Let Us Now Praise Urban Foragers

While at Gastrokid HQ LA we think we’re risky for plucking red pepper corns from trees we stumble upon on hikes and for trimming our backyard rosemary and tearing leaves from errant mint leaves growing weedlike in our sideyards, we’ve got nothing on Ava Chin, an old (nay, young) Village Voice colleague of mine who just wrote her first post for her series The Urban Forager for the New York Times online. It’s about field garlic (with a recipe), which in Fort Greene Brooklyn is a bit harder to come by (in the photo note the ragged grass, the thermal jacket she must wear to brave the elements) than in freakishly fertile and oddly balmy Los Angeles where persimmons, figs, pomelo, and other fruit are snapped up regularly by the folks who frequent Fallen Fruit. Our kids are benefitting from the occasional found garnish. Forage smartly and safely (and legally) and yours shall too [gkid eds not: safe foraging is a must, recenlty a supposedly expert mushroom forager ate a lethal mushroom. DON'T FORAGE FOR MUSHROOMS OR ANYTHING ELSE YOU ARE NOT ABSOLUTELY SURE OF. Our kind of foraging is more like backyard foraging: mint you know, rosemary that's growing in clean soil, that sort of thing. There's a saying: There are bold foragers and their are old foragers. But there are no bold old foragers. Don't put yourself or your kids at risk.] Matthew (who also knows Ava from the Voice) occassionally, tho less frequently, forages far on the other side of the pond at Gastrokid HQ UK. He was bragging about the local samphire (sea beans) a while ago. So hats off to him too.

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