the community garden

Our local council is trialing a new community food foragers garden. I really love the idea of this and hope that it takes off,  just getting bigger and bigger.

Imagine city living where on each high density living block there was a community kitchen garden readily accessible for all the locals. An attached community compost bin, for all those to access that didn’t have backyards. Seasonal food grown within a hop skip and a jump of where you live, with composting scraps being used for the same garden while decreasing all the food scraps being sent to land fill.

It doesn’t seem like a big ask, does it?

It just makes sense. Cutting back on waste having to be collected by council. Making more efficient use of space. Encouraging a community spirit. I’m sure on each block there would be at least a couple of willing people who would love to regularly tend the small edible space. If people are living in a high density living area, green spots are hard to come by and the chance to actually dip your fingers in to some soil and tend a little foliage would be incredibly appealing to a lot of inner city dwellers.

More green spaces in the city are needed. Whether it be roof tops, street corners, reclaimed concrete areas, where ever they may be. However,  first people need to ask for it, and be encouraging when trials are put into place. Be vocal, spread the good word. Whispered words of encouragement is what gets ideas moving. Spoken words and acts of enthusiasm keep them there.

If everyone’s local councils started up just one food foragers garden in their area, it was successful, and people respected the space. Surely this could mean the start of many more to come?

The benefits of a nation wide scheme like this?… Oh can you imagine.

******

Do you have any community gardens or food foraging gardens in your area?

Advertisements

food foraging- mulberry breakfast trifle

The last few weeks I’ve been lucky enough to find a couple of laden mulberry trees on my daily travels. The first thing to notice is lots of dark almost blue coloured stains squishing under your shoes, then I look up and… oh hello bountiful tree with your weighty branches filled with red tinged berries. What’s that? You want me to pick me you and store you in my handy empty container I just happen to have with me? Don’t mind if I do.

Most mulberry trees around these parts are usually on some one elses property and not within arms reach. Not my arms anyway. However lately I have had easy access to a couple of trees weighted down by all their fruit. Only once I have seen someone else picking the fruit, everyone else seems to walk on by not knowing what it is, or not in the slightest bit interested.

Picking mulberries is a bit of a labour of love. The juice stains your fingers and each berry has to be picked individually. Once home, you still have to pick off the little green stems before cooking with, (and I always seem to be in a white top when ever I happen to come across them). It can take a while to get a decent amount, but it’s definitely worth it.

I’m not particularly good at identifying wild food foraging options in my local area. Mulberries are easy. Loquats quite often pop up, and the tiniest mini mandarins are also near by. (Which were the tartiest fruit I have ever tasted- very funny while watching The Monkeys taste test them… evil mama, I know.)

Apart from that, my knowledge for urban foraging could use a little upgrade. In the mean time though, at least I have breakfast sorted.

Is anyone else enjoying some local free foraged food?

Mulberry Breakfast Trifle

whole oats

apple juice

natural yogurt

whole almonds

mulberries

***

Soak whole oats in some hot apple juice.

Blitz whole almonds (skins too) until you get a consistency you like (I like it chunky) or use almond meal. Mix in with the soaked oats.

Cook up mulberries in a little apple juice, then cool.

Then alternate with the layers of oats, mulberries and yogurt.

* If you like it sweeter, you can add flavoured yogurt, or a little jam to the mulberries (or sugar). No mulberries? Use any other kind of berry.