One of the best things about living on the Sunshine Coast is that the outdoor activity options are endless. One of our favourite ways to enjoy productive time out in nature is forage for berries, mushrooms and other plants that grow in abundance not far from Touchstone.

While foraging in the forest of the Sunshine Coast you can learn about your environment and connect with nature. Different seasons and changes in the weather bring different opportunities for foraging: berries, plants and, of course, mushrooms which the Sunshine Coast being a rainforest has an abundance of. The most important thing to have when you forage for berries or mushrooms is a good guide with the knowledge of what is safe to consume.

Here’s what you need to get started on your foraging adventure.

  1.  Weather-appropriate clothing depending on season.
  2. Safety essentials (first aid kit, water, compass, food, extra clothing, sunscreen, bear spray, whistle, flashlight, power bank for your device).
  3. Be wildlife aware. To understand how to stay safe encountering bears you can follow this link. To understand how to stay safe to handle an encounter with wildlife you can follow this link.
  4. Research your trail route and follow its map (check trusted resources). Refer to local government sites for accurate foraging maps keeping in mind it is illegal to forage in city, provincial, and national parks or protected areas.
  5. While foraging alone, be sure to tell your family or a friend which trail you are going to and when you expect to return.
  6. Containers /baskets/bags to carry your finds:-)
  7. To be safe, avoid doing it at dusk or dawn, it is best to forage during the daylight hours

How to learn foraging safety.

  1. Find good resources to identify edible berries/plants/mushrooms.
  2. Visit your local library, grab some guidebooks books like :
  3. Join local foraging clubs or tours available on the Sunshine Coast.
  4. Use the Internet in conjunction with a guidebook. If you think you’ve identified your foraging finds correctly using a foraging guidebook, search for more additional information and pictures. Here is a great app which is a plant identifier:
  5. Talk to a local guide or expert who can help you identify local edible berries/ plants/ mushrooms

Seasonable foraging on the Sunshine Coast:

  • Spring: Salmonberries, huckleberries, Stinging nettle, Dandelions
  • Summer: Salal, Blackberry, Saskatoon berries, Wild Chamomile
  • Fall: Sweet chestnuts, Mushrooms

Fall on the Coast is a lovely time that brings a change in the weather. Summer has gone and now not so many berries or plants you can enjoy. But when one door closes another door opens 🙂 Fall is the time for mushroom foraging.

To learn more about mushrooms on the Sunshine Coast you can visit the Mycology Center:

Or contact Mushroom Education Center:

CAUTION: It is not recommended that you touch, pick, or eat ANY mushroom or fungi you find in the forest unless you are with a trained professional who can make proper identifications with absolute certainty.

To learn about how to hunt for mushrooms on the Sunshine Coast you can follow the link:

What are the Benefits of Foraging?
Foraging for food is not essential today, but the possibility of gathering your own food in the wild is the opportunity to get you outside and back into nature. Moreover, spending time outdoors in green spaces has a positive impact on health.

We would highlight 7 main benefits of foraging

  1. Provides 100% fresh and organic food, no pesticide or wrapped in plastic food.
  2. Reduces the stress level and it is a mindful practice as well.
  3. Make us slow down and tune in to what is around us.
  4. Helps us understand and appreciate our local landscape by gaining knowledge of plants and how they grow.
  5. Uses for medicines and biofuels.
  6. Promotes good health and well-being.
  7. Save your money!