Welcome to Forager's Harvest

Connecting People and Nature Through
the Ancient Craft of Foraging 

Harvesting wild food is the oldest and most basic subsistence activity of humankind, but today we live in a world where these skills are almost lost. Foraging is the missing link in modern civilized cultures--it is this direct physical connection, in the form of sustenance, that brings us to our deepest appreciation and understanding of the natural world.

This is the home site for Samuel Thayer, renowned author and forager and internationally recognized authority on edible wild plants. It is also the site for Forager's Harvest Press, publisher of Samuel's award-winning wild food books.  Our mission is to promote responsible foraging, appreciation and conservation of Nature, and sustainable food production systems. If you care about these things, please explore this site's content and links.


We are opening a storefront in Bruce WI September 22, 2016.  We will have for sale many of our products (like our hickory nut oil, fresh apples from our no-spray orchard, and mapple) but will also be dealer of the Davebilt Nutcracker, Nut Wizards, and many more essential foraging tools and outdoor books.  Come check us out off HWY 8 in Bruce, WI.  We will be open Thursdays-Saturdays 10-6pm.  Check us out of Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ForagersHarvest/

Hickory nut oil for sale! After sixteen years of research and troubleshooting, weathering a hickory bark beetle outbreak that killed off more than 95% of the hickory in our region from 2006-2009, and an investment of more money than I care to admit, I finally have set up a state-inspected, licensed facility to produce and sell wild food products, and the first item I have produced is hickory nut oil. We are now the only manufacturer of hickory nut oil (other than pecan) in North America. The oil is expeller pressed from hand- harvested wild hickory nuts. I have a limited supply of 5 oz bottles for sale for $10.00. If you're interested, send me an email, visit us at our store in Bruce, WI, or call 715-868-9453.

The Sugar Woods

The sugar shack in action toward the end of syrup season

There is incredible excitement in the anticipation of quiet things; a baby growing deep in mama’s belly. It is the secret of ice fishing: Invisible things are like magic. To most people the hard, still, silent winter trunks of hardwoods are dull blocks of frozen wood. To me they are pregnant, powerful.

When I get out of the truck after pondering those trunks for miles, I smell something startling but familiar: dirt. I can’t recall the last time I smelled dirt, but I know it was months ago. But today, the sun is beating down on the deep, sunken, compacted snow, in the first real battle that it will win this year, exposing and melting a little bit of the soil along the driveway to my shack.

I don’t lament the going of winter, nor do I pine for the coming of summer; I take them just as nightfall and daybreak. But I do have a complicated relationship with these early inklings of spring that punctuate late winter. I watch the weather and contemplate the calendar like a factory worker on lunch break stares begrudgingly at the clock signaling the minutes of repose he has left. Not that I mind the melting snow, the muddy trails, the shushing wings and night-time honks of gliding geese, or the startle of woodcocks who find the rare pockets of early brown on south slopes. Indeed, I long for these things through the tantalizing sunny but frigid days of March. But I also know that with them will come a day when all hell breaks loose, and I’ll be wrestled in an instant out of the winter lethargy that has spent four months creeping into my bones. It is the nervousness of a wedding: I want this, I yearn for this, I’m ready for this. Damn right I better be.

Recent Articles

Once Upon a Little Prairie

/ January 23, 2012

Stitchwort in the Backyard

/ August 18, 2011

Autumnberry, Autumn-olive

/ March 24, 2010

Black Nightshade

/ March 24, 2010

Into the Wild and other Poisonous Plant Fables

/ March 24, 2010

Fern Fiddleheads: The Succulent Stalks of Spring

/ March 16, 2010

Basswood: The Ultimate Wild Salad Plant

/ March 16, 2010

Making Your Own Apple Pectin

/ March 16, 2010

Milkweed: A Truly Remarkable Wild Vegetable

/ March 16, 2010