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wildcrafting n.

The harvesting of wild plants, particularly for use as food or in
herbal medicines. Also: wild-crafting, wild crafting.
--wildcraft v., n.
--wildcrafter n.

Example Citations
The harvesting of wild plants (known as "wildcrafting") is more
complicated than one might imagine. Ethical wildcrafting includes
positive species identification and the avoidance of any
environmental impact on the plant in question as well as on the other
interdependent elements in the ecosystem. Once a harvest is completed
the area involved should look as though the wildcrafter was never
there. The bottom line is sustainability.
--Kerry Hackett, "Some herbs now at risk or near extinction,"
Stratford Beacon Herald (Stratford, Ontario), March 12, 2004

It is generally a good idea to harvest where the plant appears to be
thriving, as that is where we will be able to find the strongest
plants. Always be sure to leave enough to that the plant can easily
recover its growth. The art of "wildcrafting," which is picking wild
herbs, actually can be practiced in such a way as to aid the growth
of wild plants by judicious thinning and pruning.
--John Lust, _The Natural Remedy Bible_, Pocket Books, April 1, 2003

Utne magazine ran a recent article about wildcrafting with the title,
"The Guerrilla Gatherers," which is apt since much wildcrafting is
technically illegal (because it often occurs in protected wilderness
areas). The Utne article was reprinted from _Whole Terrain_, a
journal devoted to ecological and social issues (under the less
inflammatory title "The Give and Take of Wildcrafting").

Note that an earlier sense of wildcrafting -- skill in or knowledge
of matters relating to survival in a wilderness environment -- dates
to about 1924, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Earliest Citation
Some members [of the International Herb Growers and Marketers
Association] are herb growers. Others deal in decorative products
using herbs; some deal in aromatics; others in kitchen herbs, and
some are wildcrafters, or people who collect herbs and other plants
in the wild, Buehrle said.

Wildcrafters sell to medical and pharmaceutical companies.

"One business does more than $1 million in wildcrafting," she said.
--Dick Wright, "Herb-growers' meet includes garden trip," The Baton
Rouge Sunday Advocate, April 3, 1988

On the Web

See Also
guerrilla gardening:




Subject Category
Culture - Plants and Gardening:

Words About Words
I'm well aware there is little profit in asking for sympathy for
sticklers. We are not the easiest people to feel sorry for. We refuse
to patronise any shop with checkouts for "eight items or less"
(because it should be "fewer") ... Sticklers never read a book
without a pencil at hand, to correct the typographical errors. In
short, we are unattractive know-all obsessives who get things out of
proportion and are in continual peril of being disowned by our
exasperated families.
--Lynne Truss, English writer and journalist, _Eats, Shoots &
Leaves_, 2003

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