What to know before picking
Pick only the plants you know
You do not improvise yourself as a gatherer. The first and most important advice is to acquire the basic knowledge needed to identify edible plants.
There are many specialized books, many websites (like TELA-BOTANICA ) and smartphone apps (like PlantNet ) or Facebook groups (in Corsica, Arbori è Fiori di Corsica) who can help you. Fortunately there are some easy-to-identify plants such as nettle, blackberry or clover, you can start there.
Field learning is the perfect way to learn the basics. The association ANA is at your disposal to help you and organizes walks for the groups on request, do not hesitate to Contact us.
It is forbidden to gather in certain protected areas such as nature reserves (List of nature reserves in Corsica).
It is forbidden to pick protected plants (see our article Regulation of the picking of non-cultivated plants in Corsica).
Know the main poisonous plants
We gather for food, not for sickness.
You will need to know the possible confusion between edible plants and poisonous plants. The most cited example is the confusion between the Cigüe (extremely toxic) and wild carrot (Daucus carotta), which are of the same botanical species (Apiaceae) and often grow in the same places (François Couplan, ethnobotanist renowned, calls them the beautiful dangerous ones). Marseille Anti-Poison Center: 04 91 75 25 25
So, in doubt, we abstain!
The material to take in picking
- Clothes and shoes comfortable and adapted to the outings in full nature.
- A large fabric bag or basket
- Several paper bags (each plant harvested in a different bag, no plastic bags that choke and damage the plants).
- Protective gloves (gardening or dishwashing)
- Secateurs, chisels or pocketknives
- What to note (notebook, pen, smartphone)
- What to take a picture (camera, smartphone)
- What help you to identify the plant (book, notes, smartphone application)
During the picking,
- Pick the plant, do not uproot it
- Pick only the parts you need
- If you find a place where some plants are abundant, do not pick everything. It is recommended never to gather more than 30% of the plants present to allow them to continue to grow and develop.
- Observe the plants with all your senses, touch them, smell them, look at them, taste them if you are sure of their identification and the cleanliness of the place.
- Potentially polluted places such as roadsides, cultivated areas, industrial areas, landfills, etc. will be avoided. To help you locate old industrial sites, the Geohazards database: Historical inventory of industrial sites and service activities