tisdag 28 maj 2013

Foraging Tour Workshop

On Sunday, I joined a foraging tour workshop organized by Disa, kitchen master of Kalmar nation. It was about learning practically what plants and which part of them are edible among those growing near our place and how we can cook them at the same time.  Under the blue sky and the shining sun, we, a group of 5 people, sought food  for the lunch.

These are the lists of plants we actually harvested. If you want to see pictures of them, visit an album on our facebook page or google them!

The leaves of the birch are edible before midsummer, and tastier the younger they are. They can be eaten in salad.

Both the seeds and leaves of the elm tree are edible. I recommend the elm seeds with their nutty flavor and pleasant texture for salads.

The leaves are edible when they are very young, but quickly become quite bitter. The flower petals however are very tasty. They can be eaten as they are in salad, added to jam (http://tidenpategelbacken.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/maskrosmarmelad/) or try deep frying the whole flower. The best part is that they grow everywhere.

This plant grows commonly in the shadow of hedges. It has a taste reminiscent of garlic and mustard and the leaves and flowers can be used in salads or as a spice in dressings.
Even though it stings when you touch it, nettle is one of the most appreciated wild edibles in Sweden. Young leaves are commonly eaten in soup, but they are good to cook and use as kale or spinach. Only the top leaves should be used for food, but when the nettle has flowered in midsummer the whole plant can be picked and dried, then powdered and used as a nourishing tea. They grow almost everywhere, often in ditches next to the road.

Vitplister looks very similar to the stinging nettle, though it does not sting and has big white flowers. It is also milder in taste than the nettle and can be eaten raw or added to the same dishes as the nettle. 

Vårlök/Wild chives
A wild version of chives can be found here and there, in ditches, and usually comes up a few weeks before other grass. It can be distinguished by its slightly bluish color and its thick stem. Use however you want. It's milder in taste than garden chives and goes well in salads but probably also in cooked dishes.
Kirskål is a very common weed in gardens. Hearsay says that monks used to grow it in their gardens as cabbage, but nowadays few people appreciate its gastronomic qualities. It has a peppery smell and taste and he leaves can be used as kale or spinach in cooked dishes, and very young leaves can be eaten raw. Aim for the smallest, shiny leaves since the older leaves don't taste very well. Don't pick this if you're not sure it's the right plant since it's related to some poisonous plants!
Våtarv is a ground covering plant which grows commonly in flower beds. It's very tasty raw and also cooked.

This plant is the best! It pops up everywhere the soil has been turned, for example in new flowerbeds. When left alone they grow quite big and can be found in great amounts if you're lucky. The taste is very mild and is excellent to use instead of spinach.

And we cooked these dishes:

Bishop's weed and nettle soup
2/3 nettles or vitplister or a mix of both
1/3 bishop's weed
some water
wild chives

Wash the plants well and put them in a cooking pot. Cover with hot water and let them cook for a few minutes until they are soft. Mix the soup with a handheld mixer until it's smooth and add salt and wild chives for taste.

We made a big salad with elm seeds, löktrav, birch leaves, dandelion petals, etc. No further instructions needed. Just mix the salad of your preference.

Carefully trim nettles, vitplister and bishop's weed, removing all stems and only keeping the leaves. Put them in a colander or a bowl and pour hot water over them. Press out the water and transfer them to a blender. Adding sunflower seeds (or walnuts or other seeds), garlic and olive oil, process the pesto until desired consistency. Add salt and pepper as you like.

To sum up, it was a wonderful workshop full of new discoveries and refreshing joys
in the splendid weather. What plants around you could be eaten? How can we cook
them? This knowledge used to be with us as basic food literacy in old days. However, we are almost losing this common sense.  Also, it seems stupid that in some countries or areas, we are not allowed to pick up growing food around us just because they are ‘public’ properties. Why don’t we take back those abilities and rights we human beings are supposed to have!

onsdag 22 maj 2013

Föreningen Trädgården invites!

Come to this cool event on Sunday!
This Sunday we are at it again. We meet at 10:00 at Valegården (Alsikegatan 6) for a work day and pot-luck (knytis) lunch. This week we will work on finishing the forest garden beds and raised beds, making a greenhouse structure (this time for real!), planting, and a host of other jobs which will improve and green the new urban permaculture garden in Uppsala.

In the first three working days we have worked until about 18:00, so feel free to drop by for a few hours of work when it suits your schedule. Bring a friend and some food to share.

Local hugs,

Chris and Martin
 Find more info on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/159229274251395/

måndag 20 maj 2013

Inspiring videos

At the Scrap Lunch event on 4 May we screened a number of videos that addressed food waste. Some of you have asked to see these, so here they are, in one handy playlist!

söndag 19 maj 2013

Links from Chris (Speaker at the lunch)

If you attended the project Lunch on 4 May you'll have heard Chris speak and mention some useful links. If you weren't there these links are just as interesting, they provide lots of local information for those interested in (growing) good, local, fresh food!

Find them (and many more) on our links page.

lördag 18 maj 2013

Radio show about the Scrap Lunch

Two members of the Scrap Lunch Project group were honoured to be invited as guests on the Studentradion 98,9 program Föda yesterday! We talked about keeping food fresh, what to look for when grocery shopping, and gardening on a kolonilott.

Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/studentradion98-9/sets/f-da#play

(In Swedish).

torsdag 16 maj 2013

Food = Water

"It takes about 20,000 litres of water to produce one kilogram of coffee 11,000 litres for one quarter-pounder hamburger, between 2000 and 5000 litres for a kilogram of rice, and 2000 to 4000 litres for one litre of milk. We grow twice as much food today as we did a generation ago, but we use three times as much water to grow it. To quench the thirst of these crops, many are highly irrigated, and much of the water is being pumped from underground reserves, which take eons to replenish."

-David Suzuki, The Sacred Balance

Reducing food waste is one very positive step you can take towards conserving our precious fresh water resources!

tisdag 14 maj 2013

Address the Excess

According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans are tossing up to 40 percent of the food supply each year, along with all the resources used to produce food that never gets eaten. Food waste occurs at home, on the farm, and in supermarkets.

In this TED Talk, NRDC's executive director Peter Lehner explores the low-tech, tried-and-true solutions proven to reduce food waste and save money for consumers and businesses alike. It's essential that we start putting more of these solutions into action.