This year has seen a huge rise in foragers, and as a member of numerous foraging and mushrooming groups, I’ve seen membership increase in unprecedented numbers. I’m not complaining – you know how I feel about getting especially the kids outdoors! I came across these Foragers Playing Cards and I thought it would make a really nice gift for the novice forager.
What is it?
The Foragers Playing Card set is a number of things in one – it’s a deck of regular playing cards with the regular diamonds, hearts, spades and aces in one corner. It also can be played as top-trumps cards with the focus on wild treasures.
How does it work?
Each card has an image of a plant on it (along with a suit and number). It has the name of the plant, i.e cranberry, and then a brief description of it. Along with that, there is a rating out of 100 for how edible it is, how findable it is, how recognisable it is, and how seasonal it is. There are four categories – berries and fruits, nuts and seeds, plants and herbs, and mushrooms and fungi.
There are disclaimers on the cards – Safety first! Before picking and eating (or even touching!) any plant, berry, mushroom or anything else you find growing in the wild, it is vitally important to know what you are doing and to be able to identify correctly everything you find.
What do we think?
I think that these cards are a wonderful idea and I think that anything that encourages engagement with the outdoors is fantastic, so if used with care and as a beginning point for familiarisation with foraging, they’re a lovely and sweet idea. I certainly wouldn’t eat mushrooms off the back of just identifying them from these cards but there’s plenty to learn from the facts they provide – the snowberry is poisonous to people, but a favourite among birds, samphire is a sea vegetable that tastes like the sea – and is protected! It’s a really passive, lovely way of learning little tidbits and really, it should be something that sparks an interest and leads to further investigation.
If you’re interested in more, I’ve linked our favourite foraging books below too.
Where’s it from?
The Foragers Playing Cards are from Kikkerland and you can buy them from National Trust Shops or from Amazon. Here are a few other highly recommended items for novice foragers.