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Archive for the ‘Edible plants & recipes’ Category

Elderflower bush by graffiti mural

It’s been a wonderful spring for elderflowers in Berlin, their huge creamy white sprays appearing by the dozen on the simple green trees and shrubs that, until then, nobody had paid any attention to, like this low-growing specimen obscuring some graffiti. They perfumed the air around them, and the food and drinks of anyone who took the time to stop and forage.

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Many seedlings at open window

Not all urban plants sprout up uninvited on the mean sidewalks of the city. Indeed, in Berlin, planting the balcony is a spring ritual for many. Those without balconies, like myself, have adopted bits of land in community gardens. It’s still too early for many plants to be planted outdoors, but seedlings are being started in apartments around the city.

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chives on table

So many chives! Although we had not cared for, planted or even visited our community garden plot until yesterday, we arrived to find a ridiculous amount of lush chives to harvest. Now in their fifth year, our plants are apparently robust enough to take care of themselves and provide a hands-off first spring crop for us to enjoy.

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Lexikon der Küchen- und Gewurzkräuter

If you like beautiful books as much as I do, maybe you won’t mind that the Foraging Resource I’m sharing today is in German. And out of print. You see, I’d like to continue introducing edible plant resources that I personally use, even if they are specific to Berlin or in German, since those are the ones I know well. I hope they will inspire you to find your own favorite resources. Also, I’ll also share tips and info from them, giving you a peek into the books and websites, so you can benefit from them right here on this blog. Read on to look inside this book…

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Edible plant walk

Can you feel it? The weather’s getting warmer and wetter. Winter’s on its last legs. Urban gardeners and foragers like myself are  itching to go planting and plucking plants all around the town. Since many readers come to this blog precisely for info on edible plants, a topic we’ve neglected this winter, I’m celebrating March and the approaching spring with a series on edible plant resources. Read on for more!

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Personal grapes 1

You may have noticed a lot of foreign plants appearing on this blog, with the location changing almost daily, during the month of August. That’s because I was on a photography road trip through Germany, France, Spain and Portugal, urban plant-spotting along the way. I sent some photos from my cell phone, but I also shot five rolls of film which I still need to share with you. Here’s a few from Perpignan, on the Spanish border of France, to warm these chilly autumn days.

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Walnut in the grass

Back from a harvest-time weekend in Brandenburg, here’s the full report! As you may have noticed from the last, photo-only post, I was in the small village of Lichtenberg near Neuruppin, about an hour north of Berlin, visiting relatives whose front lawn is currently being showered with walnuts from their neighbor’s black walnut tree, which hangs over their property. The common understanding of fallen-fruit rights in Germany is that any fruit that falls on your lawn is yours to keep (I’m not a foraging lawyer, so don’t take my word for this). Anyway, we filled this bucket almost to the top and our kind relatives said we were welcome to take them back to Berlin with us, as there will surely be more falling onto the lawn soon.

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