For the past 100 days, I’ve been going to Park Frankendael, Amsterdam to photograph and document some of the useful, edible and medicinal herbs growing there. Parks are amongst the best places for urban foragers and this one gives an indication of what can be found all over the city, along streets, canals, against houses, in hedges and amongst offices.
I hope to go on holiday quite soon and want the project to go on without gaps. So if you would like to send me a photo of any herbs you find in Amsterdam, I’ll gladly check their identity and publish the photos with credits here. All of my photos are taken in and around Park Frankendael but during my holidays, photos from anywhere in Amsterdam are fine and I’ll be very grateful of you’re involvement.
Please send your urban herb photos to Lynn.Shore@gmail.com with you’re name, the location of the plant and the date you photographed it. If you know the name of the herb, in English, Dutch or Latin, then that would also be helpful. Send them anytime from now.
So what have we got on Day 100?
Plantain (Plantago major, NL Weegbree) with towering seed spikes, very tasty, nutritious and soothing to the gut when cooked in rice, quinoa or similar. It is easy to harvest too, simply pick a few spikes and use a thumb nail to strip the seeds from the spike. Wash them and cook, that’s it.
Here is Teasel in flower, offering food for insects and candy to the eyes of thousands of Amsterdammers, attending today’s Puurmarkt in the park. Behind the Teasel you may see Goldenrod and Rosebay willowherb.
Here is a small but second year Burdock, having a second attempt at flowering in the park orchard after being mowed down a few weeks ago. No good for harvesting but a great indicator of where to find medicinal first year Burdock plants, now and next year.
Here’s a Gingko biloba tree. Those easily identified fossil like leaves, can be best harvested when they start to tinge with yellow, for drying and using as a circulation boosting tea. The circulation enhancing action gives this herb a reputation as a good one to help improve memory.
I know of dozens of street Gingko trees in Oud Zuid, close to Beethovenstraat particularly. I’m sure there are more areas with lots of them in the city. Someone who recently joined an urban herb walk told me that she is currently harvesting and drying the leaves, to help her during periods of study.
Loads more herbs in the park and city today. The above is just a taster. Please feel free to send me what you find, as and when you like.