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Foraging time is here

April 20, 2010

For us living in the northern hemisphere Green is unfolding its vibrant, vivid, blood cleansing chlorofyll, for our nourishment and natural pleasure. Gathering edible plants, like yesterday’s nettles, now drying in the kitchen, is a way to connect to nature, and a completely different way to look at food compared to buying it wrapped in plastic, accordingly labelled , utterly transported, industrially processed, filled with chemical, synthetic additives – and still, you can’t buy fresh, organic nettles, or can you?

Wildman Steve Brill (here with knotweed) has lead wild food walks in NYC since the mid 80's.

When I interviewed raw-food celebrity David Wolfe about superfood last year he highlighted foraging, eg picking and eating wild plants, as one of the upcoming health food trends. The past winter we could see ethnobotanist James Wong making good tasting natural medicines from plants on TV.

Learning to pick and prepare edible wild plants, fruits or berries is both something normal – for some people – but something many have grown detached from, or forgot about. With today’s lifestyle when you can drive to the supermarket and toss whatever you fancy in the chart – it seems like lots of people would need a mental decalibration before they even can imagine go picking wild edible plants for food. But luckily we are not all the same.

If you’re uncertain about what to pick you might want to start with internet, where you can find much advise, or the library, who usually has a few books on the subject. Maybe there is a botanical garden; they might have something published. Or you try to find someone like Steve Brill, who has lead wild food walks in NYC since the mid 80’s. You will also find interesting stuff at www.foraging.com

Just a few suggestions what to pick: dandelion, nettles, marigold, camomill (scented mayweed), baby birch leaves, horsetail, baby spruce sprouts… If you want you too can make 2010 a greener year than ever before.

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