to get some too. If you're interested in learning more about sustainable practices in nature, I would highly recommend Robin Wall Kimmerer's book Braiding Sweetgrass, especially her section about the Honorable Harvest.  

With all of that in mind, let's get into foraging!

Wild Berries

Berries are some of the easiest and most delicious plants to find in the summertime. Blackberries, raspberries, thimbleberries, and strawberries all grow along roadsides and trails and are really easy to identify. Blueberries can grow in cooler, more alpine zones and are can be found as low-or-high bush berries. Strawberries are often ripe in June and July, while the rest are ripe in July and August. Another fun lesser-known berries are elderberries. Elderberries are prized for both their flowers and currant-like fruits, which have many medical properties. Learn more about how to use them in this article about elderberry recipes and remedies. 

Mackenzie Laverick


Chicory is a fun field and roadside flower in the aster family with brilliant blue blossoms. You can eat the leaves raw or boiled, and the flowers are edible too! The roots are often roasted and mixed with coffee for a distinct flavored drink. I haven't tried this yet, but if you're interested check out this Heathline article about chicory coffee.

Mackenzie Laverick


Dandelions are more often found in the spring rather than the summer, but you can still find their leaves basically anywhere throughout the season. Use them as greens or to make pesto- and the flowers are edible too!

Mackenzie Laverick

Wild Grape

Wild grapes are another common roadside vine. The leaves can be used to make foods like Greek dolmas (stuffed grape leaves). When ripe, normally after August, the fruits can be eaten raw or reduced to a syrup, used to make jams or juice, or even fermented if you want to try your hand at making wine. Wild grapes are often more tart than normal grapes, so making them into juice or jelly is often the way to go.

Mackenzie Laverick

Lambs Quarters

Lambs Quarters are a leafy green plant found in sunny spots. Basically anything you can do with chard, you can do with this plant. 

Mackenzie Laverick


Plantains are an edible leafy green found literally almost everywhere. Dubbed 'White Mans' Foot ' as foreigners from  Europe travelled across North America plantains seemed to appear wherever they stepped. These plants are abundant from spring to fall and while they are edible, they're more often used for medicinal purposes and is used to help with bug bites and for many other soothing properties. 

Mackenzie Laverick


Purslane is a succulent field weed with small yellow flowers. While the stem isn't particularly tasty (texture-wise), the leaves have a slight tang that makes them a nice addition to fresh salads. Eaten raw or cooked, use this plant like you would spinach. The flowers are edible too!

Mackenzie Laverick

Wood Sorrel 

Wood sorrel was one of the first plants I learned to identify. While it looks like a clover, it actually belongs in a family all on it's own: Oxalidaceae. The leaves and flowers are edible and I love to use this as a micro-green. It's a great topper for salads, soups, and bowls, with a slightly spicy flavor. 

Mackenzie Laverick

I hope you've enjoyed this post and learned something fun about plants and foraging! Post in the comments what plants you like to forage for and if you're new, how the adventure goes!