‘Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food’
—- Hippocrates in 400 BC, way before Wholefoods copped the idea
You’ve probably snatched a blackberry or two off a wild bush whilst hiking. Or if you’re adventurous, picked wild mushrooms. Maybe you’ve had fantasies of morphing into Reese Witherspoon and trekking off Into the Wild yonder. For that you’d need some skills, and being as the future is so uncertain, it may be a good time to acquire some.
As our cultures are shifting, we’re having to think outside the box and maybe relearn a few things. Not everything needs to come in a packet or from the grocery store. While in the cities we may not have much of an option, foraging in the countryside is a thing. And sometimes a necessity.
You may have heard of soups made with nettles or dandelions, wild edibles growing around, but have you tried daisies in your sandwiches? Daisies are an anti-inflammatory herb that improve circulation and can be made into a healing tea too. Daisy heads can be thrown in salads, on sandwiches, or frosted and placed on cakes for decoration. You didn’t know that when you woke up this morning.
We all live in different bioregions but if you do a little studying and use your imagination you can find some nutrition packed plants. It’s fun for the whole family and a great thing for the kids to learn and appreciate.
To ignite your desire to live on the planet with greater awareness and love, we’re going back to the land here, eating wild foods that our ancestors ate and using herbs as medicine.
With food foraging you’re looking for berries, mushrooms. chestnuts, herbs, plants, roots, flowers, dandelions, chickweed, stinging nettles (wear gloves), wild garlic, elderflower, wild onion, or even cactus for instance.
Lori McCarthy lives in St. Johns in the Province of Newfoundland on North America’s most easterly point and the oldest city in Canada. Rising out of the Atlantic Ocean, Newfoundland is beautiful and remote with mountains, thousands of miles of rugged coastlines, fjords, cliffs, canyons, and the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Gros Morne National Park and Mistaken Point, where 10,000 fossils are preserved into four miles of rock that rose from the sea floor when the continental plates shifted.
Newfoundland is also where the puffin, moose, and caribou roam free, colorful houses pepper the incredible landscape, and the people are friendly. It’s staggeringly gorgeous.
Lori McCarthy collects wild edible food for top restaurants who embrace a sustainable philosophy. She also holds workshops and foraging expeditions at Cod Sounds.
You can learn about these gifts of the earth and respect for the land and gather and prepare colorful food, from bright orange kelp from the sea, or chanterelles from the forest, berries, kelp from the beach, and maybe even lobster. Then cook and eat it all al fresco.
She will also teach you about pickling and preserving and curing meats — check out this video.
Several airlines service St John’s and there are plenty of places to stay. The nightlife is great fun with about two dozen bars and lounges around George Street that stay open late with live Celtic fiddles and Blues.
Visit Quidi Vidi Brewery, they make their own hand-crafted beer from 20,000-year-old iceberg water! Now that’s sustainable! We hope.
[Photo credits: Dru Kennedy Photography and Barrett & MacKay for Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism]