As the autumn draws in and nature prepares for its winter dormancy, it’s easy to feel as though all foraging opportunities are gone.  But, just as the busy squirrels show us, there is still abundance out there that can be foraged away for winter if you know where to look.

Of course, what’s available is very much dependent on where you live, so be sure to check local guides and experts to find out for sure what is available.  Whether you are looking for berries in summer, or nuts in the fall, never eat anything that you are not 100% sure of, and never eat anything that you suspect may have been sprayed with harmful chemicals.


Also, remember to share provisions with the birds, bears, and squirrels.  They have a long winter ahead of them, too!

This time of year offers us nuts, roots, needles, and fruits for foraging fun.  Check out this list of fall ‘forageables’ ripe for the picking.


While dandelion leaves and flowers are picked earlier in the year for tea and salads, it’s in the autumn that the roots can be dug up and dried to make a wonderfully bitter and healthful substitute for coffee.  Dandelion root is very nutritious and contains significant amounts of vitamins A, C, E, and K, iron, calcium, and potassium.


Similarly, chicory root can be enjoyed as a hot beverage and is often used to flavor coffee.  The root can also be eaten as a vegetable. Chicory is a common plant that grows in meadows and along roadsides and has a gorgeous blue flower.  Chicory is very high in fiber and contains vitamin C, B6, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, and folate.



Crabapples are tiny little wild apples.  They are usually about the size of a golf ball and can be yellow, green, or red.  Crab apple trees grow in the wild and drop their fruits in the fall, just as cultivated apple trees do.  Crabapples are quite tart and are very high in pectin meaning that they can be used in all kinds of recipes that would call for cooking apples.


Rosehips are the fruits of the rose plant.  After flowering and the petals have dropped, a small berry, or seed pod, will appear.  This is the rosehip. They can be collected from the plant and used fresh or dried.  Use them to make rosehip tea or jams.  Rosehips are an excellent source of Vitamin C so perfect for the sneeze and sniffle season to come.



Persimmons are delicious wild fruits that are ready for harvesting towards the end of September.  The ripe persimmon is very soft and squishy and has the texture of a very ripe banana.  It is vital that you only eat the ripe fruits as they are otherwise super saliva-suckingly astringent and could put you off for life!  They are yummy to eat as they are but are also quite versatile and can be enjoyed in many a fall recipe. Persimmons are a good source of vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6 as well as potassium, copper, and manganese.

Coniferous Needles

The needles of some evergreen trees make for a delicious cup of coniferous tea or bottle sweet syrup that you can use in a number of different recipes. Make sure that you know for certain the type of tree you have found as there are few species that are poisonous, the yew tree being one of them.  Pregnant women should not ingest evergreen needles.


Once you have your edible needles, you can make a powerful pot of tea that is incredibly high in vitamin C and full of the aromas of the winter.


This succulent little green is one of the first things to pop up in spring.  Amazingly, it makes another appearance in the fall.  It is easy to identify and is delicious eaten raw.  Chickweed has a mild flavor that makes it ideal for salads and sandwiches.  It is considered a weed by many gardeners as it shows up in un-mulched beds and along edges.  As well as being an edible weed, it can also be used directly on the skin to help with irritations.

Once again, do not use any wild plant without having a 100% certain identification.  Do your own research on new plants before introducing them to your diet.

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