10 Delicious Foods You Will Find When Spring Foraging In New Zealand

Spring foraging brings you the chance to get out and do some wild foraging for new plants to include in your diet or home apothecary. When compared to winter foraging, the season brings a high abundance of flowers, greens and herbs that are both easy to find and delicious. Here are a few suggestions for foods you can forage in spring.

1 Thyme Flowers

Thyme is something to keep an eye out for when spring foraging in areas with dry soils and plenty of sun. You will start to see thyme on mass in Central Otago in spring, which is where we wild harvest thyme for our Chest Tonic. 

Thyme has beautiful purple flowers that smell amazing!  You can use both the flower and the leaves in a variety of different ways. Flavour your cooking, infuse it into honey, or even infuse it in an apple cider vinegar to make a fragrant salad dressing. Thyme is an amazing immune supporting plant that can be taken as a fresh tea to help support your respiratory system - which may be helpful with the change in seasons.

🌿RelatedWhat Is Fire Cider And 10 Ways You Can Use It


2 Nettle

If you are spring foraging you are highly likely to come across some nettle because it grows prolifically. Nettle provides you with vitamins and essential minerals that you need daily. It’s also high in plant-based iron and chlorophyll, which can help with supporting energy levels and your detoxification pathways. 

Nettle can be thrown into your vinegars to help with mineral absorption, stir-fried, or added to your scrambled eggs to increase your zinc intake. Dried nettle can be added to baking, home made crackers and bread. To keep things simple you could just add fresh nettle leaves to hot water for a mineral boost - adding heat removes the sting. If you wanted a delicious introduction to nettle you could try our Daily Boost Tonic which has the added benefits of rosehips and kawakawa


3 Plantain

Plantain is coming up on our farm in Mihiwaka and this lovely plant supports not only your respiratory system but also your skin. Both broadleaf (Plantago major) and narrowleaf (Plantago lanceolata) plantain can be added to salads, or infused into oils to help with irritated or itchy skin. The seed heads contain psyllium (the fibre bulking agent) that can be used for supporting digestion. 




4 Chickweed

Foraging in spring means you’re bound to find some chickweed. With oval leaves and small white flowers, chickweed is prolific once it starts growing. Spring is the perfect time to add it to your salads, pestos or even as a fresh tea to help with mineral intake. The best way to harvest chickweed is to cut it from the base that way you don’t get dirt in your salads.


5 Cleavers

Cleavers is that sticky plant you may have thrown on your siblings or people at school when you were young. It has an amazing ability to stick to clothes and actually helped with the invention of velcro.

Spring foraging for cleavers will help support your lymphatic system after the winter months of carb heavy foods. The best way to use cleavers is to leave a sprig in cold water overnight. In the morning remove the cleavers and drink the water. This plant does not like heat so you will not often find it in a dried tea form.


6 Dandelion Flowers And Leaves

Your lawn might be awash with yellow right now. Dandelions have amazing health properties and are abundant in this season, which makes spring foraging easy. You could pick these beautiful flowers and leaves and steep them in water to take some of the bitterness out before adding to salads. The bitter taste of dandelions is great for supporting digestion. You could also infuse them in apple cider vinegar for a vitamin and mineral boost to your day. 

🌿RelatedThe 3 Ingredients In Liver Bitters That Will Help You Feel Amazing


7 Miners Lettuce

A deep green and nutrient dense plant that supersizes the minerals and vitamins in your spring salad. Add it to your pesto or stir fry to improve your magnesium and vitamin K levels.

8 Onion Weed

This plant is often found growing wild, so keep an eye out when you are spring foraging. Onion weed tastes like a mix between spring onions and garlic. Add it to your stir fries, scrambled eggs, scones, quiches. You can use both the blades and the flowers, although the flowers have a much more mild flavour. They make a beautiful savoury addition to salads. 


9 Nasturtiums 

Spring foraging means nasturtiums. This is one of the many plants that have edible flowers, so you can start adding some colour to your greens. You can add the leaves to vinegar, salads or even in fresh rice paper rolls. They have a peppery taste that can help balance meals, and also can be taken as a fresh tea to help with coughs.


10 Wild Fennel 

Foraging in spring is a great way to add fresh flavour to any meal as there are plenty of herbs about, fennel being one of them.  Not only can it flavour your cooking you can also use it as a digestive if you’ve eaten too much, add it into your baking or make a tea. You will see the bright yellow fennel seed heads that can be collected and dried for use later on. 



  • Posted on by Paula Weber
    Just love your Spring Foraging Blog, your pictures are beautiful great identification. How I would love to be able to harvest wild Thyme. I have lots of Thyme seeds germinated and am planning on a large patch, so hope that will work too. I would love a Dehydrator so as I can forage little and often, mixed greens that can be a green powder to use later in the winter. Have only a small space so don’t want a big dehydrator and have heard herbs need a low temperature , the oven is too hot for them. If you know anyone who does this and could recommend a machine I would be very grateful. I’m not very good at finding the best one. Thank you for telling us how to use Cleavers, I didn’t know not to heat them and will certainly try your method. How blessed we are to have so many choices of wonderful so nutritious wild foods. Thank you again.
  • Posted on by Angela
    I absolutely love your blog – so many great ideas. I wonder if it’s possible for you to add a print option?

Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing
Yay! Now check your inbox to confirm your subscription
This email has been registered