July 21, 2022

Five Minutes With ... Rachel Flum, marketing coordinator and urban forager

Picked Juneberries.

The pandemic forced everyone inside. Rachel Flum went outside — to forage.

Where did you grow up? 

Algonac, Michigan. I went to Wayne State University and earned my B.A. in psychology, and I lived on campus for part of that time; then, I lived in the New Center area, and earlier this year I moved to White Lake in Oakland County.

How did you get interested in foraging?

The isolation of the pandemic made me step outside my comfort zone. I started taking a lot of walks. I aso discovered a treasure trove of TikTok videos about urban foraging. The whole idea of foraging challenges my bravery, and it keeps me curious. I find that interesting.

Rachel Flum, marketing coordinator in Wayne State University's Office of Marketing and Communications, urban foraging for black raspberries.

What are the benefits of foraging? Is it ecologically responsible, and how so?

First, you must respect the land you’re picking from, and you must never over-pick endangered native species. If you focus on identifying the non-native invasive species, you will help create space for the native species to thrive.

Have you traveled much in your life? If so, where?

I love the Pacific Northwest. Soon after I graduated from Wayne State, I flew to Seattle and spent two weeks there relaxing, exploring and eating. I didn’t know anyone there and didn’t really have a plan in mind; I just wanted to change my environment. It was a lot of fun, and I met some really good people.

Do you have any interesting hobbies, collections or avocations?

I marvel at street art; I find the scale and detail impressive. Now, when I visit other cities, I pay closer attention to the street art each city offers. I’ve spent some time volunteering for events at Eastern Market. I also play the ukulele.

How would you characterize your time at Wayne State?

I really enjoy it here. I did my undergrad here, and also worked in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions as visit coordinator. I was really excited that I got to work with a team that I hadn’t worked with in the past.

What’s next for you?

Grad school. I’m currently pursuing my master’s in business administration, with a marketing concentration. I hope to move back to the city as a first-time homeowner soon.

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