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Green Visions
A Northland Morning feature focusing on local environmental issues, heard Wednesdays at 8:20 a.m. Green Visions is brought to you by All Energy Solar, Minnesota Power Energy Conservation Program, and Energy Plus.

Green Visions: Edibles and Decoratives

Photo of a basket of blueberries on a small slab of natural stone
Melinda Young Stuart [via Flickr]

Nature provides in many ways. For some, gathering edibles and decoratives from nearby woodlands is a spring ritual. But before diving in and harvesting the abundance of nature, there are good practices and a few rules and regulations to consider.

Birch bark, birch sticks, dogwood branches, and many other found items in the woods can be used to create natural decor. People have long used nature to create art and decorations for person use or to sell. Edibles (things like mushrooms and berries) are a coveted product of the outdoors that are similarly harvested in the spring. Regardless of what you harvest, the goal should be sustainability. Take what you need while leaving some for others. Taking care not to pull the plants from the root is also paramount.

Not everything is available to take from the forest. Things like wildflowers, the state flower, and bulbs are illegal to harvest. Permits are required for some plants. Check with landowners and with local and state regulations before making plans to remove natural material. For more information on harvesting laws, visit the Minnesota DNR website.

For more information about woods in your area, visit the My Minnesota Woods website. For those looking for additional information the Minnesota Harvester Handbook, available to buy online.

You can hear Green Visions at 8:20am every Wednesday on Northland Morning.

Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
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