- Wear gloves, sneakers or boots, and long pants. Ideally you should also wear long sleeves and a hat, but sometimes it’s just too hot. "Wildman" Steve Brill recommends tucking pants into the boots, as well, to avoid crawling critters getting up your pantleg, but he goes into pretty rugged places.
- When you get home, change your clothes and check yourself for ticks. Again, Wildman suggests showering and washing the clothes, but for a little hike down the road or in an open field, that may not be necessary.
- If you’ve seen ANY poison ivy, when you get home wash your exposed areas with Fels Naptha soap and/or rubbing alcohol. Both are exceptional for lifting the oils of poison ivy and neutralizing or removing them.
- If you will be out for a while and you know you’ve touched poison ivy, try rubbing yourself with Touch-me-not. What a great little plant! It lives happily alongside poison ivy, and is in fact an antidote. Thanks, God!
- If you have very sensitive skin, you may want to leave the picking to someone else and just go along for company. Some plants are irritating to a very small number of people.
- When foraging for wild food: Don't eat anything along the road, as it may have been sprayed, or at least has exhaust all over it. And, most importantly, if you are not absolutely sure what the plant is, DON’T EAT IT!! "Wildman" will sometimes watch a patch of plants for several years if he is not absolutely positive of its identification. By watching all its stages, he is then able to differentiate it from a poisonous look-alike. Most plants do not have look-alikes, but some things, like Queen Anne’s Lace, do – VERY deadly look-alikes! I just stay away from those plants, even though I am completely comfortable identifying them. Why take a chance of being careless in identifying just once? Once is all it takes with Poison Hemlock. So start slow, starting with a few easily identifiable wild foods. As you build confidence, add more. You’ll be glad you did!
When foraging for wild flowers or wild food along roads or in woods or fields, certain precautions should be taken. FIRST: If you are not absolutely sure of an edible plant, DON'T eat it! I want to say that at the beginning. I will expand on it again at the end. Please read:
Welcome to Growing Goodness! This website is dedicated to growing good things, both plants and children. It's a gardening blog with maternal overtones, as I discuss the goodness and value of plants, both wild and domestic. In the process I hope to help you pass a love of nature on to your children. Happy Gardening!