Foraging

We can’t grow everything we want in our small space at Ligaya Garden and I reckon a lot of folks with bigger gardens would struggle to fill their dietary needs from their patch. To make up the deficit, we go to food shares, swaps, markets and (sadly, sometimes) supermarkets but my favourite food activities are gleaning and foraging.

‘Gleaning’ is when you take harvest that would be wasted, for example, picking lemons from branches overhanging a fence. ‘Foraging’ is when you go out and gather your food from the wild. There’s a big degree of overlap between the two and I divide them just as a matter of interest. In very, very olden times, gleaning was, in fact, a civic responsibility and I hope it will become that again.

I also differentiate between harvesting and foraging. Foraging is where you gladly receive what the land has to offer, picking as you go, usually enough for a snack or a meal or two. Harvesting is when you take more than you, personally, need in the short term.

Our ecosystems are increasingly fragile, especially since the huge bushfires last year, so I encourage only foraging, snacking and learning.

I’ve arbitrarily divided this area of effort into four sections, each with their own page from where you can link to the individual plants.

Hormosira banksii sea grapes

Seaweed – coming soon!

Note: It can be illegal to harvest from the wild without the appropriate permit or licence. This is especially true of seaweed. Different councils, however, have different rules and regulations on the matter, so check with them before you go out.