Forage Northeast is a growing website offering free information about wild edible plants and mushrooms that can be found in the northeastern states of Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, as well as the provinces of Québec and Ontario. Please note that this site is not a commercial enterprise. I do not make money off the information or services offered here. The intent is to offer free education that increases eco-literacy and an appreciation for the stewardship of our wild food populations.
Wild edibles on this site are organized under broad categories of plants, trees & shrubs, and mushrooms. At a minimum, each of the species featured here will have pictures. As time permits, I will add robust descriptions of each of these species, along with details about their edibility and how to prepare them. Please note that not all parts of the featured species are necessarily edible. In fact, edibility depends on many factors (I strongly encourage you to read the safety section of this website for a primer on this topic).
The home page offers blog posts, where I explore various wild crafting topics and report on various things I’m eating. The information I present on this website is only intended to serve as one source out of many. When identifying and preparing wild edibles, you should consult numerous sources (I recommend five or more). You are responsible for your own health, and I do not bear any responsibility for your safety.
I was born and raised in New England. My wife and I currently reside in Maine. I hold an M.S. in Natural Resources and a Graduate Certificate in Ecological Economics from the University of Vermont. I also earned a B.F.A in Creative Writing from the University of Maine at Farmington and studied Environmental Science for two years at Unity College in Maine. For my day job, I serve as sustainability director for the University of Southern Maine. Most of my free time is spent in the woods.
Wild fare is a common part of my diet. Fiddleheads, dandelions, venison and wild caught fish were staple foods for our family when I was a kid. It wasn’t just because we enjoyed them; it was because they were free and we were poor. This utilitarian view of wild edibles stuck with me as I grew older and began expanding my foraging skills for additional reasons, such as eating healthier, acquiring survival skills in case I ever need them, and learning more about ecosystems so that I can become more effective at protecting them.
Now, I regularly eat over 100 species a year and have been studying the topic for over 15 years, but there is still so much to learn. I occasionally enjoy solitary survival trips, where I eat exclusively wild fare that I forage. For me foraging is a life long pursuit that has brought me enormous joy and taught me many lessons, especially patience and humility. What I love the most about foraging is that you never know what you’re going to find when you walk into the woods, and the complexity of nature is more than any one person will ever be able to comprehend. If you think you know it all, think again. Foraging is a skill that can never be completely mastered. I find comfort in knowing that I will never be the master of things, only a part of things, just as a rabbit is part of the food chain and a bunch berry plant is part of a forest ecosystem. If we can accept our place in nature, then perhaps we will learn to be better stewards of the natural world.