Friday, November 15, 2013

Wild strawberry skewers, and the memory of foraging, plus a very special Slow Food event!

Photo by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Did you ever pick wild strawberries as a child? If you did maybe you too made skewers with grass! It was more like a game really, mostly when I went out picking wild strawberries I was 'on a mission', i.e. out with a bag to pick enough to make jam, not just a few to eat on a grass skewer :-)! But here in New Zealand there are not fields and mountains full with wild strawberries (or wild blueberries and raspberries, maybe just a few bramble berries), so the only wild strawberries I have have been planted in pots in the garden, and the harvest is enough for decorations (and grass skewers) rather than for having a full bowl for dessert, let alone making jam!

 I grew up foraging: mushrooms, berries, nuts, greens, wood (not for eating!). A good forager takes only what he/she needs and leaves the environment unchanged. Foraging is healthy, keeps you in touch with nature, and goes hand in hand with good farming and gardening practices. And now it is fashionable too!  

Slow Food Waitakere is organizing a wonderful ethical Feast on 24 November, and much of the food will be foraged. You can find a record of some of the foraging here, more plants, flowers and ideas will be added as we prepare the feast. So join us for this special lunch, and click here for more info. 

These are Wild (or Alpine) strawberries, not the 'Mock' Strawberries typically found in New Zealand and considered a weed (I have many too!). The mock strawberries are rounder and with a yellow flower, they are edible but have no taste. Alpine or wild strawberries have a white flower, smell delicious and are sweet, but they are so small that you need to eat a few at a time to really taste them. Photo by Alessandra Zecchini ©

Photo by Alessandra Zecchini ©


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