Symbols of Spring – Foraging in Context

One of the most interesting things about foraging any environment is that you are required to build up an extensive and intimate knowledge of your surroundings. This may seem obvious, but it is perhaps important to remember that this manner of reading the world around you is almost entirely redundant in the way we live…

Birch Sap

Two weeks in March. That’s all that’s promised for the birch sap harvesting time frame. It’s been on the to-do list for some time, and with the persistent warm temperatures and lack of frosts there could be only a few viable days left in which to gather it. Foraging a wild delicacy with such a…

Winter Foraging: the City vs. the Forest

The blackbirds are skipping about in the leaves looking for insects, and the tapping of the woodpeckers can be heard throughout the forest. With the continuing frosts stopping growth in its tracks, there has been little recently to be foraged in the woods, as was to be expected. All the same, there are a few…

Bitter Lessons – Garlic Mustard

It’s a mild start to winter in Berlin, and in the woods the ground is unfrozen two months after it was covered with snow last year. The hardiest of greens are taking advantage of the forgiving temperatures to push up through the forest floor: narrow-leaved dock (Rumex crispus), hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta), chickweed (Stellaria media),…