I love living in a city, but access to a quick urban escape is, for me, a necessity. Without this, I don’t think I would be the same urban enthusiast I that I am.
In Amsterdam, access to open and green space is easy. And beyond just relaxing in a park or by the river (or canal) one can actively engage with the city’s green spaces. I’ve long enjoyed exploring Amsterdam’s parks and surrounding villages by bike and urban agriculture has become my new favorite pastime…but here’s a new one for me: what about urban foraging?
Recently I went on a ‘wild weed walk’ with Jennie of Wild Weed Wisdom. Jennie has foraged for much of her life, in Northern Canada as a child, in North Carolina as an adult – and more recently, the very wild frontiers of Amsterdam. As surprising as it might sound, our cities are full of edible goodness that historically were important parts of the diet and medicine cabinet. Jennie organizes weed walks for first-times, for children and school outings, as well as more advanced tours for the savvy forager. Some tours focus on edible plants, others on medicinal plants – this time was the basics, Foraging 101. We learned about more plants than I can remember on a first foraging experience, but there were a few take home messages…
- Harvest ethically, safely, respectfully and responsibility – steer clear of rare plants and take only what you need
- Bring a guidebook – Jennie is quite experienced and still she had several books with her. While many plants are edible and most are not harmful, there are a few that can be very poisonous… so know before you go.
- Teas, infusions, tinctures, salads, stir fry and the likes are often improved with a few tasty herbs added in.
One thought on “Amsterdam urban foraging: returning to our roots, literally”
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