There’s an underground “restaurant” in San Francisco, aptly named Forage, where meals are completely foraged from the local region. The location of the makeshift restaurant isn’t revealed until two hours before dinner starts, and it comes with a hefty price of $80 per person. Since Forage isn’t licensed, it’s not legal, but the food is amazing. Why not create your own foraged meal with your kids?
The kind of meal you can create depends wholly on what’s available in your area. However, Forage is proof that even in a big city; foraged meals are possible and delicious. If you spend your days managing a CMS system, it’s also a great way for you to get outdoors. Check out these tips for (truly) eating local.
Easiest Foods to Forage
Mushrooms are notoriously foraged and there’s a wide variety to choose from. However, some can be poisonous, so be completely sure what type of mushroom you’ve found. Garlic is another item that’s easy to forage, and wild garlic is a little less intense than traditional cloved garlic. You might be surprised to learn that elderflower can be eaten raw or cooked a variety of ways.
Dandelions are more than just a pest in your yard; they’re also delicious, and the entire plant can be consumed. Of course, berries and nuts are also popular, but make sure to check any berries you aren’t sure of before you eat them. While traditional foraging is done in the wild, there are many property owners who are happy to have you take care of their (over)abundance of some foods.
The Best Place to Forage
Sometimes the most delicious foods are considered local pests. That’s great news for you, since people are happy to get rid of them. Taking a hike is a great way to check out local foods that you might otherwise miss. Research what plants and foods are common in your region and get armed with photos and descriptions when you head outdoors.
Herbs grow all over the place, and it’s possible you might have some treasures in your own yard. Oregano, rosemary and peppermint are just a few common possibilities. Watercress and sunflowers are also common in many areas and provide the foundation for a great meal. If you’re looking for areas to forage, keep an eye out for wetter places, where a nearby stream or reservoir encourages the growth of foods.
Willing to Pay for the Experience?
Traditional foraging isn’t for everyone. However, you can still get a hand-picked meal without finding the foods yourself. Take advantage of local farms where you can pick fruits and vegetables yourself. Prices are very low compared to supermarkets and it’s a great experience to share as a family.
Whether you’re more into the DIY approach or would rather visit a farm complete with red wagons to haul your goodies, foraging is a time-honored tradition. Try it out for the next family meal and you’ll be surprised at how fun, and inexpensive, it is.
Google garlic mustard and it will take you to pages telling horror stories about this invasive and dreaded herb plant. Here in Ontario, Park and Rec has even a invading species program and encourages everyone to not grow it in the yard and to report if you see it when you are out hiking Learn how to identify it here:
Garlic mustard is originally from Europe and was introduced by early settlers. It grows all over North America.
Read more: The wonders of garlic mustard :recipes
For our upcoming cross-country ski trip our oldest decided that she was going to make banana bread to bring along and she was going to make it herself.
When I lived in Norway I decided to make up a batch and see what it was all about. Well, I though I did something wrong or something was bad, as it tasted strange and was not my cup of tea. Then years later I tried someone else’s banana bread and I realized… no, that is what banana bread tastes like. Since there were many other cakes and treats in the world I liked, I never looked back.
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You might think I’m going camping every weekend, I have to disappoint you, I’m outside every day but camping is not every weekend for my family, and me. I am more into backcountry cabin living than in a tent.
Don’t get my wrong, I love the wilderness and I’m not afraid of the backcountry but it is all the organizing involved with camping that drives me crazy. But I can’t take it any more. After spending a summer outdoor in the city, I have to have my nature fix.
Read more: Making a camp kitchen, menu planning and food storage
There are many ways to connect with food the outdoors in summer. Whether you visit a farmer’s market, go and pick your own berries/fruit this season at a farm or in your backyard or just do some outdoor cooking in your backyard. Whatever you do, here are some of our summer recipes for you :
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When it starts to be warm and nice outside it starts to be time for some al fresco eating. Getting ready for the BBQ season it something we are looking forward to in this house. I notice when I was in Europe it was very popular to create outdoor kitchens. It can be done very simple or you can just take the ingredients with you outside.
Read more: Cook with kids outside