Integrating Indigenous food systems like forest gardens into today’s urban setting will take some work. But we can look at models of food sharing and community building in Indigenous societies to help us reimagine what is possible in non-Indigenous urban centres…
But I’d like to be able to take what I need out of the garden and then, rather than fretting over all the veg that will go to waste because I can’t eat it or store it, just open it up to the neighborhood.
The 1970s surge in ecological awareness saw many books published on our relationship with the natural world. ‘Food for Free’, by Richard Mabey, was published fifty years ago in 1972.
People of color and low-income communities have long gathered ingredients for meals, and foraging can help fill in the gaps in places where historic redlining has had lasting effects on supermarket options. In fact, some wild and feral foods can provide greater nutritional benefits than produce bought in stores.
Since we’re all avoiding the grocery store to help keep everyone as healthy as possible, the first thing you might run out of is lettuce. No problem! Spring is arriving in the northern hemisphere, and there are many things growing that can serve the purpose.
But wasn’t life before farming miserable? Notoriously “nasty, brutish and short?” Weren’t hunters and gatherers always on the edge of starvation, constantly focused on survival, and never able to enjoy free time? According to experts who study history: No.
The arrival of spring, she wrote, had filled the mountain valleys with purple crocuses, flowering heather, and an abundance of salad plants. “Nature’s arrangements!” Patience wrote. “How wonderful. Makes gardening seem like knitting.”
Every August the boglands and canal-banks of County Kildare erupt in yellowish tufts of meadowsweet, filling the breeze with their sweet scent.
The wild food still exists all around us, though, all over our fields, and our hedgerows create a vertical salad bar filled with food for the taking. Some of these are wilder versions of familiar vegetables, like wild parsnip or sea beet, while others have no domesticated equivalent, like fat hen or jack-by-the-hedge.
Baltimore is home to an active urban foraging community that collects more than 140 different kinds of plants and fungi around from the city, according to a new study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF).
“I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the vegetation.” Perhaps Walt Whitman had this week’s guests on Sea Change Radio in mind when he wrote those words, as we talk to two entrepreneurs who, in very different ways, are using nature’s bounty for innovative purposes.
Perplexed that no one was promoting Māori food, a New Zealand chef ventured to acquaint his people with their native flavors. Today, Charles Royal offers food tours and supplies sustainably foraged plants from the bush.