Wildcrafting has quickly become a popular way of naturally gathering botanicals, herbs, and spices for a variety of purposes. These organic plants can be used for medicinal remedies, culinary seasonings, or even skincare. According to Fragrant Earth, Earth is not a mass market. This is why more and more people have decided to make the switch from modified, mass-produced plants to an organic alternative.
One the surface, wildcrafting can seem easy and sensible. What could be so tough about picking your own herbs and plants, right?
You actually need to be much more involved than you think. Wildcrafting requires a ton of knowledge and understanding. If you are just starting to wildcraft or want to just learn more about it, we have our full wildcrafting beginner’s guide below!
What is wildcrafting?
Simply, wildcrafting is gathering herbs and plants from their most natural environment – the wild. This is an old-age practice that believes in the preservation of rare and common species alike, including protecting the environments these plants live in.
Your Health and the Planet
There are so many health benefits when you choose to wildcraft. All the plants that are gathered are natural and free of toxins or man-made smog. In fact, in heavily industrialized areas, wild-crafters usually venture 30+ feet from all roads before they begin to collect what they need. This helps avoid any pollution and debris from roads that could come into contact with the plants. You get the highest nutritional value from the plants you pick. It also encourages mild exercise because those who harvest need to actually go outside and get moving. There is a wide range of time frames that people set aside to wildcraft. Whether it be 20 minutes or 2 hours, this time still gets people active and engaged in an outdoor activity.
Not only is wildcrafting great for our bodies, but it is also great for our planet. Wildcraft is done with carefulness and sustainability in mind. Red Moon Herbs explains it perfectly, “We actually work to improve the robustness of the flora and fauna in that environment even as we boost our own health.” For a large majority of the time only the fruit, leaves, or seeds are taken from the plants. The actual stem is still living and healthy. Wildcrafting promotes the idea that you should leave the environment looking better than how you found it. When people do end up taking the entire plant, people replant a certain ratio of seeds for every stem they strip. Therefore, the harvested area gets replenished and eventually restored. Wildcrafters usually only take what they need or will use in the foreseeable future. Being thoughtful about what you take from the planet and put back is very important.
The Rules For Wildcrafting Botanicals, Herbs, and Spices
All wildcrafting must be done under state and local regulation laws to avoid worsening the population deficiency of endangered plant species. Always research which plants are endangered in the area you are going to harvest from before going out to pick. This will allow you to be knowledgeable of what plants are off limits. There are many alternatives to rare species as well. Always have a back-up plant in mind because there are many common plants that can take the place of a rare species. In some states, there are agriculture fines if you pick an endangered plant. Fines can be upward to $1,000 or even community service hours.
If you are wildcrafting in a private or owned property, always ask permission to harvest in the area. Landowners will also provide you with details of what to expect and what to avoid. Not all harvests will be on private land. There are many public areas for wildcrafting. However, many public lands require a permit. A tip from Thought Co. about knowing where and where not to harvest is to check with your local Department of Agriculture. This agency will help you figure out exactly what to do. If you are a first-timer to wildcrafting, many experts suggest the Department of Agriculture is the first place you go to research.
Visit the United States’ Department of Agriculture (https://plants.usda.gov/threat.html) to check out with plants are endangered in your state!
How We Do Our Part
American Botanicals believes in harvesting from nature to promote sustainability and wellness to ensure product quality for generations to come. All our products follow the American Herbal Products Association guidelines all the way through our supply chain.
Want to see more?
There’s no harm in learning a little more about wildcrafting and American Botanicals. Check out our line of products, including botanicals, fruits, veggies, spices! We have a tab designated for all our USDA Organic approved items as well. Contact us at (775) 886-6300 for more information!