Foragers revel in North Coast food finds

  • Lauren Dalberth Hage with Weaving Earth collects dock seeds while foraging along Petaluma Hill Road on Friday, August 16, 2013. (Conner Jay/The Press Democrat)

Lauren Dalberth Hage can find food almost anywhere, even on the side of a busy street near Penngrove.

Cars zipped past Dalberth Hage on a recent afternoon as she harvested reddish-brown dock seeds, which she will grind up into a flour and bake into energy bars.

Climbing down into a gully, she filled a basket with elderberries. Earrings of manzanita and abalone shell dangling from her ears, she reached high with a pair of pruners to get the topmost berries. The blue fruit will be used to make a healthy tincture.

Dalberth Hage, 33, always keeps a few empty baskets in her Toyota Prius in case she spots some wild food while driving. She said there are few situations where she would find herself hungry.

"It's really empowering to walk into an ecosystem and know what I can and can't eat," said the co-founder of Weaving Earth, a Penngrove outdoor education school. "There's a real freedom in being able to go out the door and harvest whatever is in season. Every place feels like home."

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