• Karen Tatiana

BASIC ETHICAL GUIDELINES: HOW TO BE A VISITOR OF THE PLANT COMMUNITY.

Updated: Oct 5



The plants are your allies.


They’re the main ingredient in your herbal medicine.


So the harvest is the most important part of medicine making.


It is why we have a set of ethical guidelines we must follow.


I know, I know.


“Guidelines” sounds so boring.


But I promise to make it as entertaining as possible!


Before we get started, you can check out 15 Foraging essentials you will need to harvest wild plants


I’ve put together a quick list of everything you may need when you’re out foraging.


Well mannered guests welcomed


Your home is your safe space.


You have all your favorite books and movies.


It’s where you rest.


Now, imagine this:


You’re at home having a snack on the couch. Suddenly, a stranger barges in. They heard you have the best brownies in town. They run around your home, making a mess of things. They’re looking for the brownies everyone is talking about. They find the brownies and take them. WHAT IN THE WORLD. And just like that, they walk out. Leaving the door open and a mess in their place.


As a visitor, you want them to be respectful.


To say the least, right?


When you’re amongst the plant community, you need to keep this in mind.


This is our first guideline.


You are a visitor.


You must be respectful.


Your actions must honor the plant community.


This way they can continue to thrive.




Endangered species


Did you know that just like wild animals, plants are endangered?


Yup, they’re off-limits.


While a plant can be abundant in one area, it can also need protection in another area.


This is our second guideline:


Do not disturb threatened or endangered species. Harvest plants that are abundant.


It’s your responsibility to learn of the endangered plants in your area.


You can do a quick Google search.


A phone call is just as great.





Depending on the area, you can contact your local wildflower group, botanical garden, and state park.


The United plant Savers has a list of Species at risk.



Leave nothing but footprints


Believe it or not, you may find trash left behind by others.


If you do, please pick it up. Litter harms all wildlife, not just the plant community.


Aim to leave the area you’re in, better than how you found it.


This also includes:

  • Refilling holes

  • Replanting rhizomes and root crowns



Damage Control


What is damage control?


Damage control is being aware of your impact.

Our footsteps can damage fragile environments. Hard-soled shoes are the most damaging. Avoid those when it's necessary.


How we harvest from bushes, trees, and hillsides can also affect the plant community.


But how do you harvest from bushes and trees?



Start from the border of the plants! Work your way to the center. This way the plant can regenerate.


As for the hillsides, work your way up. The plants at the top of the hill send their seeds downhill. They’re known as the grandparent plants. Adorable!




Healthy plants only


Avoid plants with poor health.


This includes plants that are being harassed by insects. They can be an indication of a thriving community nearby. Sometimes you will also find loner plants. They may be healthy, or not. Either way, we should let them be.


Only harvest healthy plants and from communities.


Walk a few more steps. You will find the community. The border plants are in charge of expanding the community. When you do, pick from the center. No more than 10-20%. You don’t need much plant material to have medicine for the year. You won’t want more than that either.



Avoid Polluted Areas


  • Roadsides and Railroads (50-100 yards)

  • Downstream from mining and any other chemical runoff

  • Parking lots

  • Public parks

  • Fertilized lawns

  • Sprayed or fumigated areas

  • High voltage power lines


Anything that merely resembles what’s on this list, you should avoid.


This one is important!


If possible, consider your own growing area.


Try it in your kitchen!


Garden jars are easy to put together.


They’re also affordable!


I’ve even put together a guide for you. Everything you need to start your own garden jars.


I’ve seen a lot of YouTubers working with hydroponics.


Give it a try!





Get permission


I can imagine how pumped you are after reading this article.


I am!


You just want to get your hands dirty.



You’ve got a spot in mind already.


I know it.


But I don’t want to get you in trouble!


Don’t forget to ask for permission.


Don’t be shy, ask!


Most private property owners will happily say yes.


Who’s going to want noxious weeds?


You! Haha.



Whether you learned something new or refreshed your knowledge. Share these 7 basic ethical guidelines. Sharing them with family, friends and your community will allow the plant community to continue thriving. It’s a give and take. Be a mindful visitor. The plants will give you everything they have to offer.


You can find additional resources below!


Your pet's health starts with you.

Stay up to date with tips, updates, exclusive deals, and pet health articles.


JOIN OUR MAILING LIST


Plus, get 10% your first order!




7 basic ethical guidelines for harvesting wild plants:

  1. Your actions must honor the plant community.

  2. Do not disturb threatened or endangered species. Harvest plants that are abundant.

  3. Aim to leave the area you’re in, better than how you found it.

  4. being aware of your impact.

  5. Only harvest healthy plants and from communities

  6. Anything that merely resembles what’s on this list, you should avoid.

  7. Don’t forget to ask for permission.


Additional Helpful Resources:

VIDEO: Foraging Wild Plants Responsibly - Harvesting & Walking

A Wild Foodie's Guide To Sustainable Harvesting

Foraging for Wild Edibles and Herbs: Sustainable and Safe Gathering Practices


26 views

Happy + Healthy Pets Newsletter

Stay up to date with tips, updates, exclusive deals, and pet health articles.

Plus, get 10% off your first order

LEARN

  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • White Facebook Icon