A code of ethics for safe and sustainable harvesting

Respect the plant and its habitat

  • Avoid waste: only pick what you can reasonably consume
  • Only pick a fraction of available plants (usually less than 20%)
  • Harvest only the necessary parts (fruits, leaves, or flowers, for instance) without damaging the rest of the plant
  • When picking leaves, pick less than a third of the leaves on the plant
  • Never pick protected or endangered species
  • Follow existing trails to the harvesting areas to avoid trampling the surrounding habitat
  • Harvest at the right time of the year, when the species is least vulnerable
  • Use recommended techniques and equipment to avoid damaging the plant (a berry scoop, for instance)

Know your plants

  • Beware: certain edible plants have highly toxic, even deadly, look-alikes
  • Refer to various books that include detailed photographs – Internet searches are best avoided
  • Confirm your identification with an expert
  • Enrol in a wild harvesting course (the Cercle des mycologues de Sept-Îles, for instance, offers introductions to mushroom gathering)

Adopt appropriate work methods

  • Use clean instruments and a ventilated basket – avoid closed containers for mushrooms
  • Don’t mix different species in a single container
  • Learn about the best preservation methods for each plant

Pick in the right place

  • Never harvest in protected areas (it’s illegal) or on private land without permission
  • Avoid potentially contaminated places: roadsides, industrial property, land where pesticides might have been applied, polluted waters, etc.

Happy harvesting!

le Goût de la Côte-Nord magazine

June 2022 – Number 2

To learn more about the Côte-Nord terroir, get le Goût de la Côte-Nord magazine!