How to Harvest the Wilderness
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How to Harvest the Wilderness

How to harvest nature and make money. The plants that grow all around you can turn into a lucrative hobby.

Are you searching for a way to make extra money? Have you ever considered harvestin nature as a sideline? Aromatics, berries and wild fruits, cones and seeds, roots and herbs, mushrooms and  wood; they're all around you for the picking. 

Questions to ask yourself incude

If you decide to go into this fascinating sideline, give some thought to:

 What are you going to sell?

Who will buy your product?

When will you harvest?

Where will you harvest?

Product Specifications

How much product do you need?

What quality?

What price?

How much insect damage, etc is allowed by the company you're selling to?

Find out what state, local and federal guidelines apply to your product, especially edible products, potentially noxious weeds and anything shipped out of state. You may also need a permit to harvest anything on public lands. The U.S Department of Agriculture Office for Small Scale Agriculture has informatin on mushrooms, herbs and  woodlots to name a few.

Forest Botanicals: Flavorings, Medicinals and Pharmaceuticals

A few of the most popular plants used for culinary seasonings and flavorings include chickweed, milkweed, sassafras, wild yam, purslane and amaranth, wild onion, wild garlic. Buy a plant book to find out what plants are native to your region.

Ginsing, wild ginger, boneset, wild mint, bloodroot and biscuitroot are known medicinals. Find out which part of these plants is used; for instance the roots, bark or leaves.


Harvesting any botannical on a commercial scale from public lands requires a permit. First, buy a map and get a legal description of your harvest area. Then locate the owners of the land and get permission from them to harvest, lastly get a permit validation from the local sheriff's office. Keep the permit with you when you're harvesting.  


Shovels of various sizes



Cutting tools

Baskets and bags

For further information

Herbs, spices, and medicinal plants, vol. 2, Craker, Lyle E.; Simon, James E.; Oryx Press; 1987

Stalking the Wild Asparagus, Gibbons, Euell; David McKay Co.; 1962

The Wildcrafters Goldenseal Manual, Hrdacer, J.V., Publ 1-21, 1962

Edible Wild Plants, Medsger, Oliver P, Macmillan 1939

American Ginseng: Green Gold, Person, Scott W., Exposition Press of Florida, 1986

A Plant Lover's Guide to Wildcrafting, Thie, Krista, Longevity Herb Press, 1991


The International Herb Association

Agricultural Marketing Services

Wholesale Buyers of Botanical Products

Bio Botanica, Inc

Nature's Way Products

The Whole Herb Company

Useful Websites

Additional resources:

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Comments (1)

Very detailed article. Well-done!