Enlightened Eating - Foraging
I’m not sure whether it’s memories of the deepest past or visions of the future, but I love the idea of minimal living. Even as a teenager I used to think that my favourite style of life would be to live in a large tipi and grow my own food – probably somewhere with consistently good weather. Although, when Graeme and I visited the Eden Project in Cornwall at Easter this year I found something out about myself which was quite a revelation.
Having been born and brought up in the tropics I’ve always planned to one day move back to live in those temperatures which I had thought were where my body was happiest. How wrong I found I was. Our mind can trick us in interesting ways and my mind had certainly tricked me into thinking that I could only enjoy living in that tropical heat. As we walked around the “tropical dome” I was suddenly aware of how quickly I wanted to get out of that intense damp heat. I am not a “hot” being and it was useful to find that out without the expense of re-locating and then realising I wasn’t happy in those temperatures anymore. I had also noticed that I didn’t need my hot water bottle so much through the winter.
Environment is very important for the body to thrive and it was comforting to know that I am becoming aware of the correct environment for me. So I’ve altered my plans of growing cacao trees, avocados, pineapples, bananas, coconut and date palms and shifted back to good old potatoes, carrots, onions, herbs, apples, pears and plums (and more…..)
We have a regular fruit and veg box which we collect from our friends at the Goodwood Farm Shop along with our raw milk, and can be quite creative with what comes each week. However, it is obvious to us all that unless we go on walks in unspoiled country areas, there is very little naturally growing nourishment available. Councils do not plant fruit trees around the town or surrounding areas. Apart from nettles it is not easy to find food growing easily that we can forage for.
Yet the local Indian tribes in the Californian valleys found there was so much readily available food growing naturally that they didn’t have to plant any. They were supported and nourished completely by their own environment. That is how it should be, especially as we are subject to falsely manipulated market forces. The idea of “butter mountains” and “grain mountains” building up in warehouses and going mouldy just to keep commodity prices high adds fuel to an already building fire inside me. Change is on the way and we need to be prepared for it. The turning point will come when food prices have become too high and enough people feel the same way.
We may just have to forage, so it’s time to look for those places that you can, or start growing in your own plots if you have any. Here are some ideas for delicious food that you can pick up on walks. Take gloves, because nettles are included as they are so good for the adrenals, and there are plenty of them! The recipes I am using are assuming that you have other ingredients, but it gets us all started on using these kinds of foods and noticing them as we go on our country walks.
Nettle and Wild Garlic Soup
(ideas for ingredients taken from the Wild Man Wild Foodwebsite)
- Ingredients Very large bunch of nettles, preferably the smaller leaves growing at the top
- 2 tablespoons top quality olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 large leek, chopped
- 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 large potatoes, diced
- Vegetable stock 3 pints water
- 4 bunches wild garlic
- 2 ½ pints milk Cream
- Parsley ½ to 1 teaspoon
- Sel de Guerande
- Black pepper
Method: In a large saucepan, add the olive oil, the chopped onion and leeks. Fry until the onions are transparent Add the crushed garlic and fry for another minute. Add the chopped potatoes and cover the ingredients in the saucepan with vegetable stock Cook for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are done, then add the rest of the water and the milk. Chop the stalks of the wild garlic finely and add them to the soup Finally mix in the cream, parsley, Sel de Guerande and pepper to taste. Dandelion Coffee This is very easy.
All you have to do is pick a lot of dandelions, pulling up the root. Roast the roots of the dandelions and when they are cooked, let them cool and grind in a coffee grinder. Graeme and I use this kind of “coffee” already and we add our raw cacao powder and raw milk for a delicious coffee, sweetened with a little date syrup.
Of course, when people are hungry the whole idea of vegetarian may have to go out of the window and if skinned and cooked rabbit, hare, fox, or snails are all that is available to survive then I say “let the men do that”.
I’m more than happy to pick the berries off the bushes, pull up the wild garlic, mushrooms, and pick handfuls of nettles or dandelions and dandelion root, but trapping and skinning is not a skill I’m planning to learn!
Good websites for ideas about how to forage and going on courses include: http://www.goselfsufficient.co.uk
or for US/Canadian readers we’ve been receiving Linda Runyon’s great wild food newsletter from http://www.ofthefield.com
Phylipa Dinnen http://www.resourcesforlife.net
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