I grew up camping and fishing. I knew what a stinging nettled looked and felt like, I knew what plant to rub on a sting if I got one. I knew which berries I could eat and which ones would make me sick. This knowledge had been passed down to me through my family line and generations of people living on the same British land. I grew up close to the land.
When I immigrated to Australia and went walking in the bush, I realised that I didn’t know one plant. Not one! I had no idea which plants stung, which healed, and which I could make tea out of. Over the years, I have started to learn. There is a hardy bush on the headland where I go walking that has delicate white flowers. Now and again, I eat some on my walk, they are sweet and lightly scented and delicious.
I have endeavoured to learn about Australian weeds, mushrooms, plants and wildlife—more for my children than myself. I want them to have the connection to nature that I grew up with. To know that they can forage and find edible food. To know heals in the bush around them. But for them to know, they need a teacher. For me to know, I need teachers.
This led me to the weedy one (Wild food advocate and forager) and the wild food huntress (Horticulturist and conservationist ). They are both passionate about weeds, foraging and keeping the wisdom of the forest alive. I spend a fabulous, sunny day in the forest (my favourite place) learning about all things weeds…and picked the most oversized mushrooms I have ever seen! Amazing!