Why Fall Means Food Foraging Time

This is the best time of year to find mushrooms, roots, berries and more.

Woman foraging fall mushrooms.

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With the leaves falling and the temperature getting cooler it’s clear that fall has arrived. There is a bounty of mushrooms, berries, roots and much, much more available to forage this time of year before the snow starts to fall in North America and other northern places.

So forage to your heart’s content but make sure you bring a picture guide or experienced forager to make sure that everything is safe to eat. Just remember to leave some for our furry neighbors cautions Grow Forage Cook blogger Colleen Codekas.


The fall is the perfect time for mushroom hunting, especially after it rains.  In fact, there are an abundance of species of tasty edible mushrooms in season now.  Just remember that foraging mushrooms requires some knowledge and caution, but it is still relatively easy to do according to One Green Planet.

Some of the mushrooms that you can find now are oyster mushrooms – but don’t start looking for them until the temperature falls to the low 50s F (10 C) –, maitake or hen of the woods, chicken of the woods, giant puffballs, and chanterelle.

Chanterelle mushrooms foraged in the fall.

(James Aloysius Mahan V / Shutterstock.com)


Wild fruits and berries are in season in the fall according to Grow Forage Cook. In fact, there are wild versions of many cultivated fruits like apples, persimmons, and grapes. Wild apples, also called crab apples, are more sour and smaller than cultivated ones but you can bake with them in preserves.

There are more than 50 edible wild berries you can forage according to Practical Self Reliance. Berries are a very easy food for beginner foragers to find. Some of the more popular varieties are barberries that grow from New England to Georgia, wild blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries, as well as cranberries, currants and elderberries (which have medicinal properties).

Crab apples are ripe in the fall.

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Most nuts are just coming into their prime in the fall. They have historically been a part of the diets of indigenous people in North America and are packed full of health benefits.

Black walnuts grow in the eastern US and Canada according to Hobby Farms. While the nut is difficult to crack, and more bitter than English walnuts, they are great for baking. Other nuts you can forage now are hickory nuts, pecans, acorns, and butternuts.

Foraged fall chestnuts.

(Sam Spicer / Shutterstock.com)


Fall is the best time to harvest roots because they taste best after the first frost. While most people know that dandelion leaves and flowers are edible, few know that the roots are too. You can also forage wild carrots, wild onions, chicory root, and Jerusalem artichokes, according to Grow Forage Cook. Many of these edible roots have medicinal properties.

Fresh chicory root.

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