Tag Archives: wild food

SMALL STEPS

Blogging isn’t easy for me, so I’m trying a new approach – very quick posts.
Yesterday we went for a bike ride along the old East/West Berlin border. Really recommendable! The part we went to is between a river and an autobahn and it’s really green. There is quite a few people there, but it’s still kind of mystical. I’ve never been there before. We even went outside Berlin, crossing the border to Brandenburg, the next state. We saw horses, sheep, lots of birds and a crane.

rocket

On the way we’ve found some wild rocket. I have been finding it around Berlin quite a bit this year, never noticed it before or knew it grew wild. Just came across the smell one day and thought I’d try it. It tastes amazing! Quite peppery and so much better then from the store!

In one of the little towns outside the city we came across some bushes of different kinds of cherry plums next to the road. The bigger yellow kind, some red ones and some small unripe looking things, literally the size of cherries. I first was worried they’d be really sour. But they are delicious, bursting in your mouth, just a bit tangy, but also really sweet. So, we were grazing from these bushes for a while and then took some home too.

plums

Another good thing about them, they are really easy to pick, coz not on a tree. If I get a garden I need to plant a couple of those. I didn’t like the yellow and red kind too much. Too floury, not so juicy and refreshing.

We also went into a garden colony, which was very neatly kept, around the corner from us. And people had put out baskets with apples and little pots with plants to take. Very sweet!

Yesterday was great! We’ve been having really great weather the last couple of days, actually the whole summer has been pretty good so far. I’m soaking in the last rays, getting worried autumn will be here soon.

Anyways, we had an awesome day out, it was really cool seeing a very different side of Berlin, at times I thought myself in another town and to get some foraging in.

Have a great week!!!

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!

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?

Introduction into Foraging

Here is a video of a guy giving an introduction to twenty three edible plants, some you may already know, some may be new to you.

part2

part3

part4

Going out tomorrow, so we’ll see if we can find some of them. Wouldn’t mind some miner’s lettuce..

What do you eat in the wild? Or do you rather just bring a picnic?

Day Out/Forage, The Beginning

Now I’m back at work, at my day job. Difficult to keep up with changes when I’m working 40 hours a week, but I’m saving up some money at the moment, so i can make a transition at some point.

Most things are easier when you have a lot of time, like you might decide to eat healthier for example, you have a lot of time to prepare healthy food and read up on new recipes. You work and you’re trying to exercise more, maybe by the time you get home you are already too exhausted… not saying it’s impossible, it just takes more effort.

I find having breaks so inspiring, i had a week off over Christmas and i got so much done! Like relaxing, going for drives in the country and starting new projects.

Sometimes when you have time off all the time, you don’t appreciate it so much and get kind of sluggish, need to kick your own arse to get things done.

Anyways, we went to Daylesford area yesterday, 2 hours outside Melbourne, for a picnic, they have a lot of springs around there, so we went to one and filled up some water(you can bottle the water for free and there are like springs all over the place). They are supposed to taste quite different too.

The water at the spring we went to has quite a lot of sulphur in it, so it smells like rotten egg. It tastes like rock. With bubbles. It tastes a bit like rotten egg too, so at first i had to spit it out. But then i figured out you can drink it, just don’t breathe while you’re doing it.

So the water is quite bubbly which is nice.

 

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But after about an hour, well it turns a bit like ..gross.

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On our walks lately i have been keeping an eye out for edible plants. While i don’t know many yet we came across quite a couple of wild plum tress on the side of the roads and fields.

So i tried them, they seem okay.

Some of them taste like what i can only describe as floury(not good). Most of them are sweet and juicy, but have a sour skin.

 

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I used to use tree sap and burn it on incense charcoal, used to smoke my flat out, sometimes it was so smokey, that my neighbours almost called the fire brigade. We found some sap. We been burning this with a little bit of wood and it just smells delicious!

If you do pick the dried sap don’t pick too much off one tree so it doesn’t start bleeding again.

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What do you pick up on your trips into the wild?