Thank you very much to everyone who joined me for a lunchtime forage in Frankendael Park on Sunday 12th May. It was so nice to meet new faces and to welcome back several previous urban herb walkers.
Miraculously it didn’t rain a drop throughout the two hour walk. But as expected, we found lots of beautiful herbs, many edible and tasty. Here is pungent Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum) Daslook.
And bold, beautiful, bitter Burdock (Arctium lappa) Grote Klis, in a stand of potential urinary tonic Pennsylvania Pellitory, with a sprig of parsley scented Ground Elder (Aegopodium podograria ) Zevenblad in the left of the photo.
We also found some poisonous plants, to be known and avoided by foragers, like this patch of Dog’s Mercury (Mercurialis perennis) Bosbingelkruid. This unassuming little pointy leaved plant with delicate spikes of tiny flowers, is a member of the super toxic Euphorbia family (Wolfsmelkfamilie). In this photo (below), the Dog’s Mercury is mixed in with a little flowering Wild Garlic. Another reason why thoughtfully plucking one leaf at a time is a useful idea…
We talked about the Carrot family, with it’s crazy mix of tasty members such as Ground Elder, Fennel and Angelica (Angelica archangelica) Grotengelwortel, as well as deadly Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum), Gevlekte scheerling Hemlock Waterdroplet (Oenanthe crocata) and Fool’s Parsley (Aethusa cynapium). All of these and more are found throughout Amsterdam. It is vitally important that foragers know how to identify plants such as these. A good field guide and taking walks with experienced foragers helps people to gradually build up their wild plant knowledge – plant by plant.
On a lighter note, we spread my three-day Dandelion and Burdock Honey onto Mugwort bread swirls, ate Lime leaves (Tilia europa) Linden, tasted Blackberry bush leaves, Horehound foliage, Meadowsweet (Filpendula ulmaria) Moerasspirea, White Deadnettle (Lamium alba) Dovenetel (above) and lots of other incredible plants.
We learned how to prodding around with a chopstick can help make a good tincture, how honey often makes a great herbal carrier and is a remedy for many ailments. And, how a fairly damp day like yesterday, is not ideal for setting up a cold oil infusion.
I spoke about how to pay a little back to the land we forage from, by simple gestures such as tidying up, to longer term projects such as growing little Elder shrubs.
I always love showing people the plants and had such a great time with you all. Thanks again!
On Tuesday evening (21st May), I’ll be taking foraged plants to the Ready Stay Cook section of Pop-Up Amsterdam Live. It would be great to see some of you there.
My next guided foraging walks are on Sunday 26th May in Westerpark and Wednesday 29th May in Park Frankendael.