I’ve lived in both the city and the country, played at growing things on window sills and had the serious food-producing garden, but find the idea of urban foraging an interesting concept. My rebellious period involved guerrilla gardening (I was SUCH a rebel). Not familiar with the term? Basically it means when other young people were out partying and experimenting, my friends and I were…gardening. Under cover of darkness.
Mostly this involved planting stuff in unkempt city lots or sprinkling wildflower seeds alongside freeways. There’s one particular stretch of highway that still blooms with the morning glories I planted a looong time ago. That’s a fairly invasive plant with vining growth. The sight always makes me smile when I drive past.
If you’ve never heard of (made or used), seed bombs – get with the program folks! Teach this technique to your children (teens love it) and set them loose on the city. There’s a stretch of Burlington Northern’s rail line between Portland and Eugene that has benefited from those handy opening windows in the lower rail cars. Not that I had anything to do with opening one. Ever.
I particularly like the idea of foraging in urban settings. My first reaction is to visualize neighbors creeping out early in the morning to forage clandestinely through each other’s yards. It’s a very Wallace & Gromit image. Identifying what is edible is critical – or like a bad mushroom collector, you end up holding down a marble slab. Be smart and buy your fungi.
What have you consumed from the great outdoors? Ever create a meal not produced from market items? What would your environs offer the local forager?