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Veldkos finds - our new series

Veldkos-finds---our-new-series

For most of human history, we’ve been dependent on gathering wild food to sustain us, and passing down the rich knowledge of wild plants connected with this was crucial to our survival. However, with the ongoing development and homogenisation of farming over the last few hundred years, the need for food foraging has dwindled worldover, and the knowledge has been all but lost to most of us.

Thankfully, there has been a global resurgence of interest in foraging in recent years, for a number of reasons including a desire to live more locally and sustainably. This resurgence is important not only for the protection of the indigenous knowledge, but also because, in the knowing and using of this knowledge, we are able to connect with and celebrate in the sense of place it provides. It’s happening right here in South Africa too, where we have an abundance of veldkos from the coast to the deepest karoo and beyond.

This is what we’ll be exploring in an exciting new collaborative blog series with Loubie Rusch of Making KOS. In recent years Loubie, a trained landscape designer with extensive knowledge of indigenous plants, began experimenting in cooking with the edible varieties of these plants. She’s developing a tantalising range of bottled produced - much of which she forages for - and also offers veldkos foraging walks and cooking classes in Kommetjie and at Foodology in Kenilworth. Her own journey of learning sees her connecting with individuals with first-hand experience of nurturing, collecting, eating or cooking with our local foods: “It has been powerful to witness how, when most of the people that I have asked to, start to share with me their often long forgotten memories of eating off the veld, a re-connection to place is ignited in a way that re-affirms self in such a direct way. I feel this result is so badly needed in our country where so much local knowledge has been displaced by imported habits. So I hope to include this aspect in as many of the projects I collaborate on as possible.”

Our indigenous edibles include leaves, roots, shoots and berries, that provide a broad spectrum of tastes and textures as well as vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that can enhance your diet.

Exploring our natural edible plant kingdoms can happen as soon as you leave your front door. Many plants, and even weeds, growing in your neighbourhood are edible, and we’ll be profiling some of these in the ‘Veldkos finds’ series, with Loubie’s help. While care needs to be taken to forage responsibly, the act of foraging can be profound. It can deepen an appreciation of your environment and heritage, diversify and enliven your diet, and even help you to connect to your community and make friends.

We hope you’ll enjoy this series as much as we do!  

Photo credit: Loubie Rusch

Veldkos-finds---our-new-series

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