My experience at forager has strongly influenced my way of seeing things around me.
I come from Italy and I’ve studied in the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont. Food has always been my passion, my life focus and I’ve discovered many different gastronomic realities in the world, but it’s incredible how just three weeks at Forager completely changed my food perspective. I went to Forager to write my bachelor thesis about how to make wild food accessible to everybody, but most of all to get in touch with such a reality that is nowadays less and less common.
They made me discover the essence of the link man-nature. Spending everyday in the middle of nature, getting aware of all the wild edible ingredients you can access to in such unusual contexts, of all the incredible biodiversity and tastes you can have in a square metre has been a revelation for me.
Talking about organic, local and seasonal food many times can be too generic and abstract. Foraging is instead the best way to put in practice these concepts: there is no closer link to territory and season than by collecting wild food. The search, the attention, the constant movement, the natural rhythm, the use of senses, the respect towards nature are all values that this practice implies and working at Forager really made me understand their importance. It’s a life teaching, that everybody should have. When you get to know a plant, you gather and try it, you create a deep connection with it and after that moment you will always recognise and respect it. That’s the magic of foraging and through this experience a new and deeper world opened in front of my eyes. The freedom of being able to recognise and get food from the wild is immeasurable.
Now, when I walk in a forest, in a meadow or even in a road everything around me is different. While before it was all a green landscape, now every plant emerges with its own identity, taste and behaviour. Forager team has been able to transmit me the passion, the curiosity and commitment they all put in their work and I strongly recommend everybody to take the opportunity of working with them. Food is not only agriculture, is not only production, is not only cooking. Food can be under our feet when we least expect it.
Read Silvia's thesis 'Foraging in South East England and North West Italy' here...