Beyond Greens: Foraging


Serviceberry tree
Foraging is a nice word. I love its meaning and what it represents. In French, Google translates it to “recherche de nourriture” and it makes me laugh. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that doesn’t seem to hold the same meaning as foraging. People can search for food in their own pantry, at the market, in the dumpster, perhaps. But foraging is most often used to mean the search for food in nature or in the wild, and that’s why it gets me excited.
[Side note: The dictionary translates it to “fourrageage”, which sounds a lot more adequate, albeit painfully ugly. That said, I’ve never heard that word being used].
I’ve always been a pragmatic person. I was a good student growing up, but certain topics like physics and linear algebra gave me trouble. My reasoning was usually along the lines of “how is this going to help or affect my life? People’s lives?”. If I couldn’t answer these questions, my interest and curiosity was lost. Sad and egocentric, perhaps. But I have a limited amount of time on this planet and I’d rather spend it learning things that are practical. Like languages. Like cooking. Like growing my own food. You get the idea. 
These days, my whole life seems to revolve around food. Growing it; searching for it; cooking it; sharing it and savouring it. I’m back to basics, yet I’ve never felt so alive. 

Last week, inspired by Gayla Trail of You Grow Girl, I foraged a bounty of perfectly ripe serviceberries that I found while biking home from the garden. Sometimes known as saskatoons (or amélanches in French), serviceberries are delicious. Their shape and size are reminiscent of blueberries, but their taste is sweeter. I was pumped! I made two batches of jam…

Can you guess what I mixed the second batch with?

Serviceberry jam

… and a no-bake pie (I played around with this recipe).

Serviceberry pie

Then a couple of days later, an opportunity presented itself to go foraging for mushrooms (with a pro) outside of the city. I jumped on the occasion. Before I knew it, I was in the forest with friends searching for and learning about mushrooms. What a fun day. Pictured below are some of the specimens we found.

Warning! Not all of the mushrooms pictured below are edible. You should not attempt to forage without an expert. 


Tricholomopsis platyphylla:

A bright variety of hygrophorus:



We later enjoyed the edibles sautéed with some garlic scapes over crostini. Yum.

And you? Have you foraged before? Do tell.