The Non-wood forest products department, of the Forest Science Centre of Catalonia has published an article with a list of recommendations for harvesting herbs now that Saint John day is arriving and plenty of people go to the field to gather magic herbs.
The main aspects to take note are:
- The best moment to collect wild herbs is when the plants have the higher content in flavours or principle actives. So Saint John’s day is no so important.
- Wild herbs are not an inexhaustible resource. So sustainable techniques are very important for preseving them.
- It’s important knowing well the plants we desire to harvest, avoiding possible confusions with toxic plants.
- We need to control our gathering instinct, and not collect more plant than the quantity needed.
- To guarantee the conservation of an species in a place, it’s better never collect all the plants we see.
- Each species has specific demands, but there are common guidelines for the plant parts collected (leaves, flowers, roots, etc.).
- It’s recommended to leave an alive part of a plant, and avoiding picking up the root if not necessary.
- It is necessary to respect the period return, leaving the plant to complete the vegetative cicle.
Article in Catalan (translator provided)