Foraging for nature’s ‘fast food’ this Kiwi autumn; includes recipe: Raw Wild mushrooms filled with Foragers Pesto
Sarah Lea is the new raw food blogger for Happyzine.
I live off fast food, convenience foods, meals ready made by Mama Earth. The packaging is compostable, the pantry an outdoor adventure and the meal usually full in flavour, bursting with sunshine and nutrients.
For at least half the year I now tell the girls to go and get their own dinner! They eat intuitively, more than if I put it artfully on a plate, and I don’t have to do the dishes…or vacuum the carpet! Life couldn’t be simpler.
So, I wallow in these Autumnal days of abundance where we forage for wild greens, mushrooms, nuts, fruit and roots. We fossick our friends gardens, especially on weeding days. We clear out ancient orchards and keep our eyes alert for berries, funghi and dried sunflower heads. My children have become fruit fly and know how to zone in on a warm juicy peach hanging in the sun, rummage in long, lush grasses collecting windfalls and climb up trellises to reach nectar filled grapes.
Those who know us feed us well. Having arrived back in New Zealand this summer, our garden is not at full charge and so we gather others abundance and bless our sponsers daily. Driving up our knarled track on the way home we have been spying mushrooms in their glory, poking their heads out amongst fallen leaves and tree debris.
With the amount of the planet’s surface currently under cultivation and ever increasing as world poulation rises each year, it’s surprising to hear that fewer and fewer crops are being grown. More than 10,000 species of food plants were available to our ancestors, and of that high number only 150 of these plants have been cultivated to any significant extent. But it’s not too late to reconnect with nature’s natural pantry. As children we filled memory banks with afternoons gorging on wild berries, scrumping for pears and apples or perhaps an old lone walnut tree. Last year my girls actively thought of ways to get to the hazlenuts before the squirrels prised them from the over loaded trees.
Not only is wild food foraging an inexpensive way of feeding the family, it is also a way of receiving an extra supply of wild nutrients into your diet. The pleasure of spending an afternoon foraging on the beach for seaweed to dry or collecting hazlenuts or spying an elusive mushroom is an adventure beyond belief. I urge you all to try it. To liberate that child within and fill your belly full with natures fast foods.
Wild mushrooms filled with Foragers Pesto
Enough field mushrooms to feed your loved ones (if you don’t know what you are looking for, portobello mushrooms from your local farmers market will do the trick).
1 cup wild watercress
1 cup mix of chickweed, dandelion leaves, marjoram
1/2 cup basil
1/2 cup parsley
2 medium garlic cloves
1 cup tamari walnuts, (walnuts soaked, marinated in tamari and then dried)
1/2 cup + olive oil
1 lemon juiced
Pulse the walnuts in a food processor and then add the wild greens, herbs and garlic and blend. Add the oil slowly until a creamy consistency is achieved. Add lemon juice to taste.
Gently clean your mushrooms, removing any bruises and the stalks. Fill the underside of the mushroom with the pesto and place in the sun or dehydrator until warm.
Serve with a leafy green salad and homegrown tomatoes.
Devour while recounting your adventurous trip to Mama Earth’s Supergarden.