Early Autumn Calm

It has been a busy summer full of events,  group walks, a Permaculture Design Course, writing, interviews and a lovely holiday in France. Now it is time to slow down, take stock and take a closer look at some of the plants ripening for harvest around me here in Amsterdam.


Rosehips, of all shapes and sizes are redening, softening and just asking to be added to honey and pies (when the itchy seeds have been scooped out of course). These rough roses are amongst the first to ripen and amongst the most flavourful.

wild rocket Ijburg pavement

Wild Rocket, Ijburg pavement. This beautiful spicy specimen is currently forming hundreds of tiny seeds – just right for saving and planting closer to home in clean locations. Yesterday I filled a plant pot and sowed some of these seeds, hoping for more deep winter fresh herbal food. Rocket is often available mid winter and is packed with flavour and nutrients.

Blackthorn Sloes Amsterdam
Sloes, forming on a playground Blackthorn shrub. Some of these are now infusing in a small jar of Genever, in time for some Yuletide cheer.

River of Seeds seedmix packets

Packets of River of Herbs 2013 seedmix. I gave out some of these at the Children’s Pizza and Flevopark walk recently. They are full of locally harvested herb seeds. Lots of things are planned for the River of Herbs soon. Please keep in touch about your urban herb meadows and other projects.

Photo credit: Mara Pellizzari

Coming up
I have two more walks planned for this month, at the Magneet Festival. Then in October, an Exotic Herbs workshop with Suzanne of City Plot and in November a dinner talk at the Lloyd Hotel for Steinbesser experimental gastronomy. If you are interested in attending any of these then please get in touch.

A few people have asked when my next apprenticeship group will begin. The next group is planned to begin in Spring 2014. It will run on Mondays and anyone interested is very welcome to contact me from now on. Here is a link to the syllabus (it needs a little updating but it should give you the idea of what I intend to cover on the course).


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