Winter has arrived again, and usually we tend to ‘blindfold’ our feet a bit more at this time of the year than in summertime. But even during the summer I simply don’t manage to keep the sandals on my feet. Especially not when I’m in nature – how could you feel free in a natural environment when your feet are held prison?

I’ve noticed that I rarely forage for wild plants anymore without being barefoot. Honestly: it make things so much easier, it’s so simple to find out where the soil becomes more humid, or warm, or sandy. With your bare feet, it’s a piece of cake to find out where the sun exactly was half an hour ago, as you feel right away where the earth is still glowing. It might be the no.1 simplest way to look for plants, especially those that only grow in very specific circumstances. A quest for plants that becomes a total sensuous experience.

In the late summer, I was able to live wildly from whatever the land had to offer: wild greens, berries of all kinds, wild apples, and the most delicious mushrooms. The mushrooms, that was something new for me. Guided by a good friend we went mushroom ‘hunting’. Yes, hunting that is. Everyone who ever picked mushrooms in the wild, will agree: it is something quite different. They seem to hide sometimes, or it happens that you look at a spot where you where fruitlessly passing only five minutes ago, and it turns out that all of a sudden it’s loaded with mushrooms. “Actually, the best way to look for mushrooms, is having a beer first” I heard, “as it slows you down, and fogs your mind just the tiny bit you need in order to be able to find them”. Haven’t tried the beer yet, but barefooted, I found one mushroom after another, and another, and…

Published in: on December 3, 2008 at 12:57 pm  Comments (2)  
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How the tomato came to the city

One of the funniest discoveries during our research for How to survive in a cit: Edible Brussels/Amsterdam turned out to be the tomato.

For those who don’t know this project of Irmafirma: How to survive in a city is the answer to the question how you can survive as a hunter-gatherer in the city.

We were amazed by many surprises, and one of them was the tomato, which we discovered abundantly near railways.

The fairy tale goes like this:

On a beautiful day, tou eat a tomato sandwich, or a tomato-mozzarella salad, or a delicious fresh gazpacho.

Some time later you take the train, preferably a stop train or one of the old type that doesn’t have chemical toilets yet.

While you’re on the train, you feel your bowels are starting to move.

You pay a visit to the restroom and flush.

What happens next? You continue to travel to wherever your destination is, but the undigested tomato seeds fall on the earth between the rail ways or on the side, grateful for the good amount of manure they received, and start to grow, and grow..

Published in: on August 16, 2007 at 6:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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