Wildcrafting is the practice of selectively harvesting the great outdoors for fun and profit, in an age when eBay has created a new breed of “nature merchant” that picks, processes, packages and sells “goods from the woods”.
Wildcrafting is the practice of harvesting and using wild material for food, medicine, clothing dyes and cosmetics, construction and crafts. The rise of online ecommerce platforms and inexpensive access to a global market for the sale of small amounts of natural products is transforming the art of wildcrafting into a profitable recreational activity for eco tourists and web saavy outdoorsmen.
Knowledgeable people have discovered that a well planned agroforestry adventure could provide a good source of revenue in what would otherwise be a purely recreation excursion. New age wildcrafting wanderers glean the goodness of nature for fun and profit; they help society by responsibly harvesting hard-to-find plants not yet cultivated by man. Some of these species only grow in the wilderness and this includes moss, mushrooms and many Ontario wildflowers and herbs and more. Their work benefits civilization because they conserve nature, compose photos and sketches, and post their journals as blogs.
Plant based medicine prescriptions are on the rise in Canada, and natural medicine clinics that practice preventative care are trusted as an alternative to modern medicine’s ‘miracle cures’. Thanks to online markets like eBay, natural products harvetsed from the wilderness of northern Ontario can be sold to herbal apothecaries, homeopathic doctors and practitioners all around the world.
History of Wildcrafting
Wildcrafting is not a new phenomenon. The elders of every tribe passed their knowledge of plant based medicines to younger generations. In the oldest stories of every civilization there are references to healers gathering medicinal plants from nature. Indeed the practice of harvesting food and medicine from its natural habitat in the great outdoors must be older than any organized cultivation, but thanks to the internet, never before has it been so profitable to take a walk in woods with a pocketknife, a pair of scissors and a sharp stick.
Even in the city there’s a wide variety of edible wild foods available for consumption, but fruit species are perhaps the most obvious, and easiest to enjoy. Wild fruits that grow prolific in Toronto include miniature strawberries in the late spring, red and black raspberries in the summer and crab apples in the fall. Read about the wild mulberry trees in High Park in Urban Toronto discussion forums.
Published in: Gardening