I have been reading and talking about foraging for an awful long time. Whenever I have yanked a blanket of chickweed of the ground I would always say “You can eat this stuff” yet I would never eat it! I’ve long been interested in the long process of soaking acorns, to process into flour for bread, in finding the edible ferns, the roots from certain plants and all the forest and hedges have to offer. The idea of just having the knowledge to go out in the wild and come back with raw vegetation for a meal fascinates me. However I never did anything about it, until last week.
Of course, my claim to have never foraged may be a little overblown. As a child we would pick blackberries and chestnuts I still grab the odd blackberry today! However actually going out and getting food from the wild as part of my normal diet hasn’t been something I have done as an adult. I’ve also eaten foraged items, such as chickweed and dandelion and wild flowers but never gathered them myself in the past.
We are encouraged to buy all our food from the store in this day and age. Our perfect but tasteless fruit, bright and large veggies, expensive salad leafs and foods containing all sorts of numbered ingredients. Food from the wild (assuming it’s not contaminated with spray) is free and often easily accessible. Sensibly harvesting some for your own use could be more than a money saver, it could be a healthier choice and open the gates to a who new taste experience.
I’m currently in New Zealand. Seeing as the plant life here is extremely unique my interest in it has been spiked and as time progresses I am learning more and more about the natives, the invasive species and other greenery growing on these islands. I have been staying with many families over the last few months and at each place my knowledge has been growing about what can and can’t be eaten.