Ron and I cut up a nice black locust trunk from the banks of a riparian corridor in a deep canyon. He had his buddy rip it into three planks on a band saw after it had seasoned for a few months and we had a look at our foraged tough-as-nails bow staves.
The two outer planks are well suited for carving traditional California flat bows; a bow style used extensively by some of our local tribes. The interior plank was not well suited for bow carving as it did not have its original outer layers, which are essential for forming the back of a good self bow. Yet, a good opportunistic forager follows the old creed "waste not, want not." So I set to work on my half of that central plank and in a half hour's time was proud of the result...a very hard black locust spatula.
The colors really came out when I coated it with some bees wax
Next I split up an old apple trunk from a fallen tree in the orchard and carved down a unique plate, which we loaded up with ripe blackberries straight of the bush.
Finally, I used another small scrap of the black locust and fashioned a fork. Now it's time to go put them to use.
Remember, foraging for materials can be as much fun as foraging for food. Bushcraft is truly at the heart of what foraging is all about. And there is no better feeling than gathering blackberries on your own foraged and carved plate, shellfish in your own foraged and woven basket, or hunting with your own foraged and fashioned bow and arrows. By engaging in making your own tools of the trade your connection with the whole experience of foraging and feasting off of the bounties of Earth and sea is expanded and enriched. When the berries aren't in season, you can still have wood seasoning and you can always get carving. No need to buy exotic hardwoods when ash, oak, plum, apple, locust, walnut, and cherry all grow in abundance in the heather. The materials are there, free of charge, beckoning that you come and gather on your next adventure. Keep the old ways alive!