Last year for my birthday my husband surprised me with a somewhat unusual birthday present; a voucher for a foraging course with Robin Hartwood. At the time I was very early pregnant with Thora and I had never heard of this person before. So you can probably imagine my hormonal face when I opened the envelope.
But I have to give my husband some credit here, this is the kind of thing I find very interesting, especially since foraging is something we do a lot back home in Norway, mostly in the autumn. I think it is part of being Scandinavian, as soon as the summer days start being a little shorter you will find us hunched over a blueberry shrub picking until our hands go blue. Literally. Some of us take it extremely seriously, and won’t even share the best spots with our closest friends.
Turns out these courses are very popular and sell out as soon as the dates are released, and I haven’t managed to book myself a spot until this summer when an email ticked in saying there was going to be an urban foraging course in London. Perfect, I thought. Close enough that I could leave the girls with their dad for a few hours while I spent the morning looking for edible weeds. So I got myself a space.
We meet up outside an underground station in North-London. We are going foraging in a tiny green plot squeezed between two council estates. A perfect juxtaposition. Before we start we are warned not to plunge our hands into the soil as there could be needles, broken bottles and dog poo laying around… Mental note taken!
The course ran for three hours and was very interesting. Who knew you could find so many edible plants in the middle of London! Robin knows an awful lot, and comes with an interesting backstory which does influence the course of the conversation.
If you would like to spend three hours outside learning about what plants and weeds and roots you can find in a small, urban area, and don’t mind that the conversations flows between philosophy, politics and plants then this course is for you!
For more information go to www.EatWeeds.co.uk