Tag Archives: free food

EAT YOUR TREES

So I went on this ‘herb walk’/forage tour on Saturday and it was pretty awesome!! I loved it. The woman who was doing it, Elisabeth Westphal, did a really great job, she is really enthusiastic about nature, plants and the environment and you can really feel that.

The tour went for 3 hours and by the end I was pretty beat. It was  quite exhausting, how Elisabeth does it I don’t know, she’s full of energy, I think it’s coz she eats wild herbs every day. Must be good for you!

Anyways, it was really interesting to find out and learn new things. For example, we started the tour with edible leaves of trees. I didn’t know you could eat the young leaves and flowers of linden trees for example. And there are different kinds of linden trees. We tried the summer and the winter variety. The young leaves of the summer variety are really soft. And they get really slimey when you eat them. That’s supposed to be good for you.

winter linden tree

Also you can eat most pine trees. I knew that, but I didn’t quite believe it. Most of them taste disgusting. You only eat the young shoots and you can make tea from them. They taste really strong. By the way, is any tree that has needles called a pine tree in English and what are foliage trees called?

Some pine tree, I think it’s a larch.

Also, what I didn’t know is, you can eat, I think all, fruit tree leaves. Pretty cool. I tried some apple leaves and they have a really interesting, particular taste. Like a flowery, apple taste.

soft, furry apple leaves

This is a really popular plant in Germany, Bärlauch, which means ramson or wild garlic.

one of my favourite finds, I wanna make some pesto with it

Riding my bike through the forest, I found the smell rather offensive in the past, coz it’s really strong. You can buy this shit in pesto at the organic shop. Of curz I had to try it and it tastes quite nice. The store-bought pesto smells and tastes really grassy, but then developes a very piquant flavour. Almost spicy, nutty.

I liked the fresh flower, fruit thing better then the freshly picked leaves. They are really fresh and juicy and the little balls pop in your mouth. The flavour is very leeky, garlicy.

You can also eat a lot of flowers and use them as edible decoration, like for example, forget me nots.

Pretty!

But don’t eat the buttercups, they are poisenous!

Pretty beech tree. Edible too, in parts.

Yeah, so the forage tour was really successful and I could write lots more, but maybe another time. Elisabeth did a really great job and I’m looking forward to the next tour of hers. Hope you learned something and Happy Foraging!

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Eat Your Weeds

I’m looking forward to doing some foraging in Germany.

Here is a classic foraging plant, dandelions! I used to pick them to feed them to my guinea pigs, personally I find them too bitter. I will try them in a green smoothie though, once I get a blender. Hopefully the smoothies turn out nice, because I’ve got high hopes. I will mix them with a lot of fruits in the beginning, bananas and pears and put spinach in and dandelion or whatever, kale maybe and then ease into putting more greens in. But a 50/50 mix of fruits and greens can’t be too bad?! Haven’t checked out any green smoothie recipes yet, but that can’t be too hard. Just freestyle it!

looks like a great youtube channel, definitely gonna check out more of his videos

I really like drinking dandelion/chicory coffe substitute. It’s very common in Germany, it’s called Malt Coffee and kids drink it. Definitely better than that sugar filled Milo crap or whatever else kids drink..
Anyways, I love it, we have it with rice milk. I wanna make it myself sometime, collect dandelion roots and roast them. Sounds kinda exciting!

Here are some more weeds. Eat them! Just watch out that crazy people haven’t sprayed this shit!

And here is a cool link to an article called ‘the fantastic four – 4 essential wild edible plants that may just save your life

Ok, maybe quite a dramatic header, but it’s always good to know what’s available out there, not just for emergency situations. And free stuff?! Always great!!

So yeah, watch these videos and eat your damn weeds!!

The Thistle And The Nettle

Kind of ironic, me trying to eat thistles and nettles, as they were definitely the most annoying plants to me when I was a kid. Thistles scratch you real badly and nettles sting like hell, I think they are even worse, coz the sting can last for quite a long time and, if you are not familiar with them, it itches and burns at the same time!

I watched this video the other week and the guy makes eating thistles sound really delicious, so I thought I’ll try them. And basically everyone knows how a thistle looks like, I thought that would be an easy start into my wild food experiment..

Well, I don’t know if Australian Thistles are different to other kinds, but the ones we tried tasted awful! We looked for the smallest ones, but even they had flowered already and might have been too old. And we really tried the smallest ones we could find!

They were just really dry and that white, dry stuff in the middle was just really nasty. It was like chewing on a twig. And I felt a bit dizzy after, but that might have been from the heat. I will try eating them again in Europe, but I don’t think I’ll have to eat them for a while.

Also, standing in a park, with gloves on, my partners gloves were black, mine were white, and with knives, doing something that was a little weird, well, I felt like we looked like serial killers..

I haven’t seen any stinging nettles in Australia, so I haven’t actually tried them yet. But I remember seeing by lots and lots of them in Germany. ..and getting stung by them.

My grandmother told me that during World War II they used to go to the forest to pick nettles to make nettle soup from. As a kid I was like “Wtf, how rough is that??” Now I’m like, yeah, let’s give it a try. I wonder what my grandmother would think if I told her I ate nettle soup. She’d probably tell me I’m crazy and ask me why I wouldn’t buy my greens in the supermarket! I haven’t actually tried eating fresh stinging nettles, I used to drink nettle tea, but don’t even really like it, it’s too weak and grassy tasting for me..

So yeah, that hasn’t been very successful, but I am not giving up yet..

Have you eaten nettles or thistles or any other crazy wild food before? What is your favourite herbal tea and why?(mine is peppermint at the moment, it’s so refreshing) Do you think eating wild foods is a good idea or is it too much effort?

Freegans

Freegans, weird name, right?! I don’t like it. What has getting stuff for free to do with vegan, coz it doesn’t hurt anyone?! Doesn’t mean they are vegan either. When i was squatting i never heard anyone actually call themselves a freegan.

That’s to say, i like the concept, just find the name a bit  ..contrived.

Nevertheless, you can check out this freegan website to find out more about how the ideologies of waste minimization, consuming and working less and eco-friendly transportation are tying in with the freegan lifestyle .

I posted a clip about some freegan practices in this previous post before.

Have a look at how the freegans do it, in these clips.

This woman’s show is quite funny(she’s so Australian!).

Freegan/dumpster diving/skipping and food recycling, as it is sometimes called, isn’t for everyone, i find it a bit rough and embarrassing to go through bins looking for food, but i have done it and i have eaten food other people pulled out of the rubbish (in general i’m more comfortable with getting other stuff, furniture or homewares for example).
If you’re broke, you’re grateful for things you probably wouldn’t normally be so grateful for.

Also, for most people i met it wasn’t a political statement it was a necessity, but then i suppose your life is always in some way a political statement.

Have you ever pulled shit out of the rubbish, apart from picking up the odd piece of hard rubbish from the side of the road? What was your best find? Would you eat food that came out of the bin if it was fresh and clean?