Hungry days and nature provides

Living without refridgeration in summer and being 2 hours drive from the nearest town makes food storage and longevity pretty interesting at times. 

We try to go into town once a fortnight. This was no problem at all in winter, though things spoil much faster when it is 46 degrees Celsius most days.

The days just before town are always the trickiest for me. By the end of summer all the nettles have gone to seed and aren't so good anymore, and the chickweed has all died off. 

Luckily blackberries are here to save the day!

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We discovered a MASSIVE blackberry bush along a little dirt road near our place 2 days before our town trip. There were also two kinds of native raspberries just nearby full of berries.

A big basket was filled up with berries and our hands were covered purple - just the way they are meant to be. Fresh wild berries go a long way when you haven't had fruit or sugar for several days!

I made the most delicious, satisfying porridge with pretty minimal ingredients.

  • Sprouted buckwheat
  • Coconut cream
  • Flax, sesame and chia seeds
  • Coconut flakes
  • Sultanas
  • Wild berries

Happy days ! 

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As a depressing end note to the story..

After telling our neighbour (he lives 45min drive away) about how blackberries saved the day and how great they were, he got pretty freaked out that the blackberries were going to get into his river and he would never get it out etc.

A few weeks later all the blackberries along the trail along with a whole bunch of unrelated edible natives and gum trees had all been sprayed with poison and killed...

A valuable lesson learnt in sharing information.. Hopefully some seeds from our harvest will keep the legacy alive :P

Orange grove exploring

On our latest trip to town we found an abandoned house with a yard full of all kinds of citrus trees - oranges, mandarins, lemons, and grapefruit.

 They were all overflowing with so much fruit that most of it was rotting! 

Wandering the orange grove

Wandering the orange grove

We did what we could and are now 100 citrus richer 😝

 Achillea happily munched on chickweed and we also harvested dock for dinner. 

Fresh, healthy dock I cooked up with dinner that night

Fresh, healthy dock I cooked up with dinner that night

I'm always grateful to be able to show my boy that food comes from the earth not plastic boxes in a supermarket

5 reasons we need to be foraging

I realised last week while picking fresh apples from the side of a small road - There is nothing that fills me with more awe, wonder and gratitude then foraging or harvesting food and then eating it! 

Foraging is becoming more common as more people are remembering what it is like to be human again.

Here are 5 reasons you need to start foraging.

1- It is the freshest food around

So many vital nutrients are lost by the time we get our food from the supermarket.

Fruit or veggies are usually picked when unripe, stored for an extensive time, shipped across the country (or world), packed, refrigerated, then made to look pretty on the shelf.

We see it in the store sometimes weeks after it has been picked.

The amount of nutrients lost in this time is outstanding.

Perhaps we could eat cardboard and get just as many nutrients?

When foraging food it is usually picked and eaten right then and there - or at the latest - the very same day.

Ultimate freshness and ultimate nutrients - Food still full of the energy of the earth and the sun, our bodies ready to turn that into energy to fuel us for our amazing lives!

Besides, If we are going to be eating food, why not the freshest and most nutritious of foods?

2- It saves money

Depending on your area and knowledge you will most likely still have to spend money on food.

Though foraging can cut down on expenses a great deal depending on the season.

There have been days where I will just have an abundance of wild berries for breakfast, then only need to buy (or forage) for an avocado and lemon to finish off a harvested salad for lunch. My stir-fry dinner also complemented with some wild greens. 

That's 70-80% of my food for the day provided without having to spend any money! 

After a short walk in the park - Edible weeds and natives.

After a short walk in the park - Edible weeds and natives.

3- It helps the 'battle against weeds'

I spent many years passionately working as a bush regenerator. After a work injury I took time off bush work, though took an interest in permaculture and food forestry while recovering. A few years later when I started working in bush regeneration again my eyes were open to a whole new world! Everything suddenly became useful.

"Why are we going to poison that!? We could have that for lunch!"

"Chickweed! We are going to pull that out? Well, I do need to make a salve for my (herbicide induced) skin rash out of that.."

If we are all aware of the useful and edible weeds and are harvesting and using them regularly, weeds will become much more manageable and diminish in numbers, allowing our native plants to flourish and not have to compete for growing space.

4-  It promotes connection and mindfulness

When we forage we have no choice but to quiet our minds and connect to the earth.

We are connecting to the very source of life - the earth, sun, rain, wind, and stars all came together to create this nourishing piece of food you are about to pick and eat. That is too powerful to ignore!

It is a perfect pre meal ritual or meditation to help us feel more connected to our food and ourselves.

What else could bring such inner peace then knowing we are literally about to become the earth! 

5- It minimises consumerism

Our dollar is the only real vote we have. 

In Australia we are taxed for most things we buy with the GST. This means perhaps unknowingly we are supporting things like uranium mines, and foreign wars we may not morally align with.

By buying less you are providing for your own needs, taking responsibility directly into your own hands and cutting out any plastics, transport, rubber bands and other unnecessary waste and saving the world one bite at a time.

Street side mulberries Achillea and I picked on our morning walk to the beach

Street side mulberries Achillea and I picked on our morning walk to the beach

Sounds great right? 

If you are new to foraging and don't know where to start there are many edible weed books, foraging groups and workshops easily available.

Shoot me an email if you'd like some suggestions :)