Dat urban foraging , ofwel voedsel verzamelen in de stad, populair zou worden schreven in 2013 al in dit artikel. Inmiddels zijn er in Amsterdam meerdere cursussen te volgen over hoe je aan gratis Rucola en vruchten komt. Voor de beste vindplaatsen zijn er apps en Google Kaarten gemaakt door liefhebbers, zoals de Wildplukwijzer.
Aan de slag dus! Maar zoals met alles, bezint voor ge begint. Er zijn uiteraard ook risico’s en we hebben tips om goed voorbereid op pad te gaan. Met dank aan Lynn Shore van Urban Herbology! Zij is van oorsprong Amerikaans, deze gastblog is dus bij uitzondering verder in het Engels geschreven. Wil je nog meer tips and tricks, volg dan deze wandeling met Lynn als gids, aanrader!
Dit zijn de top 5 urban foraging tips voor voedselverzamelaars in de stad:
Tip 1: There is enormous biodiversity in cities and always something to forage but do be careful. Some edible plants are protected (on the rode lijst) and must not be plucked. Others are poisonous and some are easily confused. Use a good field guide and walk with experienced foragers to learn the best methods and locations. Never pick from private gardens or land, unless you have been given permission and only harvest plants which you are 100% certain of. Gradually build your knowledge about edible plants which grow close to you. For more foraging rules see: http://urbanherbology.org/2015/11/08/lynns-urban-foraging-rules/
Tip 2: When you forage an edible plant for the first time, check for negative reactions on your body, before eating it. We are all sensitive to different foods so never leave this to chance. When you have identified the new plant, slowly work through testing it. Check for reactions on a sensitive area of skin, then on your lips and later by chewing a little piece of the plant. Allow plenty of time between each step and check for any unusual reactions. If all goes well, cook just a small amount and notice how your body reacts. Above all, stick to foraging very safe and easily identified plants.
Tip 3: Only forage small quantities of plants, especially from urban spaces. Be thoughtful about your actions and limit your impact on the plants, the environment and your body. There is no need to forage bagfuls just because you can. Focus on smaakmakers which can really enhance a meal when just a couple of leaves are added. Forage only when you find large quantities of clean plants. With edible flowers try picking just a petal or two. Harvest so gently that no one can tell where you have been.
Tip 4: It can be helpful to learn about one plant family at a time. The Dovenetel family is a good place to start. Most of the plants on that family are easy to identify and are generally safe to eat. Many of them are highly aromatic and tasty.
Tip 5:Get to know the street trees which grow in urban spaces. They offer some wonderful treats throughout the year. Choose quiet streets and look out for beauties such as Ginkgo biloba, Turkse hazelaar, Linden and Meidoorn. Learn how to safely use their leaves or fruit and get ready for some fun foraging and recipes.