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May 23, 2011 12:46 PM

Foraging in the Bay Area (not mushrooms)

Any suggestions for foraging around the Bay Area? I'm not willing to risk mushrooms but am open to anything else--fruit, miner's letuce, wild fennel, herbs, edible flowers, wild onions.

My preference is for the penninsula or south bay. I'm aware of the public fruit website.

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  1. Virtually all foraging in the Bay Area is currently banned by the federal Light Brown Apple Moth quarantine:

    1. That public fruit website was all but dead last I checked it (a week or so ago). Last year I found awesome plums in my neighborhood through it. This year the search function is screwed up (map results show the entire U.S.) and the local area maps are virtually bare of actual fruit-bearing trees.

      So if you _do_ have luck with it or know of other similar sites with local fruit info, please post!

      4 Replies
      1. re: bgbc

        The now-defunct Veggie Trader site is how I found out about the quarantine. They rejected my application based on my address.

        No responsible site will encourage people to flout the quarantine.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          I was on NeighborhoodFruit. I don't remember seeing any quarantine info last year, but then again, I was searching within only 10 or so miles of my house.

          1. re: bgbc

            The city of Albany organizes a produce swap for people to exchange extra produce from their gardens. They wouldn't do that if the quarantine were still being enforced.

            1. re: Glencora

              The quarantine is still in effect. State and county officials haven't made much effort to enforce it or even publicize it. That may have something to do with why the area covered keeps widening. They just added Sacramento and San Diego counties in September and added additional parts of the Bay Area in December.

      2. Wasn't there a recent episode of Bizarre Foods in SF that showed a dinner made from mostly foraged ingredients? I had no idea where they were foraging, but if you know the area you might be able to figure out the locations.

        1. Check out ForageSF...The East Bay Express recently wrote an article that included going on guided "Wild Food Walk" classes with Kevin Feinstein. You can read the article here:
          (The pertinent info is in the last section)

          2 Replies
          1. re: SWoodruff

            I believe Feinstein also leads "forays," where the whole point is to gather stuff to bring stuff home - he does one for wild artichokes, for example. How that squares with the federal and/or local regulations, I don't know.

            1. re: abstractpoet

              Unless he brings along an agricultural agent, taking plant material home would be a violation of the internal quarantine.