Four Season Foraging was founded in 2017 by Minneapolis resident Maria Wesserle. Born and raised in Milwaukee, Maria moved to the Twin Cities for a brief stint at the UMN before heading out to immerse herself in the wilderness and learn homesteading skills. It was around that time, in 2004, that she started to harvest wild plants for edible and medicinal purposes. In 2005 she started teaching at the annual Traditional Ways Gathering outside of Ashland, Wisconsin. She has since held teaching positions for several other organizations, including the Martha Wagbo Farm and Education Center in East Jordan, Michigan; North Country Food Alliance in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and the Young Friends of the Jordan youth program in East Jordan, Michigan.
Though Maria developed a deep love for wild places during her years living in rural Michigan, she also has come to appreciate the tiny bits of wilderness that can be found in cities like Minneapolis. From weeds sprouting along the sidewalk to Cooper's hawks hunting songbirds, from mushrooms popping up on lawns to the nocturnal trilling of toads, there is plenty for the astute observer to enjoy! Maria brings this appreciation to her work at Four Season Foraging, creating a space where people can learn to interact with urban and rural wild places in meaningful and sustainable ways.
Minnesota is part of a bioregion that displays four distinct seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter (versus other regions that have a dry and rainy season.) Four Season Foraging is a bioregionally based business, meaning that all of the plants and mushrooms discussed here are found in Minnesota and through much of the Upper Midwest. While many of those species are widespread across the continent, some are unique to this bioregion. Therefore, information on this website pertains most to those foragers living in the Upper Midwest, but foragers in other locations will surely glean some knowledge!
The four seasons present unique opportunities to harvest certain foragables. Typically, greens are gathered in the spring, flowers and berries in the summer, and nuts and roots in the fall. Of course there are exceptions, but this is the general guideline. Four Season Foraging promotes wild harvesting through all the seasons- even winter! Though often thought of as a barren time of year, the persistent forager can find things to harvest: evergreens, fruit still hanging on trees and shrubs, hard-fleshed mushrooms. The benefits of foraging year round are multifold. Four Season Foraging invites you to participate!