The sun is stronger than a month ago, birds are singing, critters are moving about, spring is here! Our shrubs and trees are waking up but that’s not the only vegetation ramping up in the woods! Minnesota has a variety of ecosystems including a variety of forest types. Each is unique and offers different opportunities. What are some things to look forward to in forests in the spring?
Ostrich fern fiddleheads
Stinging nettle greens
Evening primrose root
Spring beauty roots and greens
Virginia waterleaf greens
Creator: Chris Bohnhoff
Copyright: 2014 Chris Bohnhoff Photography LLC
Do we really need another reason to go walking in the woods in spring while hearing and seeing new life emerge? No but foraging responsibly for food is a great way to get to know your forest better and to become aware of the diversity in the system. Nature will always strive for diversity, to have living roots, to keep the soil covered, not disturb the soil, have wildlife (livestock) flourish, and it’s all within context. The soil health principles apply to all landscapes but understanding the context of the system allows us to utilize the specific tools for that system. We won’t recommend no-tilling corn into a forest but utilizing trails, accesses, leaving snags and deadwood, not harvesting in wet conditions, etc to appropriately protect our soils.
There are excellent resources for responsibly foraging wild plants