Wild Food Journaling

From my Journal: September 15, 2019: We went to the cabin for the weekend. Drove to one of the hiking trails west of the cabin and found a TON of chanterelles growing in moss underneath some pines. Most were too far gone – it’s been so rainy lately – but we picked plenty.

I’m not much of a journaler. I dislike keeping a diary, and any time I have tried to journal for personal growth, I end up shredding the notebook. Gah, who wants to read that stuff?! But Wild Food Journaling…….Yes. I DO want to read THAT stuff.

I was inspired to keep a Wild Food Journal after reading Jim Gilbert’s book “Nature Notes” a few years ago. Some of you “of a certain age” have probably heard Jim Gilbert on WCCO Radio, doing his “Nature Notes” show. He’s retired now, but that was a fun show.

My Nature Notes Journal are different than Jim’s – I’m pretty much just chronicling the wild and medicinal plants and mushrooms that I find, where they are, when I found them, and what the weather has been. I have records back to 2015 that help me remember when and where to look for the Wild Things I love.

I like the physical act of writing with a pen on paper, but that’s not the only way to keep a journal. One year I kept my journal in a Word document on my laptop. I was thinking it would be great to be able to do a search for a particular word, like Chanterelle, so that it would automatically show up without me having to read through half my hand-written pages to find them. That was a great perk…..but I really missed the comfort of sitting on my comfy couch with my favorite pen and notebook in hand, reliving the day’s adventure…..so back to the spiral journals I went.

There are also several cell phone apps that could be used. I’ve only dabbled a bit with a couple of mapping ones, and I’m not really sure what I’m doing…..but the general idea is that you can place a marker on the map with a note saying whatever you would like about that marker, for instance “Lots of Elderberry bushes here”. That could be pretty handy because then you’d have GPS points to go to, rather than wondering “how far down that trail did we walk before we found those Elderberries??? Gaia GPS is one that I’ve looked at and Hunt Stand is another. When I get more confident using them, I’ll post more about them. 🙂


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